Dish Cleaning Tool for Vision Impaired?

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Assistant Cook
Oct 29, 2020
Can anyone recommend a general purpose dish cleaning tool for an older person with failing vision?

My mom washes dishes by hand and she's leaving food stuck to some of them. Yesterday I found a fork in the drawer that looks like it was put away dirty. One of the tines had yellow-brownish food stuck to it. It looked like peanut butter, but it wasn't. Mostly she leaves small specks stuck to a plate or a coffee mug. This is understandable because it typically requires feeling them to know they're there. Her sense of feel is failing to, I guess. But this thing with the fork is completely unacceptable - it's disgusting. I don't know how she missed that. I saw it in a dimly lit kitchen. I don't think her eyesight is that bad, she just went to the eye doctor! Honestly, I'm not sure how much of this is a vision issue. I suspect she's rushing through the cleaning because she doesn't want to do it.

She uses a dish rag and I'm thinking that she needs to use something else that has more scrubbing power that will work on all dishes. If she can't even see the food stuck on the dishes, then using a scrubbing pad as needed won't work. She needs a general purpose scrubber for ALL the dishes.

Any suggestions?

I did hear something about using soap and baking soda in the dish water for added cleaning power. I'm not sure if that would do the job alone or not.

Any advice would be appreciated. Using a dishwasher is not an option.
The best bet is to use your hands to feel the dishes. I use my hands to feel the sinks, all the sides when I clean them. You might be surprised at the grime that forms even on the bottom of the sink full of dishes. I feel all the dishes fronts and backs, all the utensils. I could probably go blind and still get them clean. She needs to use another sense to do them. Her feelings in her hands. It's a skill instead of an item. I hope that helps and I hope she is receptive to the idea. Take her hands in yours, then show her how it works.
Perhaps you could convince her to use a sponge with the grit on one side AND a cloth.

If she won't, or can't, as you've implied, use her fingers/hands to feel, then perhaps you can convince her to scrub with the scrubby and final rinse down with the cloth.

You will have to point out - and show her - that she is not getting them clean and it is a health hazard.

If she's just rushing because she really just doesn't want to do it - nothing short of getting her plastic utensils and paper plates will work.
I use my fingers to feel if there is anything left on the dishes, etc. I also use something similar to this. The mesh side is gently scrubby and the terry cloth side is really good at getting off grease, especially off of plastic.

As to whether or not baking soda in the water would help, I have never heard that, could be true, don't know.

Only thing is, if she is taking shortcuts with the washing, is she also taking shortcuts with rinsing?

Left on baking soda would not hurt, might add a bit of a taste, but won't hurt. I do think that you would see it if she's doesn't rinse them proper.

I hope you find a solution. I really like taxy's cloth and scrubby, that just might do the trick!
When I was a kid I wanted to wash dishes. Not every day but I kinda liked it. Why ? It was something new.

Well one of the things m Grandma said was "Sometimes you can't see it, so you feel it. She rubbed her hand all over a bowl to demonstrate.

It was cool when she lived with us, you could get her to cook almost anything.


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