How To Wash Dishes Van Life

Wash Dishes Van Life

There are many things you never have to do when living in a van, like cooking or laundry. However, there are a few chores that can’t be avoided while living out of your vehicle. Van-lifers have a few different options on how best to wash their cups and silverware, and there are also some tricks they can use to keep any potential mess at bay.

The camper van has limited storage space. Most of it is taken up by the bed and other basic living necessities, but there is always one storage compartment that you can use to store your cleaning supplies while you are on the go. If the situation allows, it is best to dry your dishes and store them right after washing them. Also, make sure to keep the area clean and hygienic.

How To Wash Your Dishes While Living In A Van

Throw away any utensils that have lost their color or are no longer flexible. Replace missing spoon and fork handles with wooden cutlery from the grocery store. Remove the silverware and cups from your dish rack or drying rack, and place them in a clean bucket or sink once you’re ready to start washing.

Keep This Process Simple:

  • The first step is to soak your dishes in soapy water. Use a bucket of water and a small amount of dish soap (dishwashing liquid works best, but any soap will do). Mix using your hands until it forms suds. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Wash your dishware in water and dish soap at room temperature. Do not use warm water or dishwasher detergent. Use cold running water, place your dishes in the sink, and fill them with a generous amount of soap. Use a scrub brush if necessary, but only if it will scrub without damaging your dishware.
  • Next, rinse off each piece of plate ware from the soap mixture. This part is essential because it rinses off extra soap so that the pots don’t get too sandy to clean appropriately next time you use them. The top third of each cup goes under the faucet. Then you immediately rinse off most of the remaining water to avoid leaving any dirt behind for later cleaning sessions.
  • Let them air dry. Once you’ve cleaned out your sink and the dishes are clean, let them air-dry overnight. Prolonged exposure to water can cause them to rust and start corroding. As long as you don’t use water again, you’re safe!

How To Use Water Spray Bottle

If you don’t have a full sink or wash dishes in your vehicle is not an option, use a cup of water within the spray bottles to wash your dishes. These bottles are small and lightweight and can be purchased at the grocery store for about $20 bucks.

Living In A Van With Two Water Tanks

Water is an essential thing to have for a long-term caravan lifestyle. As a result, it’s best to have your water tank. If you have two tanks, you’ll be able to wash dishes and fill both at the same time. It is sometimes referred to as tandem a water tank, but it’s just using two tanks simultaneously. A grey water system can be a great addition or modification to your RV.

Conserving Water: Van Life

One of the essential skills in van life is water conservation. It takes a few extra steps, but it’s worth it to keep your water supply going for as long as possible.

With sink sprayer nozzle, rinse clean dishes quickly with cold water before running the hot water solution. If you want to do them by hand, use a sponge and one of those spray nozzle things to avoid wasting a gallon of water all over the counter and floor.

Van Life Basics Water Consumption Management & Water Sources

It is a fact that a big mistake made by many in “van life” is that they forget about water. When camping, there are many ways to store and use water, but one of the most basic is to store it in a 5-gallon bucket. You can also use a camper’s tank or fill a 5-gallon bucket with snow in the winter.


It is not an in-depth article on how to wash dishes when you live in a water-conscious van. It’s more about the basics of washing dishes without wasting too much water or time. If you have any other ideas for conserving a bit of water or washing dishes in a van, please share them in the comments section below.