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How Often Should I Actually Wash My Measuring Cups — And What’s the Best Way to Clean Them?

You can just rinse those, right? … Right?

Some mornings, I water my tiny basil plants with a measuring cup and then head back to the kitchen and use that same measuring cup for the water in my oatmeal. I might even use it as a scoop for the oatmeal itself. Either way, when I’m done, I pretty much just give it a rinse and put it back on the drying rack. 

Should I be actually, like, washing it instead?

Maybe after the oats, but after water alone, nah. 

Riddle me this: You use a measuring cup and wash it with soap and water. You rinse it off. You put it on your drying rack. How is that any different than just putting it straight on the drying rack? Didn’t you just give yourself unnecessary work? 

Basically, yes. Either way, your dishes should air dry. According to WebMD, it’s safer to let your dishes air dry than it is to dry them with a towel, which can just spread around bacteria. The other danger is putting away your dishes wet. In the confinement of your drawers and cabinets, the water can sit and become stagnant, letting bacteria fester. So long as you let the measuring cup properly dry before nesting it back within its stack, it’s fine. For the record, the cleanest drying option is to use the heated dry cycle on your dishwasher, if it has one. But also, fuck dishwashers

It’s hypothetically possible that not re-washing your measuring cup could spread your germs on the handle to another person, but the risks of this are negligible. Ideally, you wash your hands often, but more than that, anyone you’d share a measuring cup with is probably already exposed to your usual germs, anyway.  

Unless you’re drinking out of your measuring cups, it’s definitely justifiable to skip washing them if they’ve only been used for water. Washing them would basically just waste water and time. Both of those things are precious. Save your energy and learn to love yourself instead.