A Quick and Simple Guide on How to Wash Dishes While Camping

Get the ultimate dishwashing guide for camping - learn how to wash your dishes like a pro with our step-by-step guide. Camping doesn't have to mean sacrificing hygiene - just follow our tips, and you'll be able to enjoy the great outdoors while still keeping your dishes pristine!

Are you tired of feeling stressed about how to wash your dishes while camping? Look no further! In this article, we'll share with you some easy and practical tips on how to wash your dishes like a pro while enjoying the great outdoors.

From gathering your supplies to setting up your dishwashing station, we've got you covered with everything you need to know. So grab your scrub brush and let's get started on making dishwashing while camping a breeze!

Preparing Your Dishwashing Area & Gathering Your Supplies

Dishwashing scrubers.
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko / Unsplash

Preparing your dishwashing area while camping is an important step in maintaining a clean and organized campsite.

You'll need a flat, sturdy surface to set up your dishwashing station. We recommend using camp tables if your campsite has them available. If you don't have access to one, you can use rocks, logs, or any flat object that is big enough for you to comfortably wash and rinse your dishes.

If you're using a fire to heat water, make sure to set up your station a safe distance away from the fire. Then, gather all of your supplies, including a basin or large bucket, biodegradable soap, a scrub brush or sponge, and a towel or cloth to dry. By taking the time to properly set up your dishwashing area, you'll be well on your way to a stress-free and efficient dishwashing experience while camping.


“It’s always a good idea to sit at the fun table…” - Esther Hicks
Photo by Brooke Lark / Unsplash

Collecting Water

Once you have your supplies together, you'll need to collect enough water for washing and rinsing your dishes. Depending on your campsite, this may involve using nearby streams or gathering rainwater. Also, make sure to carry enough water for your camping trip.

Washing and Rinsing

Fill the wash basin with warm, soapy water and submerge your dishes. Scrub each item with your scrubbing pad and make sure to get rid of any food debris. Once you're done washing, rinse the dishes in the rinse basin with clean water.


Use paper towels or cloths to dry the dishes before storing them away. This will help prevent bacteria growth and keep your dishes from smelling bad.

Storing Your Dishes

After your dishes are dried, you can store them in a sealed plastic bag or container to keep them safe from bugs and other critters.

These simple steps will ensure that your dishes are clean and ready to be used again for your next meal.

Also, check out our article on the Best Hunting Pants

How to Clean Dishes While Camping Without Water

You can wash your camping cookware easily.
Photo by Scott Umstattd / Unsplash

Washing your dishes while camping can be a challenge, especially if you are dry camping and don't have access to enough water. However, with a little bit of creativity and the right tools, it's still possible to keep your dishes clean and your campsite organized. Here are some tips on how to wash your dishes while camping without access to water:

  1. Use wet wipes or biodegradable cleaning wipes: These wipes are great for quickly wiping down dishes and utensils after use. Simply wipe down your dishes and utensils, then allow them to air dry.
  2. Bring along a small container of soapy water: If you have a small water container that you can fill with water, you can use it to create a soapy solution for washing your dishes. Simply fill the container with a small amount of water and add a few drops of biodegradable soap. Then, use a scrub brush or sponge to wash your dishes and rinse them with a small amount of clean water.
  3. Use a camp sink: If you're car camping, consider bringing along a camp sink. These portable sinks have a built-in water tank and a drain, so you can easily wash and rinse your dishes without having to haul water from a nearby source.

As a last resort, you can also bring bio-degradable paper plates and avoid cooking altogether and bringing dry snacks. But that is not a viable solution if you are camping for several days.

So, follow our tips and take the time for preparations so that you can enjoy delicious meals prepared in the great outdoors without having to worry about dirty dishes!

Manage the Grey Water

Properly managing grey water is an important part of responsible camping. Here are some tips on how to manage grey water while camping:

  1. Use biodegradable soap: Non-biodegradable soap can harm the environment and wildlife, so it's important to use biodegradable soap when washing your dishes while camping. This will help ensure that the grey water you generate is safe for the environment.
  2. Strain your grey water: Before disposing of your grey water, be sure to strain out any food particles or debris. This will help prevent clogs in the drainage system and reduce the risk of attracting wildlife to your campsite.
  3. Dispose of grey water properly: The best way to dispose of grey water is to scatter it away from your campsite and any water bodies. Keep in mind that grey water can contain bacteria, so it's important to take the necessary steps to keep yourself and the environment safe. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to enjoy a clean campsite while still being respectful of the
  4. Use a portable greywater treatment system: Consider using a portable greywater treatment system, such as a greywater filter or a greywater bag. These systems filter out contaminants and allow you to reuse the water for watering plants or other purposes.
  5. Follow Leave No Trace principles: Follow the Leave No Trace principles when camping to minimize your impact on the environment. This includes properly disposing of all waste, including greywater.

By following these tips and taking the time to properly set up your dishwashing station, you can keep your dishes clean and your campsite organized even when water isn't available.

Final Words

Washing your dishes while camping doesn't have to be a chore.  Whether you have access to water or not, there are ways to keep your dishes clean and your campsite organized. So next time you go camping, don't let dishwashing stress you out - just follow these tips and wash your dishes like a pro!

And to make your camping experience more enjoyable, make sure to check out some of our articles on the best camping gear that you should buy.