Doing dishes isn’t cooking per se, but it is a necessary evil of the operation. Even with a dishwasher, there are still things that must be washed by hand (some of my no-stick cookware, anything silver if you are putting stainless in the dishwasher or vice versa, wooden cutting boards, etc.).
I have experimented extensively with the “natural” liquids for washing your dishes and my impression is the majority of them smell nice but do nothing about cleaning. Also, they are crazy expensive. At some point though, I discovered Citrasolv Citradish. I love the way it smells and the dishes actually get clean! It’s not cheap — and for a while I could only get it at my local natural foods store, but now they carry it at Andronico’s (Black Friday wine sale over there! Side note…) — but you can always get it pretty cheaply at Alice.com, a fantastic website for household stuff which offers free shipping over $49. They have the advantage of carrying ALL of the “flavors” of Citradish, which seems to be called “Homesolv” sometimes. No idea why. Citradish also makes a great enzymatic drain cleaner (Citradrain) which works better than any of the other natural products I have tried on my drains which are perpetually slowed by my hair plus cat hair plus kitty litter and who knows what else?
My favorite scent is lemon verbena. The smell is amazing and it actually relaxes me as I do dishes. Aromatherapy, ah! The only kind I don’t like is the lavender bergamot. It smells good but the dishes don’t get clean — just smelly. Something about the essential oils in that one. They cling to the dishes but don’t cut the grease. After I ordered that kind from Alice.com, I complained to Citrasolv about it and they were nice enough to send me two entire bottles of mango tangerine and lemon verbena to try! I think I am friends with them now on Facebook, in the interest of full disclosure.
Another disclosure? My brother, who will be called The Favorite from now on here on the blog which he doesn’t read, actually did all of the dishes at Thanksgiving. I merely dried.