Washing your dishes in the Grand Canyon is a bit different than at home, but here is how to do it easily and effectively. The dish wash station consists of a container with plates, a container with silverware, and four different buckets of water. Generally, like most things down there, the dish wash station flows downriver so make sure to start upstream, where the plates are. Most guides will have you wash your plate and silverware BEFORE you get your food as an added assurance that you’re eating off a clean plate. Grab a plate and cutlery and start heading downriver.
•The first bucket you’ll see is labelled “Pre-Wash H2O.” This is the bucket where you’ll rinse off your plate; it is usually filled with cold river water. A quick dunk will do you there.
•The second bucket is the “Hot Soapy Wash.” This is hot soapy water where you’ll get a good scrub with a brush or a sponge on your plate and cutlery.
•The third bucket is the “Hot Rinse.” Again, hot water here but no soap. Dunk it again and give it another scrub.
•The fourth and final bucket is the “Sanitation Clorox Rinse.” This bucket is cold water with a little splash of bleach, per National Park Service regulations! Give your plate and silverware a dunk in here. Then, if it’s time to eat, pile the food on your plate. If you’ve just finished eating, put your stuff back in the corresponding containers.
This will be the process for every breakfast and dinner. If you’re looking for good karma, the guides always appreciate you helping them out with some of the big skillets, bowls and spatulas they used to cook your very fine meal. 😉