How Do Truckers Wash Dishes? 17 tips and tricks

How do truckers wash dishes? Actually, truck drivers wash dishes a lot of different ways. One of the most common ways to keep dishes clean is to not even use real dishes!

A lot of truck drivers will use plastic plates and utensils instead of actual ceramic dishes. Is it the best way? Depends on who you ask. Is it the only way? Not a chance.

In this article I’m going to give you 17 different ways to wash your dishes if you are a truck driver.

For truck drivers that use real dishes and utensils they still need to keep them clean. Since semi trucks don’t have running water/sinks this could be challenging.

Truck drivers are known for their creativity and keeping their dishes clean is no exception.

If you are a new driver then this list is going to give you a head start to
you driving career. If you find the tips useful please consider sharing this with other truck driver via social media or just email.

Are you ready to learn about all the ways truck drivers keep their dishes clean? Before we do I want to clarify how many dishes truck drivers use.

How Many Dishes Do Truckers Use?

I want to be clear about what I mean by dishes in this article. Truckers use 1 plate, 1 bowl, 1 fork, 1 knife, and 1 spoon over and over. They use what they need and then wash it for the next time they need it.

Truckers don’t pile up dishes like you would in a home with a dishwasher or sink and running water.

1. Buy Paper And Plastic

The most obvious way to keep dishes clean is to not have any real dishes!

If you really don’t want to worry about cleaning dishes just get a bunch of plastic utensils, plates, and bowls the next time you take a run to Walmart.

Is buying plastic the cheapest option? No. The money you spend on plastic utensils is going to add up quickly.

If you are trying to save money then you should probably not go this route. But if you are lazy and willing to spend a few bucks to avoid cleaning dishes then this is your solution.

Are you worried about the environment? Wasting plastic is not for you.

My thoughts: Don’t feel guilty about throwing away plastic utensils, the green police isn’t living in a closet on wheels.

2. Aluminum Foil Lining For Your Cookware

The last thing you want to do after you are using a 12 volt frying pan like this one (which I highly recommend) is scrub the cooking surface clean. That can be a pain and make a mess.

You’re in a truck, you don’t have a faucet and plumbing that you can use to get it clean.

The solution? Aluminum foil! This stuff is great for covering just about any cooking surface you have. Whether you are cooking with a 12 volt lunch box  or George Foreman grill you need to use aluminum foil to cover the cooking surfaces.

When you are finished cooking all you have to for cleanup is throw away the foil. No messy scrubbing.

3. Wet Wipes Are Your Friend

Wet wipes can be used to wipe down metal utensils, bowls, and plates. They are relatively cheap and let you do a lot of cleaning without mixing soap and water.

Regardless of how you clean your eating utensils you should always have wet wipes on hand for general cleaning.

Just make sure you get the unscented wipes.

4. How To Clean “Real” Dishes (money saving)

What I mean by “real” dishes are non-plastic/paper dishes. You know, the ceramic type dishes you have in your home.

You’d be surprised how many drivers use real dishes. One reason is because it’s cheap to take a set of dishes from home onto the road and just keep reusing them.

This saves money. You won’t have to spend money on plastic/paper dishes and will spend less on wet wipes too.

If you spend $1.00 a day on dishes that’s about $30.00 per month. Over a year that comes out to $360.00. That’s a waste of money that you can avoid by simply using “real” dishes instead of plastic/paper.

5. Get A Small Plastic Container

Keep a small plastic container for washing dishes. Just like you would at home just add some soap to the water and scrub away with a small sponge.

You can use a12 volt water heater like this one to heat water. Now just wash your dishes in the plastic container and wipe them dry when you finish.

When finished just dump the dirty water outside the truck or pour it into an empty plastic container and throw it away later.

Throw it in the garbage please, not next to your parked truck in a lot.

6. Steal From Fast Food Restaurants

Whenever you see free forks, knives, and spoons at a fast food restaurant or truck stop just grab a handful.

As long as you buy something there then technically I don’t think it’s considered stealing.

While you are at it grab a bunch of napkins too!

7. Use The Restroom Sink

It sounds gross but washing your dishes in the restroom sink is fairly common. Take them with you the next time you shower, wipe down the
sink with wet wipes, and start washing the dishes.

I’m not saying you are going to fill the sink with water and let your dishes soak in there. No way. All you are doing is using the hot water and sponge to clean the dishes and then rinse them from the sink water.

When you finish you can dry them off with paper towels or a towel and you are ready to go.

8. Use The Fuel Island

Wash your dishes in a plastic container and then walk over to the fuel island and use the water hose to wash and rinse everything clean.

Everything goes down the drain at the fuel pump.

Get back into your truck and dry everything off.


9. Don’t Use Dishes If You Don’t Have To

If you cook for yourself then instead of using a plate or bowl you can eat right out of what you used to cook. For example, if you cooked a stew in your slow cooker then just eat right out of the slow cooker when you are done.

This is not always possible but when it is you will avoid having to wash dishes. IF you do this a few times a week it’s worth it.

10. Take The Dishes Into The Shower

I know this sounds weird but trust me when I tell you this is a good way to wash your dishes.

I’m surprised how many truck drivers do this. First of all, you aren’t going to be taking a ton of dishes with you into the shower. Probably just some utensils, a plate, and maybe a bowl.

Put your dirty dishes in your small plastic bin or container and wash them with soap while you are showering. You won’t make a mess and don’t have to worry about spilling anything since everything will go down the drain.

Just dry them off when you get out of the shower and you and your dishes are all clean!

11. Make A Sink

Well, it’s not a real sink but it gets the job done. Place a large water jug  with spigot (like this one on Amazon)  above a plastic container.

Wash the dishes in the container and then rinse them off.

12. Get Liners For Your Crock Pot

In case you didn’t know crock pots like this one are a popular way truck drivers are able to cook for themselves.

Don’t worry about making a mess, just get some crock pot liners like these.

All you do is put them in the crock pot before cooking, add the food, and when you are finished you just throw away the liner. No mess and no need to scrub the inside of the crock pot.

13. Use The Sink By The Coffee Makers

A lot of truck stops will have a sink close to the coffee makers that you can use to get some hot water.

If you don’t want to shower with your dishes or wash them in the restroom sink than put your small plastic container in this sink and fill it with
how water.

Now add some soap and wash your dishes. When you are done you can rinse them off right there and then take them back to your truck to dry off.

14. Check Your Terminals

Depending on the company you drive for they often have terminals that have a kitchen area with a sink. You can wash dishes there too. The only problem is you usually aren’t at a terminal every day.

15. Get Two Spray Bottles (simple)

Get yourself two spray bottles. In one bottle have soapy water and in the other one put clean water.

Wash with the soapy water and rinse with the clean water. Dry off with paper towels. Works great!

16. Be Creative!

No matter which method you use just be creative. There are some days when washing dishes with soap and water is just not possible. Instead, use paper and plastic.

On the days you have access to a hot shower then do your dishes in the shower.

You get the idea, improvise a little and you should never be without clean dishes.