Solve the Problem of Dirty Drinking Glasses

dirty drinking glasses

Ever have your kitchen counter look like this in the afternoon?

Mine does. But I have an idea to help solve the problem of dirty drinking glasses.

Don’t buy sets

I was once shopping with my mother in a thrift store. They had a nice display of several sets of drinking glasses. My mom walked up just as I was selecting one glass from each set. “Why don’t you buy a set so they all match?” she asked. Well, if all my glasses are different, then when someone gets a drink they notice they have the blue one, or the one with the straight sides, or the bubbly one. When they want a second drink, they are not (hopefully) reaching for a new glass because they remember which one they had the first time. That is why I don’t buy sets.

Color coding

When my four oldest children were small, I had a set of Tupperware tumblers. They came in red, green, blue, and yellow. I assigned each child a color and that is the only cup they used. This system was great because it spilled over to other areas of the house, too. They had the same color towels, toothbrushes, backpacks, etc.

Rubber bands

We have tile floors in the kitchen. If something drops, guaranteed it will shatter into a bazillion pieces. Therefore, we go through frequent periods of no drinking glasses. During those times, we use the canning jars. When one gets a drink in a canning jar, he puts a rubber band around it to identify which one is his. We also use this method when someone is sick. Some of us have been known to be lazy enough to just drink after another family member rather than pouring our own drink. If we see a rubber band around a glass, that is our warning to not help ourselves.

What about you? Have you any tried and true methods to prevent the drinking glasses from piling up? Please share it with us.


This post has been linked up with Katherine’s Favorite Things, the Home Acre Hop, and was a featured post on:






Solve the Problem of Dirty Drinking Glasses — 18 Comments

  1. I have a friend who went to one of those paint your own pottery and places and had all her children paint their own tiles. She brought them home and lines her counter with them (7 in all counting mom and dad) and when they are done using their cups they rinse them and put them on their tiles. No more confusion on whose is whose.

  2. I love having different types of glasses and mugs too! We also use location. If I see a glass up on top of the fridge, or on the shelf near the stove–anyplace other than next to the sink, but still in the kitchen, I know the owner wants to come back and use it again before the day is out.

    Isn’t there a story in the Bible, of Esther, or Ruth, maybe–where they prepared a feast and used un-matched dinnerware? Hey if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for us, right? 😉

  3. I love this post lol

    My youngest still has a hard time reaching high to put the dishes away so I have started using a deep drawer that is under the high cupboard and next to where we do dishes. I don’t get sets or if I do like our current plates they have grapes on them but there are gold grapes and green and purple etc.

    We often drink out of canning jars but one has a handle, one is quilted moms is big etc. The one thing that I implemented recently and made total since because of the space in the drawer, was one cup and one jar per person. jars are for water and used most and the cup is for meals or other forms of drink. Juice milk etc. (these are never supposed to leave the dining room….. where we rent has carpet)

    We have more trouble with lost than broken these days!


    • Thanks for sharing, Teri. I remember when my children were small, I stored the dishes in a lower cabinet as opposed to an upper. That way, they could empty the dishwasher with no fear of falling or dropping things. It was one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given.

  4. fun idea. I use the same glass all day long. Happy New Year wishes and thank you for sharing at the hop. I hope you will stop by again soon. I posted the new giveaway! xo

  5. Oh Carol that is so funny! I had those same Tupperware cups and did the very same thing with my kids! Now, with my grand kids, I use colored straws. ~Becky

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  8. I bought a cheap package of varied expandable bracelets. Each of the kids chose one to identify whatever they are drinking out if for the day. I have a home made stretchy bracelet with my name on it. I made it at my sister’s after her family had each made one for themselves.

    • Thanks for sharing another clever idea, Martha. No reason for us to have a counter of dirty glasses ever again. 🙂

  9. I like all your ideas may try a few in the future but for now We use plastic cups with the kids’ name written on them hanging on cup hooks by the water dispenser (I have a school of 33 kids)

  10. Great idea with the different kinds of glasses but when I was buing some new at IKEA they only sold them in sets! But I payed attention to buy a good and energy efficient dishwasher and I clean them on the special 45°C programme. So I hope it’s okay for the environment. And about mugs: a long time ago I started collecting mugs so each one is unique, so it works with mugs!

    • I agree that coffee mugs work, too. Especially for children. But not for a tall glass of iced tea. 🙂

  11. Carol, we had the same set of Tupperware and every child wanted the BLUE cup. I finally found another set and then it was the NEW BLUE cup that was the favorite. Good ideas here and some memories, too!