Dishes in, dishes out. You know how to load a dishwasher, right? Well, maybe not. Turns out that according to research, most people do not load their dishwasher correctly to get the cleanest dishes. The majority of people just pile the dishes where there is a spot on the rack. Here are a few tips and reasons why you may need to change what you do with your dishes.
- Rinse off dishes before putting them in a dishwasher. You don’t need to scrub them clean unless there is a protein such as eggs or baked on foods on the dish. Most dishes just require a light rinse, if any at all. In fact most dishwashers and detergents will clean better if the dishes have some residue on them.
- Place plates facing the water stream. Most people line up their plates facing the same direction, however, your plates, bowls and other dishes will be cleaner if you face them towards the middle.
- Handle side down when putting your utensils in the basket. The exception is sharp knives. These should be placed in the top rack or point side down in the basket to prevent injury. Good cooking knives with wooden handles, bone or composites should be washed by hand and not placed in a dishwasher.
- Separate like utensils. Forks and spoons are easier to sort when next to each other in the basket, however, these items tend to nest and will not get clean. Separating them prevents having to rewash them later.
- Wash plastics on the top shelf. They will be away from the heating elements and can get clean. No need to hand wash them anymore.
- Separate breakables. Don’t pile everything so close together that glass pieces touch. The vibration that occurs during the wash cycle could cause breakage.
- Run your garbage disposal before starting your dishwasher. Many dishwashers use the same pipes as the garbage disposal. You don’t want it to back up when you run your dishwasher.
- Run the hot water in your sink before turning on the dishwasher. This lets the cycle immediately start hot.
- Soap should be placed in the holder. Do not use the liquid soap that you use to wash the dishes in your sink. You will have a mess to clean up and may have ongoing issues. Use a detergent intended for use in the dishwasher only. Keep your detergent in a dry area.
Get your dishes cleaner by making some minor adjustments to how you load the racks. It’s an easy fix to get more efficiency out of your appliance.