The dishwasher is one of the best modern conveniences to wash your dirty dishes. Instead of washing every single dish by hand, you can load all of your dirty dishes in the dishwasher and have them completely cleaned and sanitized in an hour or so! Many think loading a dishwasher is a no-brainer, but you are likely making a few mistakes.
Don’t worry, because these mistakes are very common! If you threw away the dishwasher user manual, let us explain the best ways to utilize your dishwasher to get your dishes clean the right way.
1. Don’t pre-rinse your dishes
All you need to do is get rid of large leftover food and stick it in the dishwasher. If you pre-rinse, your dishwasher may not work as effectively. The only exception? If you are not going to run your dishwasher right away and dishes may sit in there for days. Then you should rinse to avoid smells.
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2. Always use hot water
Studies show that 120 degrees is the optimal temperature to get rid of all food stains on your dishes. Make sure to check your home’s water temperature and always run the dishwasher on the hot setting.
3. Never load dishes on the top rack
The top rack is for bowls, glasses, and other smaller items. Dishes are designed to go on the bottom rack, so they won’t be properly cleaned if they are on the top one. You should also stay away from loading glasses and mugs in the bottom rack.
4. Face your dishes in different directions
You should always load your plates so they face the center of the bottom rack. Bowls in the back of the top rack should face forward, and the ones in the front should face the back. This allows water to get everywhere and clean most effectively.
5. No need to separate silverware by type
Mixing up forks, spoons and knives will actually allow them all to get cleaner. If you put spoons together, they may rest together and the soap and water will miss some of them. However, you should keep stainless steel and silver silverware away from each other because it could cause a reaction that will dent the silverware.
6. Large utensils like spatulas should be put in the top rack
Plastic or metal spatulas or large spoons should be placed flat on the top rack. Some newer dishwashers also have special places for these items.
7. Check to make sure all items are dishwasher safe
It is easier to load everything in the dishwasher, especially if you hate doing dishes. However, you have to check to make sure items are dishwasher safe, or you’ll probably crack, melt, warp, or otherwise ruin perfectly good kitchen items. Also, make sure you don’t cram your dishwasher too full or it won’t clean your dishes effectively.
8. Have a Brillo Pad handy
Brillo pads are great for scrubbing off the heavy-duty crap from your cast iron skillets and other pots and pans. I typically use mine after we’ve cooked steaks in our grill pan to get all the crud off super easily. It makes cleaning up messes THAT much easier before you pop it in your dishwasher (granted it’s dishwasher safe).
There are six things you should never, ever put in your dishwasher! Find out what they are before you load up your dishwasher today.