When your dishes don’t come out quite as clean as they should, you might fear the worst. Imperfect results are not necessarily indicative of a fault or broken dishwasher. Here are some tips to try if you want to get the most out of every dishwasher cycle.
As soon as you are done eating, you should scrape off any excess food immediately. The longer the food sits on the plate or bowl, the more difficult it will be to remove. Food on dishes will end up in your dishwasher which can cause more serious problems.
While there are those who strongly believe that rinsing is a waste of time, others never load a single dish without rinsing first. It really depends on your situation, and there is no actual right or wrong answer. It mostly depends on the detergent you use. Some work better on dishes with plenty of dirt while others are not as strong and they are best for pre-rinsed dishes. The best approach is to try without rinsing and, if your dishes don’t come out clean, try rinsing first. Oily dishes always benefit from some pre-rinsing and, if you don’t run a dishwasher cycle every day, you might want to pre-rinse in order to prevent food from hardening and stinking up your kitchen.
When choosing the best detergent for your dishwasher, it will come down to trial and error. If you are happy with your detergent, then there’s no reason to change. If you want better results, try buying small quantities of other detergents until you find the best one for you.
Plates should go on the bottom rack, and you can alternate between large and small for best results. Pots and pans should also go at the bottom, face down. On the top, you can place cups, glasses, bowls, and large utensils. Always place them face down. Around the edge of the bottom rack, you can add items like chopping boards. Cutlery goes in the cutlery holder. Place all cutlery upright except for sharp knives (for safety reasons). Remember not to overload your dishwasher and always check to ensure that the water dispenser is not blocked.
Rinse agents or rinse aid helps get rid of soap residue and water stains. It is a good idea, particularly if you have hard water. If you want a more natural and cheaper alternative, try vinegar.
You can use your dishwasher to clean most items, but there are some dishes you should only wash by hand. Anything that is not dishwasher safe can melt or get damaged inside the machine. In addition, keep insulated cups, high-end knives or pots and pans, wood utensils, disposable containers, crystal, and silver or gold (even if it’s just plated) away from your dishwasher.
Just because your dishwasher cleans your dishes and runs on a regular basis, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean it. On the contrary, your dishwasher needs a nice scrub every now and then as well. Simply run a hot water cycle with some baking soda sprinkled at the bottom of the dishwasher for that shiny, squeaky clean look. You can also place a container with white vinegar on the upper rack and run the hot cycle for great cleaning results. Both of these tricks will do wonders for your dishwasher and ensure you get the best washing results.
Finally, don’t forget to choose the right dishwasher cycle and use the appropriate amount of detergent. Using too little detergent won’t yield satisfactory results. Too much soap will definitely show on your dishes.