Household Tips

Dishwasher Do’s and Don’ts

Everyday it works tirelessly so we don’t have to. Just think how wonderful it is to have the modern convenience of a dishwasher doing the dishes for us! The least we can do is take a minute to ensure it is successful cycle after cycle at keeping things tidy so we can be free to create great meals and not be tied to the sink afterwards.

To help your dishwasher keep your kitchen running smoothly, check out these 10 dishwasher do’s and don’ts.

Dishwasher Do's and Don'ts - Keep your dishwasher running at its optimum performance for clean dishes every load.

Dishwasher Do’s

Put these tips to memory and into practice!

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1. Run Full Loads

Using the dishwasher takes less precious water than sink loads using a powerful spraying system to get things clean. Be sensible about it and fill it up fully before running it. Doing multiple half loads isn’t saving any water.

2. Use a Rinse Agent

Glasses just don’t look clean if they’re foggy, but you can guarantee a clear and sparkling result by adding a rinse agent to your machine.

3. Use Extremely Hot Water

My machine is hooked directly to the hot water. After all, it is responsible for the cleaning magic melting off residue and disinfecting everything. Hotter means cleaner for me.

4. Inspect the Dishwasher Regularly

Check around the drain for bits of food and remove them before loading.

5. Have the Dishwasher Maintained

Those dishwasher cleaning agents we hear about are worth it. They clean off build up in the lines and keep things running smoothly. I run a bottle of the Finish dishwasher cleaner through once a month as a preventative measure. If an issue does occur, it is best to have it checked early on before it becomes a bigger, more expensive problem.

Dishwasher Don’ts

Now that we’ve talked about what you should be doing, let’s look at the things you should NOT do!

6. Don’t Wash Dishes Beforehand

Common sense says to scrape chunks of food off and some will rinse as they load. For me, if I’m going to be “pre-washing”, I might as well just wash it all by hand. Using the machine is supposed to be an efficient alternative and not a final step. Just choose one or the other.

7. Don’t Overload the Dishwasher

Filling it up is recommended but don’t cram or overfill it to the point where things won’t get totally clean. If things have to be run through a second time, you will have defeated the purpose of saving time and water.

8. Don’t Use too Much Dishwashing Detergent

It is possible to use too much detergent and this won’t get things any cleaner. It is hard on the machine and may not rinse properly.

9. Don’t Put in Non Dishwasher Safe Dishes

Not everything is dishwasher safe. If in doubt, leave it out. Many items are labelled accordingly.

10. Don’t Overload the Silverware Container

This needs to be mentioned because despite my efforts to not overload, I have, on occasion, expected too much and overloaded the silverware section. They are smaller, so while more will fit, overloading does not leave space for the flow to completely clean them.

The dishwasher is an essential appliance in your busy kitchen.  Follow these do’s and don’t s to prolong the life of your dishwasher and enjoy many years of its helpful service.

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Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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