Dishwasher Dos and Don’ts

Owning a top-of-the-line dishwasher is nice, but doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your dishes and glassware will emerge sparkling clean. Follow these handy hints for clean dishes every time.

 

DO: Pre-rinse everything if your dishes are going to sit in the dishwasher for a day or longer. Since many of us don’t have the need to run a full dishwasher load every day, bits of stuck-on food become harder for the machine to scrub away once the cycle begins. It’s best to just rinse everything off before placing in the dishwasher.

 

DON’T: Stack items on top of one another. The bottom dish will prevent the water from getting to the dish on top and it won’t get clean. If you find yourself cramming dishes and bowls into every available space, doubling up to fit it all in, it may be time to think about running the dishwasher more frequently.

 

DO: Secure your plastics. This includes kitchen utensils, Tupperware containers and kids’ plastic cups and dishes. Not only is it potentially hazardous to your dishwasher, but nothing smells worse than burning melted plastic when an item falls onto the machine’s heating element.

 

DON’T: Buy dish detergent in bulk. Believe it or not, dish soap can go bad. Detergent that hasn’t been used in months won’t do the job as effectively as new detergent. Try not to buy more dish soap than you can use in two months, regardless of the tempting coupons and bulk-buy offers you may encounter.

 

DO: Store detergent in a cool, dry spot. Any of us who has ever had a leak under the kitchen sink can tell you what happens to our powdered dish soap when it gets wet. Moreover, storing dish detergent in a kitchen sink cabinet can cause the soap to clump and deteriorate from the built-up moisture. Try to find a spot that is convenient but also free of heat and moisture.

 

DON’T: Unload the top rack first. This may seem like common sense, but unloading the top rack, where cups and glasses are commonly washed, first, causes water that has pooled on the base of upside-down glassware to drip onto the clean dishes of the bottom rack. Instead, try unloading the bottom first and then cleaning any remaining moisture off of the items on top with a clean dish cloth prior to putting away.

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