The Do’s and Don’ts of Loading a Dishwasher

Fred's Appliance
November 26, 2014


Don’t Block The Sprayer


One of the most common mistakes people make when loading the dishwasher is placing large items such as cookie sheets, pots and pans on the middle of the top rack, which subsequently blocks the sprayer. Granted, some water will still trickle down on the dishes, but at significantly lower pressure.


To maximize the cleaning ability of your dishwasher, leave the area directly below the sprayer open and free of obstruction. Instead of placing your large items on the top rack, try standing them upright on the sides and/or back of the bottom rack.


Don’t Crowd Your Dishes Together


Another all-too-common mistake that you’ll want to avoid when loading your dishwasher is crowding dishes together. When dishes are crowded together, they won’t receive the water and detergent necessary to clean them. Give your dishes some space by placing a single plate or item in each designated “slot.” And if necessary, wash two loads of dishes instead of a single over-crowded load.


Don’t Place Cast-Iron Dishes In The Dishwasher


There’s nothing that compares to the unique taste of cooking on an authentic cast-iron skillet. The natural seasoning adds a certain flair to any meat or vegetable. However, you should only handwash cast-iron skillets and other cookware and not place them in the dishwasher. The high heat of a dishwasher can strip off the seasoning, forcing you to go back and re-season it.


Do Pre-Rinse


Pre-rinsing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher will help remove any large chunks of debris that would otherwise end up clogging up the filter. With that said, there’s a fine line between pre-rinsing and handwashing. Some people assume that handwashing their dishes before loading them into the dishwasher makes them cleaner, but in reality this practice works against you. Dish detergent contains certain chemicals that actively seeks out and sticks to food debris. Without this debris, the detergent won’t be able to perform its intended purpose.


Do Use a Rinse Aid


If your dishes often come out of the dishwasher with cloudy smudges or spots, you should try using a rinse aid. These products contain certain chemicals that neutralize hard water, leaving your dishes sparkling clean. Just fill the compartment in your dishwasher with your preferred rinse aid, add detergent, and it will do the rest of the work for you.

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