Why Putting Clean Dishes Into The Dishwasher Is A Major No-No

What if we told you that putting nearly-clean dishes into the dishwasher is actually a major faux pas? This may come as a shock, as most of us have been conditioned to thoroughly clean our dishes and utensils before loading them into the dishwasher, in order to make the appliance as effective as possible. But this isn't really what you should do — rinsing your dishes so that not a crumb is left in sight actually prevents the detergent from being as effective as it can. 

How? Well, when you run your dishwasher, it uses a sensor to determine how dirty your dishes are, which then determines the strength of the jet it uses. Because of this, it's highly recommended not to put totally clean dishes into the appliance. In order to get the most out of your dish detergent, the key is to rinse your dishes just enough that you leave a few food particles on the plate or bowl, as to ensure a strong-enough cleaning cycle from the dishwasher.

The problem with not pre-cleaning your dishes

On the other hand, you might be the type of person that completely relies on your dishwasher and detergent to get the job done, so you don't bother to remove large pieces of food from your plates, bowls, or cups. However, this is also a huge no-no. When you leave lots of food on your dishes, you risk clogging up your dishwasher with all that extra gunk still stuck to the plate. This is why giving your dish a quick rinse or scraping away stuck-on food is important.

This may seem contradictory to our previous guidance on not putting clean dishes into the dishwasher, but it's important to find that sweet spot between totally-clean and very-very-dirty dishes. For example: If you had pasta for dinner, make sure you scrape any stuck-on noodles into the trash bin first, or give it a quick rinse to send any remnants of meatballs into the garbage disposal. Essentially, you'll need to use your judgement when deciding how much you should clean a dish before placing it in the dishwasher.

How to properly load your dishwasher

After your dishes have been rid of any stuck-on food, it's time to put them into the dishwasher. This may seem like a cut-and-dry process, but there's actually a correct way to load the appliance, and by following this method, you'll notice your dishes are much cleaner. First, make sure you're placing your dishes inward since the jets spray upwards, meaning they'll get a better rinse. It's also important to place everything at an angle, which helps your dishes dry faster.

Keep in mind not to overcrowd the dishwasher either. Doing so makes it a lot harder for the jets to get in between the dishes, and they won't get cleaned very well. Instead, use the dividers and tines in the appliance to give each dish its own spot, but don't place any items on top of one another. More importantly, do not block any of the sprayer arms, as this can seriously affect how well the dishwasher operates.