Dishwashers are one of the most self-explanatory appliances in your home. For the most part, you simply put dirty dishes in and hit start, right? While that will get the job done for a little while, there are a few tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your dishwasher, save water, and prolong the life of your machine.
Throw your dishes in the dishwasher the moment you finish eating. Food that’s left to sit on your plate will harden and be more difficult to clean.
Always use the hottest water option available. Hot water will best sanitize your dishes and break down soap scum.
Clean your dishwasher every month to rid it of soap scum, grease, and food.
Unload your dishwasher starting with the bottom rack. Water that pools in dishes on the top rack can splash down to dishes sitting below if you take them out first.
Run the dishwasher overnight. Utility companies charge more at peak times (like right after dinner), so running it in the middle of the night can save you money.
Stuff too many dishes in at once. In order for dishes to be properly cleaned, there needs to be enough space between each one.
Run your dishwasher half full. So long as it’s fully loaded (but not stuffed), a dishwasher actually uses less water than hand washing.
Wash sharp steak knives. Sharpened knives can become dull in the dishwasher.
Wash wood, cast iron, or crystal. These items are usually not dishwasher safe and can break during a cycle.
Use too much detergent. More soap doesn’t guarantee cleaner dishes and can actually build up on the walls of your machine.
Pre-rinse dishes. Pre-rinsing dishes wastes water and can clog your sink drain. Instead, scrape food into the garbage using a fork.
If your dishwasher isn’t performing well for several weeks, it may be time to schedule a service!