Dishwasher Hack: Don’t Pre-Rinse Your Dishes!

When we asked consumers earlier this year, 76% told us they pre-rinse their dishes most of the time before loading them into the dishwasher. We’re here to tell you to stop. Seriously.

Dishwasher technology has come a long way, with sensors to measure how dirty dishes are. Detergents have been formulated to soften and remove caked-on food. By pre-rinsing dishes, you’re doing more work than you need to and using way more water than necessary.

How should you be preparing dishes to be washed? We asked Chris Doscher of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. His advice was to first scrape off excess food and then follow these top tips for loading the dishwasher:

  1. Put pots and pans upside down on the bottom rack. This allows them to be closer to the spray arms where the spray is most powerful.
  2. Place glasses on the top rack in between the tines, not over the tines. Many people put them over the tines, but that can cause spotting or stress on the class.
  3. Put silverware in the flatware basket, but don’t put all of the same types of silverware in the same areas. Mix them up, especially spoons, which are broader and can block one another from getting clean if placed improperly. Place knives blade-down in the flatware basket.
  4. Bowls can be washed on the top or bottom rack, but they should be placed face down or angled so that the water will reach them during the cycle.
  5. If your dishwasher has a utensil rack, take advantage of it for things like spatulas and serving spoons.
  6. Many people don’t realize that the top rack of many dishwasher models is adjustable. Check your dishwasher’s use-and-care manual to see if yours is adjustable. That comes in handy for fitting taller glasses and larger dishes into the top rack.

A dishwasher uses the force of water to loosen food and temperature to loosen more stuck-on foods and foods like grease and fats. Placing dishes closer to the spray arms means they’ll be hit with a stronger spray. Baked-in or stuck-on items can be removed by the higher pressure. That’s why we recommend putting cookware face down, on the bottom rack.

There you have it! You can stop rinsing dishes and enjoy the extra time.



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