Dishwasher Tips – Getting the Best Dishwashing Results
Using a dishwasher can save you hundreds of hours over the course of a year. Energy efficient appliances such as Westinghouse fridges or dishwashers can significantly reduce energy use. A University of Bonn study found that compared to hand washing, a dishwasher uses ½ the energy, 1/6th the water, and less detergent. Properly loading and maintaining your dishwasher is key to ensuring you enjoy these benefits. Here are some simple tips for getting great dishwashing results every time.
Loading and Overloading
Try not to overload your dishwasher. While it’s important to make the best use of space, it’s common for people to heavily overload their dishwasher and find that dishes and cutlery are not cleaned properly. Check your instruction manual and stack your dishes with sufficient space for a clean wash.
On the other hand, under loading the dishwasher won’t help with getting cleaner dishes and can lead to wasted space. Use the wash cycle settings on your dishwasher to get the best wash program for the load size.
Rack position can matter to different types of dishes. Use these guidelines to get better cleaning results:
- Keep in mind that some items are dishwasher-safe only when they’re place on the top rack, due to the higher temperatures at the bottom.
- Glass cups, bowls, cups and other larger items should be placed on the top. Keep them on an incline so the dishwashing liquid can reach the inside and the dish will properly drain.
- Other serving items, such as plates, pots, pans, and utensils can go on the bottom. Make sure they’re open side down for best cleaning results.
- Knives, forks, and spoons can be place in the basket with the handle down. Mix them so they aren’t nestled against each other and can get good water coverage
- Longer cutlery should be laid flat on higher baskets as they can block the spray.
- Cutting boards should go on the bottom, toward the edges so they don’t block the water cycle.
- Some dishes and cookware are best washed by hand. These include cast iron pots and crystals.
Never use your regular dishwashing detergent in the dishwasher as this can cause over foaming and the machine to leak. Dishwashing detergent typically comes in 3 forms: powder, liquid, and gel. Other dishwashing solutions, such as rinse aid or dishwasher salt, can be used.
- Rinse aid or agent. Used during the final rinse cycle to reduce droplet formation on items such as glassware for spotless drying. It’s poured into a special compartment next to the detergent compartment. There’s no need to add rinse aid yourself if you already use dual action detergent.
- Dishwasher salt. Commonly used in European dishwashers or countries with hard water. The salt removes calcium and magnesium ions and helps detergent dissolve more effectively in water.
Scrape off food scraps and large particles before you load. There’s no need to rinse dishes with newer dishwashers, which are designed to get rid of dried food and stains.
- Check that the dishwasher spinning arms can run freely and that there’s no food at the bottom of the dishwasher.
- It can also help if you run your sink water until it’s hot to help the dishwashing cycle start off on very hot water.