Your dishwasher keeps you from doing mountains of dishes by hand, and can keep your dishes more sanitary than by hand washing. However, you cannot simply throw the dishes in at random and hit start. Taking the right steps when running a load will make your dishes last longer, and they will come out of the machine sparkling clean. Follow these tips when using your dishwasher to get the most out of this useful appliance!
Check the instructions on specific dishes- some items that are not dishwasher safe might surprise you. Washing something in the machine that is supposed to be only hand-washed can wreak havoc on the dishes and the dishwasher itself.
Always rinse or scrape the dishes off before putting them into the dishwasher. Putting large chunks of food in the machine will just contaminate the other dishes.
Refrain from stacking items. Stacked items cannot be reached by the spray arms and will not be cleaned as well.
Put cups on the top rack, in between the tines. Angle them as much as possible to prevent water pooling up in them, and separate glasses so that they are not touching.
For the bottom rack, be sure to load bowls and plates so that the dirty side faces the spray area. Put pans and platters along the back and sides, not in the front. Angle pots, pans, and other deep dishes downward.
In the silverware basket, put some handles up and some handles down to create some space and prevent utensils from sticking together.
After emptying each load, check that all of the dishes did in fact leave the dishwasher- sometimes smaller items can fall between surfaces or block the spray arms, and this would obviously negatively impact the next load.
Store the detergent/cleaning agents in a cool, dry place to keep them fresh. For maximum cleaning effectiveness, use only the recommended amount for each load.
Read up on the manual for your specific dishwasher and know what can and cannot go in different parts of it. Finally, the machine should be cleaned once a month by running an empty load with a cup of white vinegar.
Your dishes should now always come out intact, and smelling and looking as fresh as possible!