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
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!