It may seem like a simple, everyday task, but when it comes to loading your dishwasher, taking small steps to do it properly can save you both time and money. Below are a few tips on how to improve the efficiency of your next load.
What Not To Wash
It’s first important to be aware of what you shouldn’t be putting in the dishwasher. Wooden utensils and plastics should be hand-washed, as they are likely to warp or melt while in the dishwasher. Reactive metals like iron, pewter, or bronze are easily tarnished and will begin corroding over time, so they should also be hand-washed. If you have sharp knives and want to keep them sharp, avoid washing them in the dishwasher as they can get dull from rubbing against the silverware holder and other utensils.
Plates and Larger Items
Before washing, consult your dishwasher’s user manual to see if it’s necessary to rinse your plates before placing them in the rack. Some machines only require you to scrape off larger food pieces before placing in the washer. When placing plates in the rack, make sure they face the center to receive a proper rinse and make sure not to double-up plates in a single holder.
Large items like cooking pots or bowls should also be placed face down on the bottom rack. Frying pans and baking sheets can be placed around the outside edges of the lower rack to receive a proper rinse and to stay out of the way of other dishes.
Cups and Glasses
Cups and glasses should be placed on the top rack and set between the tines, not on top of them. They should also be evenly spaced apart and not cramped together. If glassware is placed too close to each other, they run the risk of cracking or breaking from the vibration.
Smaller Bowls and Utensils
Smaller bowls, like cereal bowls, go on the top rack as well. To ensure that each bowl is properly rinsed, stack them in an incline. Extra utensils can also be placed on the top rack in-between the tines.
You should never overload your dishwasher, as this prevents it from washing properly, and you will most likely need to clean many dishes multiple times to remove buildup. Before starting a proper cycle, try running the hot water and garbage disposal in your sink for a bit. This ensures that the dishwasher will begin the cycle with hot water and helps clear the drain of any debris.
You can also use your dishwasher to clean those grimy sink sponges. Just simply put them in the silverware holder for an entire cycle with hot water. It’s also possible to clean your dirty sponges by microwaving them while still wet for 2 minutes.
You can prevent damages caused by overloading, but sometimes problems arise that are out of your control. A home service plan from American Home Shield® protects your budget from costly repairs and breakdowns on your dishwasher and other major home appliances.