It’s understandable that you’d want to rinse off dirty dishes before loading them into the dishwasher; no one wants grimy dishware sitting in the appliance or not being fully cleaned off during a cycle.
But is this really the best practice?
It depends on your dishwasher and the type of cycle you run. Knowing how your dishwasher operates can help you decide whether rising before washing is really worth your time.
Pre-Washes Are No Longer Necessary
Today’s dishwashers boast plenty of exciting features that can add a touch of luxury to your kitchen. From sleek stainless steel to smart cycle memory, you can rely on a modern dishwasher to take care of everything without much input on your end.
One of the best features of dishwashers today is soil sensors. Thanks to this technology, a dishwasher can easily sense how dirty a dish is and spray away any hardened food or stains.
Your Detergent May Not Work As Well
If you rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, they might wind up less clean. Dish detergent is designed to adhere to food caked on dishes, which means that a rinsed plate or bowl won’t be cleaned as much if it had been dirty.
Without any dirt to cling onto, detergent just runs off dishes. Your dishwasher will still complete its cycle, but the detergent will likely have been completely washed away before it could do its job.
A Major Source Of Water Waste
The modern-day dishwasher uses about 6 gallons of water per cycle, whereas an ENERGY-STAR model uses approximately 4 gallons. Washing dishes by hand consumes around 27 gallons, but it gets worse: pre-rinsing your dishes could waste as much as 6,000 gallons of water each year, according to Consumer Reports.
Save Yourself Time And Unwind
After a meal, dump any food scraps into the trash and place your dirty dish into the washer. Doing so will save you time at the kitchen sink, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the rest of your day without wasting any energy or water. Just make sure that you run your dishwasher within a day after you load it; bacteria can live on dirty dishes for up to four days, and you don’t want it spreading to other parts of your kitchen.
Top Tips For Washing Your Dishes
Now that you know pre-rinsing isn’t the way to go, here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your dishwasher.
Use the racks wisely: Your dishwasher distributes water and detergent in a certain way; loading your dishwasher the right way will ensure that you get the cleanest results each and every cycle. Place pots and pans on the lowest rack, bowls, plates, and cups on the second, and silverware in the caddy.
Make sure that you place large items like cutting boards and baking sheets on the sides of your rack to avoid blocking the nozzles or detergent dispenser.
Know what to avoid: The heat of the dishwasher and chemicals of detergent can damage certain types of cutlery and cookware. Make sure that you always hand-wash your kitchen knives, wooden utensils, brass, and china with metal or painted accents.
You should also never put non-stick cookware or soft plastic bowls; they can easily warp and become damaged or even melt in the dishwasher.
Use a lemon to freshen your load: Avoid a smelly dishwasher by squeezing a lemon into the detergent dispenser when you’re about to run a cycle. Lemons and oranges are both excellent natural deodorizers; they work wonders in your garbage disposal, too!
Universe Home Services is happy to offer reliable repairs, installation, and assistance to residences throughout Nassau County & Suffolk County. All of our technicians are experts at home improvement and plumbing repair. If you need help with your plumbing, we’re here to help. Contact us today at (516) 473-0202.