7 Things You Should Never Do When Using the Dishwasher
Of all the household tasks we do every day, loading the dishwasher seems to be one of the easiest. Sure, you may get annoyed when your partner loads the dishwasher incorrectly yet again, but on the whole, it's dishes in, dishes out... Day after day after day. But as with so many other seemingly mundane things, it's beneficial to be intentional about how we use our dishwasher. When we know the rules for running the dishwasher, our dishes get cleaner, our dishwashers perform their best, and maybe, just maybe, we can convince our roommates that our way of loading is officially the right way after all. In addition to some loading tips, here are 7 things you should never do when running your dishwasher.
1. Don't load glasses over the tines.
How you place your glasses in the dishwasher matters. Don't place your glasses over the tines of the top rack, place them so that they're between the tines. This way you can fit more glasses in and they'll get cleaner without breaking.
2. Don't hand wash things that will fit in the dishwasher.
Washing by hand uses more water and energy than washing in the dishwasher. So load the dishwasher full and use it for everything you can.
3. Don't forget to add these items if you still have room.
If you still have room in your dishwasher after filling it with a meal's worth of dishes, you can put a few extra things in there to increase kitchen cleaning efficiency. Take the microwave turntable, the spoon rack, and the sink strainers and run them through the dishwasher. You can even put your metal or plastic dish drainer in the top rack. An added benefit is that any small, loose plastic or small items you have on the top rack are secured.
4. Don't block the spray arm.
Even if you and your roommates don't always agree on how to load the dishwasher, one thing is certain: don't block the spray arm. A large bowl on the bottom rack, for example, can easily block the spray arm, and then the rest of the dishes won't get cleaned. Move the bowl to the side or place it on the top rack. Note: Make sure not only that there is sufficient distance to the spray arm, but also that the dishes are facing inwards so that they can be sprayed.
5. Don't pre-rinse your dishes.
Definitely scrape any large food scraps into the garbage can before putting them in the dishwasher, but don't prewash. If you pre-rinse your dishes, the detergent won't work as it should, and your machine may run a light rinse cycle thinking your dishes are cleaner than they actually are.
6. Don't forget to open the door after a load.
To prevent the inside of your dishwasher from developing moisture problems, you should open the door after every wash cycle. You can do this after unloading to allow the unit to dry, or you can do it before unloading the dishes to allow the residual moisture to evaporate. You can open the dishwasher completely to speed up drying.
7. Don't be so quick that the drying process is automatic.
Speaking of drying Some experts recommend letting dishes air dry instead of starting the drying cycle to save energy. If you have time, you can also skip the drying cycle and let the dishes dry themselves. Or use a towel and dry them by hand.