- Refer to your owner’s manual for any special instructions.
- Make sure your items are dishwasher safe before washing.
- Skip the pre-rinse! Modern dishwashers don’t require it. Do scrape off any large chunks of food that may clog the filter. If your dishwasher is going to be sitting before running, pre-rinse to prevent smells from forming.
- Place items soiled-side down to maximize cleaning.
- Ensure proper spacing between items. Be careful not to set dishware on or against the prongs, as they may cause water spots.
- Placing glassware at an angle will prevent water from pooling on the base. Be sure to arrange glasses carefully so they do not collide and break.
- Secure lightweight plastics, as they may melt if they touch the heating element.
- Choose quality detergent and keep your rinse aid dispenser full. Always store in a cool, dry space and use any powdered detergents within two months of opening to maximize use.
- Run the sink faucet until the water gets hot so the dishwasher will start with hot water.
Spoons and forks should be placed in the rack with their handles facing down, while knives should be placed with the blade down, minimizing risk of injury when loading/unloading. Vary the silverware in each compartment so the utensils don’t nest within one another. Make sure slender items cannot slip through the rack so they do not block the sprayer arm.
Don’t wash kitchen knives in the dishwasher. Detergent and the force of the water can dull knives.
Don’t wash wooden cutting boards or spoons in the dishwasher. The heat can warp them and the wood may splinter or crack.
Don’t wash insulated mugs; it can compromise the mug’s insulation.
Don’t stack items. It makes it more difficult to efficiently clean the entire load.
Don’t wash cast iron, brass, bronze, copper, china with gold leaf, or anything hand-painted in the dishwasher, as detergents contain abrasive particles and can leave residue..
Don’t wash nonstick pans, though some are dishwasher safe and will be marked as such.
Don’t wash stoneware in the dishwasher. Stoneware is porous and will absorb the taste of the detergent and the wash (5).
Don’t wash stainless steel with silver. Stainless and silver will react when combined with detergent, leaving pitting on the silver and possibly spotting the stainless.
References & More Information
Ettiene, Coryanne. “6 Things to Never Put in the Dishwasher (And How to Clean Them!).” Better Homes & Gardens, www.bhg.com/kitchen/appliances/cast-iron-wooden-spoons-and-other-items-that-cant-go-in-the-dishwasher-281474979547595/.
Exhume, Michaelle. “The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Your Dishwasher.” Good Housekeeping, 30 June 2014, www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a24839/dishwasher-mistakes/.
Forte, Carolyn. “How to Get the Most Out of Your Dishwasher.” Good Housekeeping, 21 Mar. 2018, www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/dishwasher-reviews/a22031/dishwasher-tips-0306/.
“How to Load a Dishwasher.” Consumer Reports, 5 June 2017, www.consumerreports.org/dishwashers/how-to-load-a-dishwasher/.
Kirchhoff, Herb. “What Happens to Silver-Plated Flatware If You Wash It in the Dishwasher With Stainless Steel?” Home Guides | SF Gate, SFGate.com, 9 Dec. 2018, homeguides.sfgate.com/happens-silverplated-flatware-wash-dishwasher-stainless-steel-88507.html.
Roberts, Julissa. “How to Care for Your Pizza Stone – Article.” FineCooking, www.finecooking.com/article/how-to-care-for-your-pizza-stone.