You've spent a long time doing the dishes and now the cycle is supposed to be complete. You've rinsed the dishes, loaded the dishes, put in the soap and pressed the button. The dishwasher told you the load was clean, but when you open the door and start pulling out the dishes... Gasp! A dishwasher full of still-dirty dishes, now radiating with hot steam and baked on food.

To get the most out of your dishwasher, there are a few easy tips and tricks to ensure your dishes are cleaner in the end. Did you know that most newer models don't require you to pre-wash your dishes anymore? Or organizing your silverware by type in the dishwasher is actually less effective? For those looking to get sparkling clean dishes, these easy steps can help you get there. Because you work way too hard to ever have to do your dishes TWICE!

Stop fighting with loved ones over who has to do the dishes and let us embrace our beloved modern appliances. Here are 9 Tips for Cleaner Dishes in the Dishwasher.

 

1.) No need to rinse

Yes, you'll always want to wipe off chunks of extra food that could potentially clog the drain, but a dishwasher that is less than 10 years old won't require that you rinse your dishes before putting them in. A relatively new dishwasher should combine enough water pressure and heat to wash off even food that is dried and stuck on. However, if your model is older, it's probably best to give the dishes a quick rinse in warm water before loading.



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2.) Load dishes from back to front

It's certainly easier to pop open the dishwasher just a crack and stick something in there, but it's better to pull the rack all the way out and load dishes from back to front. A well-organized dishwasher makes for an easier unloading process in the end (and cleaner dishes too!)



 

3.) Arrange plates facing inward

Most standard dishwasher models have sprayer arms that shoot water from the bottom center of the machine, stopping a few inches short of the interior walls. If you arrange the plates to face outward, the water jets might not be able to reach the surfaces that are facing the wall. Arrange the places facing inward instead.



 

4.) Delicate items on the top rack

Fragile items, like glasses, stemware, or plastic storage containers do better when placed a little further away from the jets. The water pressure is a tad lower at the dishwasher's higher level, and the water temperature is generally not quite as hot. When fragile items are placed on the top rack, they are less likely to break or melt.

Dishwasher in need of some TLC? Check out 8 Tips for a Radiantly Clean Dishwasher.



 

5.) Mix-up the silverware basket

Well-organized people in life (okay, extremely well-organized) might sort their silverware while loading it into the dishwasher, putting spoons with spoons and forks with forks. Go ahead and throw em' in there, because it actually makes for cleaner silverware to mix them up (with some pieces up, some down). That way, pieces won't nest into each other, making them exposed and sparkling clean.



 

6.) Don't overload

After a dinner party or large meal, it might be tempting to jam-pack the dishwasher full of dishes and try to do it all in one go. Resist the urge and do your dishes in batches, because in a too-full dishwasher some items may be blocked from water flow. Do your dishes in batches of average size for consistently cleaner dishes.



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7.) Close the door with care

After you've crammed the dishwasher full of dishes until your heart is content, make sure no larger or taller pieces of dishware are sticking out. If something is protruding, you could damage the dishwasher's door when you close it. You'll also want to make sure push both the top and bottom rack in before you close the door. If you use to door to guide the racks in place, you could cause the dishes to knock into each other and break. The horror!



 

8.) Give the top rack a rattle

We already know to load our delicate glass items in the top rack (for those who dare to leave them in the hands of a machine), but it's also smart to do a little test shake before starting your dishwasher. Give the top rack a little shake after you've finished loading to see if any glassware moves around and bangs into any other pieces. Ideally, your dishes should be secured in the tines so that they hardly touch each other at all.



 

9.) Using the right amount of soap

It might sound simple, but one of the most common user errors when it comes to using the dishwasher is adding too much detergent. Adding too much detergent can actually eat away at the finish of your dishes, wearing them down in the long run. Read the instructions and use the dispenser as your guide, adding only what's recommended.


 

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Got any tips? Let us know in the comments below!