Dishwasher do’s and don’ts

While dishwashers are there to make cleaning your dishes easier, you can’t just aimlessly throw the dishes in the washer and expect the best results. There are some pre-loading and loading tips to follow that will ensure optimal cleaning.

First, it is recommended that you pre-rinse some dishes with particular soils on them, especially if they’re going to sit in the machine all day. If you plan to run the washer immediately, then don’t worry about rinsing, but perhaps just scrape some larger leftovers from the dishes so as not to clog the filter.

Be sure to secure all lightweight plastic items as strong blasts of water might cause these to fall onto the heating element and melt.

Do not stack items. You may think this is efficient use of space, but the water spray won’t reach all items if you stack them, and therefore, won’t clean them either.

The best way to load the dishwasher is by starting with the bottom rack and using this space to load plates and bowls so that the dirty side faces the water spray. Pots, pans and casserole dishes that are dishwasher safe should be angled down for best cleaning results.

Utensils with long, thin handles might slip through the rack and prevent the spray arm from spinning freely so you might want to hand wash these items or find a secure place to put them in.

Be sure to tuck flat pans and platter dishes along the sides and back of the bottom rack. Don’t place them in front or they will prevent the detergent from reaching the other dishes.

In the cutlery basket, make sure that forks and spoons aren’t stuck together. Placing some handles up and other down will help prevent this from happening.

It’s recommended that you separate stainless steel and silver-plated flatware because a reaction may occur if the two touch, causing the silver to pit.

Next, load the top rack by placing glasses and mugs between the tines. Angle cups as much as the rack design will allow in order to prevent water from pooling on the base of the cups. If you do still end up with puddles, then be sure to unload the bottom rack first after the cycle has finished so that you don’t cause water to drip onto the dry dishes.

Arrange fragile glasses carefully to prevent breakage and don’t let them bump together.

For more tips on best practices to use your appliances to their fullest, visit www.scratchanddent.ca or stop by the store at 407 Gage Avenue, Unit #4 in Kitchener. A friendly staff member would be happy to help you or take your questions at 519-743-3623.