If you are pre-rinsing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, you are not only wasting your time and water, you are also causing them to come out dirtier.
Most newer dishwashers — those sold within the past five years and costing more than $500 — have a sensor that determines how thorough a wash is needed. “If you’ve already rinsed off much of the muck, the sensor misreads the dishes as already fairly clean,” writes ConsumerReports.org.
Your dishwasher detergent is also designed to “attach themselves to food particles,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Without food, the enzymes have nothing to latch onto, says P&G.”
While you do not need to rinse your dishes clean, you do need to scrape to remove any large bits of leftover food.
If your dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes as well as it once did, you might need to clean your dishwasher. Read our article “How To Clean Your Dishwasher” to see how to do this.
Also, make sure you are loading your dishwasher properly. Here are some loading tips:
- Load large items at the side and back so they don’t block the water spray
- Face the soiled surfaces inward so they’re hit by the spray.
- Load silverware and cups on an angle so water can run off the bottoms and dry properly.
- Keep your dirtiest dishes towards the center of the rack.
- Don’t overfill your dishwasher; you want to allow water to circulate among items for proper cleaning.
- Check to make sure you are using the proper amount of detergent. Most people overfill which can actually lead to poorer cleaning results and can clog parts in your dishwasher.