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How to Get the Most Out of Your Dishwasher-Zalmen Pollak

How to get the most out of your Dishwasher

1. Remember these basic rules first.

  • Prerinse dishes if they’re going to sit in the machine all day. But if you’re running a cycle right away, just scrape off the food and leave it at that.
  • Secure all plastics. If you don’t, blasts of water may cause these pieces to flip over, fall onto the heating element, and melt.
  • Never stack items. The water spray won’t be able to reach (or clean) the dish that’s on top.

2. Load the bottom rack strategically.

  • Load plates and bowls so that the dirty side faces the water spray. Pots, pans, and casseroles should angle down for the best cleaning results.
  • Watch out for utensils with long, thin handles. They might slip through the rack and prevent the spray arm from spinning freely.
  • Tuck flat pans and platters along the sides and back of the rack. Never place them in front, by the door ” they’ll keep the detergent from reaching the dishes. (Tip: For extra side space, move your flatware basket to the center if possible.)
  • Make sure the forks and spoons don’t nest together. Place some handles up and others down so that all surfaces get washed.
  • Always separate your stainless steel and silver (or silver-plated) flatware. If the two types touch in the wash, a reaction may occur and the silver could pit.

3. Cups go in the top rack.

  • Place glasses and mugs between the tines ”” never on top. The tip of the prong can leave a water spot.
  • Angle cups as much as the rack design will allow keeping water from pooling on the base of the upside-down cups. Still, got puddles? Unload the bottom rack first to avoid the drip-down.
  • Arrange wine glasses carefully. To help prevent breakage, don’t let them bump against one another or the top of the dishwasher.

4. Don’t stock up on too much detergent.

  • Powders, liquids, and packets can all clean well. But the detergent has to be fresh or it won’t do the job.
  • A good rule of thumb: Buy only what you can use up within two months.
  • And you should always store it in a cool, dry spot (not under the sink, where the detergent can clump or deteriorate).

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