What is it about dishwashers? They were created to make life easier but most fail miserably. Unless they are fresh off the lot, most units leave stuck on food and grime; which serves only to infuriate me, and many of you. Two weeks ago after yet another load of dishes came out half clean; I decided to implement a dishwasher user guide. Since implementing this guide and having my roommates and I stick to it diligently, there has been a marked improvement with our ten year old dishwashers’ performance.
1) Rinse, Rinse, RINSE- This cannot be said enough. Dishwashers are dishwashers, and they do not possess the power of steel wool. In our house there was one person- who shall remain nameless- who would consistently put dishes in the dishwasher with food still on them. Aside from wanting to lay a barrage of expletives on this person, this makes more work than necessary; and in my opinion is a big no no. Old dishwashers especially appreciate a good rinse.
2) Leave enough space for the water to work its magic. Although it may seem easy to hide away all the dishes in the dishwasher and hope and pray they come out clean; this just makes for a headache. Along with rinsing, this is the second most crucial rule; we double space on the bottom rack so that the water can get to all the cups on the top rack. And someone said to me “well don’t you do more loads?” The answer to that is no. Just think of all the dishes that need to be rewashed and how much water that ends up using. Save yourself the aggravation and double space.
3) Clean the dishwasher- simple but so often overlooked. Once a week- usually Mondays- we run the dishwasher empty; to allow it to self clean. Between the dirt, grime and grease- dishwashers go through quite a lot. Giving them a cycle to just clean has done wonders for our old unit.
4) Use a good dishwasher detergent. I have found that many leave a residue that is unsightly and has a propensity to build up; but Cascade Pure rinse formula, hasn’t failed me yet- it’s an oldie but damn is it a goodie!
Adhering to these guidelines has made our lives a whole lot easier; and proves that all those fancy detergents are a waste of money- and useless. All it takes is a little extra TLC; so now instead of cursing the dishwasher Every. Single. Time. we go to unload- we now rest easy knowing that our dishes are coming out clean. If you have an old unit that isn’t performing like it used to, give these tips a try. And if they don’t work, well then it might be time for a new dishwasher.