Mistakes You’re Making When Loading Your Dishwasher
Disclosure: As mentioned in my kitchen post, GE provided me with this stunning new dishwasher. All opinions and admitted mistakes are entirely my own.
A few weeks ago, I shared our new improved and updated kitchen! I did lots of things to update and brighten the space, but partnering with GE to bring in a couple of new appliances was game changing. I’ve *never* had a new dishwasher so when they sent me this cafe model… I didn’t want to screw things up so I did a little research. Turns out… I was making lots AND LOTS of mistakes when it came to our new dishwasher. Gulp.
1. Loading it too full
This is the most common and most obvious error, and trust me… I get it. There’s nothing worse than loading your dishwasher only to have a pile of dishes left in the sink… If you begin stacking the smaller dishes on top of the bigger ones… usually you can get them all to fit, right? Yeah… don’t do it. The only way the dishwasher can work is if the soap and water can circulate around all of the dishes.
2. Putting things in the way of the spray jets
Whether you have something literally blocking the movement of the spray jets or something so big that it blocks the water from the spray jets from getting to the rest of the dishes, your chia seed pudding will NEVER get washed off if the spray can’t get to it. You have spray jets spinning from the bottom of the machine as well as between the two racks. Keep an eye out for tall spoons or plates that might block the jets from spinning!
3. Nesting silverware or bowls
If all of your spoons are snuggled up together in one container, they may “nest”/ get stuck together which would prevent water from circulating all around them. Similarly, bowls that are tucked in too close or even larger plates can get nestled together and… again, no can clean. Make sure spoons are mixed in with forks and knives and consider staggering different sized plates. Bowls belong on the top shelf with care taken to space them out accordingly.
4. Too much soap
This is another mistake I’ve made. I fill the little container thingie with soap, buuuuut if the dishes are SUPER gross, I give the dishwasher another squirt. Turns out, this doesn’t help and only makes things worse because of the extra bubbles and residue and stuff. So… just enough soap for the container thingie. (And while we’re on the topic of soap, apparently it can go bad so only get as much dishwasher soap as you need. Sorry, no stock piles.)
5. Leaving food to dry on plates
Take this with a figurative grain of salt. If you know you’re going to be setting off the dishwasher soonish, then you don’t have to rinse the plates clean before loading them. But if the dishes are going to sit for hours and hours then even the best dishwasher won’t be able to remove that fossilized lasagna on your dinner plate. You also want to be careful about throwing too much food into the dishwasher on your plates because it will just clog things up and you’ll have to clean them out eventually.
6. No need to dry…
I don’t do this, but felt the need to mention. Most modern dishwashers have a dryer feature, but… unless it’s super humid, your dishes should be just fine air drying if you open the dishwasher for half an hour or so. The dryer feature uses a ton of energy so feel free to skip it if you have a little time to spare at the end of your dishwasher cycle.
7. Put larger items to the sides to allow for water circulation
If you’re washing cutting boards or bowls or serving platters, keep these to the sides. If they’re smack dab in the middle of your dishwasher rack, then they’ll block the water from getting to all the other smaller dirty dishes.
8. Check for dishwasher safe…
Always double check that an item is dishwasher safe. I’m amazed how often inexpensive children’s cups are hand wash only. I’ve made the mistake of putting them through the dishwasher and they come out… melted. Some things should never go in the dishwasher: cast iron, wood, sterling silver, copper, crystal, pewter, insulated cups… just take a peek at the bottom of your dishes to see what they’re approved for!
To freshen your dishwasher, fill a small cup with vinegar, place it in the top rack and run the dishwasher. I swear vinegar is the cure for everything. One of my most popular posts from a million years ago involves vinegar…. See it here.
10. Random things you CAN put in the dishwasher:
Also… did you know that you can COOK in your dishwasher? I never have but wanted to mention… salmon, lasagna, vegetables, lobster…. Has anyone tried? Seems risky to me, but I appreciate the simplicity of it all! I give myself a C+ in dishwasher usage, but I’m getting better every day!