You Have Probably Been Using Your Dishwasher Wrong This Whole Time!

Let’s face it, nobody ever gets around to reading any user manual. At least not until you need to troubleshoot. The same goes for one of the most improperly used home appliances, the dishwasher. This results in a set of stained dishes (after a whole 2-hour cleaning cycle!) or worse, you can end up destroying your expensive or favorite utensils!

Don’t worry, no need to start searching for the manual, we have you covered with common dishwasher mistakes and tips on how to efficiently use your dishwasher. Better yet, some of these tips cannot be found in any user manual. By the way, you can buy a new dishwasher based on this reviews consumer report of dishwasher this season.


If this is not a waste of time, I don’t know what it is! Pre-washing your dishes before a cycle defeats the purpose of the entire cleaning process. Instead, scrape off large chunks of food from your dishes and load them in the dishwasher. This allows the detergent to serve its purpose.

Furthermore, modern technology has come up with dishwashers with sensors to detect how dirty dishes are. Pre-washing gives the false sense that dishes are clean hence preventing your machine from effectively cleaning your utensils.

Cramming your washer with dishes

We get it, you want to clean all your dishes at one go to save on time and energy. However, overfilling your dishwasher often proves to be counterproductive as most utensils end up with stains.

This is because water needs to get in contact with the surfaces which is often hindered by overcrowded dishes. If you have a few dishes left behind, go ahead and hand washes rather than leave them in the sink. Incase the dishes are too many, opt for running a second load.

Using liquid and powdered soaps

Before I delve into the best detergent for your dishwasher, it goes without saying that liquid soaps and powders are a big no-no when using a dishwasher. These will leave your kitchen drenched in bubbles(I learned the hard way)!

Instead, go for dishwasher gel packs which are specifically formulated to work on grease and other food stains. Moreover, they are efficiently pre-packaged to prevent wastage. One of my favorite go-to dishwasher detergents is a cascade, excellent for effectively removing stains even on the normal cycle.

Skipping the rinse aid

If you have been noticing water spots on your plates and glasses, this means your washer is not capable of effectively drying your dishes by itself. Time to start using rinse aid.

This is more of a drying aid rather than a rinsing one. It is used during the rinse cycle to quickly dry your dishes without leaving water spots or streaks. If you like going natural, go ahead and replace commercial rinse aid with vinegar, it not only leaves your dishes streak-free but also germ-free.

Stuck on one cycle

It is easy to get stuck on Auto every time you run a load. While this is time-saving, it does not allow you to realize your dishwasher’s full potential.

 Switch things up to heavy cycle when dealing with tough stains or crusty pots and pans. The delicate cycle is excellent for breakables like glasses (ensure your dishes don’t touch even on delicate cycle).

If you are pressed for time, go ahead and run a quick cycle for your mildly dirty dishes.

 Forgetting to wash your washer

There is no way a dirty washer results in clean dishes. You ought to clean your dishwasher every so often to avoid grime from being deposited on your freshly cleaned dishes.

This cleaning process is not as hard as you would imagine. Simply remove the filter and empty out any debris, followed by a thorough wash with hot soapy water.

 To clean the rest of the washer, place a cup of white vinegar in the upper rack and run it through a hot water cycle.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda on the lower rack and run a quick hot cycle. This will leave your washer clean without the strong odour of vinegar.

Letting food dry on dishes

Dry food clings on to the dishes proving difficult to wash off. Ensure you load your dishes as soon as possible to prevent food from latching on.

If you happen to forget to turn on the dishwasher after loading your dishes, run a short rinse cycle first to moisten things up.