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Common Dishwasher Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
Common Dishwasher Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

1m read

Common Dishwasher Mistakes And How To Avoid Them1
Common Dishwasher Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

If you're blessed to have a dishwasher in your home, you know they're the most magical household appliance ever created! You just load everything up, turn it on, and by the time you're done drinking your coffee and checking your email, all of your dirty dishes are sparkling clean and ready to use.


You’ll also know that they can be temperamental little beasts. Dishwashers can break down and throw mini-electronic tantrums when they’re not treated with the respect that they feel entitled to.


However, if you’re aware of the most common dishwasher mistakes that people make, it may just save you some money and a ton of frustration down the line. Let’s explore a few.


Pre-rinsing your dishes


Although you may think that pre-rinsing your dishes is the best way to get them clean, it actually doesn’t always work in your favour. Does that sound counterintuitive?


Ashley Iredale, CHOICE dishwasher expert, says, "Not only does pre-rinsing push your water consumption way up, it can actually trick your dishwasher into thinking your plates are cleaner than they are. Dishwashers use what's called a turbidity sensor to measure the level of soil in the first rinse cycle, so it'll use less power, and things might actually come out dirtier. You're better off scraping solids into the bin and letting your machine do the rest." (Source)


Obviously, you’re not going to have racks of sparkling dishes if you have bits of lasagne floating about in the dishwasher, but a good scrape is pretty much all you need.


Using the wrong dishwashing detergent


Some dishwashing detergents are better than others, fact. You would imagine that there can’t possibly be a major difference in results, but unfortunately, some products contain harsh abrasives that scratch up your glasses. Some

just don’t clean properly, and others may clog up your system.


A full review of the best dishwasher detergents is out of the scope of this article, but we encourage you to do your own homework. This article may help.


Packing the dishwasher incorrectly


This can be a hilarious bone of contention in certain homes, but there is a right way to pack the dishwasher.


Firstly, don't overload it! Playing dishwasher Jenga in the hopes that those stacked dishes will somehow come out clean is just a waste of a wash cycle. Pack from the back to the front. (And empty from the bottom to the top.)

It’s also wise to mix up your forks and spoons with knives so that they don’t, well, spoon, and the jets of water can get in between them for a proper clean.


The debate on whether to place cutlery facing up or down has been tackled by many an expert. However, our friend Ashley mentioned above recommends that cutlery be packed facing downward. Not only is this safer, but it’s also easier to unload without putting smudges on your beautifully clean knives and forks.


Forcing the dishwasher door closed


The most common mistake is to force the dishwasher door shut, especially if it’s not closing easily. The best practice is to pull the handle out and guide it closed rather than pushing down on the front of the door with your foot. This helps prevent damage caused by slamming, which can lead to premature failure of parts such as hinges and latches.


A reluctant dishwasher door is a sign that you need to relook at your packing technique or double-check that there isn’t something sticking out where it shouldn’t.


Don’t close the door


Wait, what? No, we’re not telling you to keep the door open all the time, just when the dishwasher is not in use. The internal environment is damp, which, in our warm South African weather, is a recipe for mould if it’s closed up all the time. Give your machine a chance to breathe between cycles.


Keep it clean


Aside from the tips mentioned above, it’s also good practice to give your dishwasher a regular clean; running a hot wash through an empty machine with a little vinegar and baking soda will keep it fresh on the inside. Don’t forget to clean out the filters frequently, too, as these can get pretty gross if left and become a breeding ground for bacteria.


Avoid these common mistakes to get the most out of your dishwasher


Yes, we need to be gentle and considerate with our appliances and avoid these common dishwasher mistakes that can quickly incite a mini-meltdown. Keeping your machine clean, spoiling her with good quality products, and ensuring you don’t overburden this hardworking kitchen appliance will give you many years of faithful service.


Are you shopping for a new dishwasher to join your family? Take a look at our range here.