10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Dishwasher

10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Dishwasher

Trent Johnson
Nov 30, 2011

Using the dishwasher is the most efficient way to clean dishes, but what about the most efficient way to load one? Here are 10 tips for making the most of that water-saving appliance.

Pay Attention to Colors:

  • Since tomatoes cause permanent stains, rinse off tomato sauces before loading dishes into the dishwasher.
  • Green stains inside your dishwasher may be caused by the dye in your detergent. Simply switch to a different detergent and consider one that is dye-free.
  • Brown stains can be caused by calcium and iron buildup. Citric acid can remove these stains. Simply empty the dishwasher and run a cycle with the citric acid in the detergent cup followed by a second empty cycle with detergent.


  • It's most energy-efficient to load your dishwasher as full as possible but for the cleanest dishes, you don't want them to touch.
  • Place delicate on the top rack and more durable wares on the bottom rack.
  • Cooking utensils are best placed on the top rack, rather than the cutlery bin for optimal cleaning.
  • Stagger your forks and spoons in the cutlery bin with some handles up and some down for the best cleaning. This will allow more water to get in between them for a better clean.
  • Determine where the water sprayer comes out inside your dishwasher and load accordingly. Turn the soiled sides of the items toward the water and be sure not to block the sprayer with any large items.
  • Hand-wash sterling silver and silver-plated flatware when possible. If you must, avoid putting any stainless steel in the same load to avoid any reactions that might occur between the two metals.
  • If you do put your silver in the dishwasher (and we recommend you don't), be sure to dry by hand instead of letting the dishwasher do it to avoid discoloring.

Read More: How to Keep your Dishwasher in Tip-Top Shape at Houzz

(Images by Soorikian Architecture)

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