10 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Dishwasher

Eddie Talbot

Dishwasher Do’s and Don’ts: A Guide to Sparkling Dishes

54% of American households own a dishwasher, the US Energy Information Administration reports. Nevertheless, almost all people commit at least one or two mistakes when it comes to operating their dishwashers. But they may not know!

Your dishwasher is a literal lifesaver and easily falls under one of those “can’t live without it” categories in our homes. But did you know that while giving you a cleaning worth your money, modern dishwashers can also be more water- and energy-efficient?

We have several misconceptions about how our dishwasher should be used for us to maximize its potential in terms of functionality. This article highlights some common errors that you might be making with your device and provides tips on how to avoid them so as to ensure that it remains reliable over the years with peak performance.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we have covered some basics, let’s examine what happens most often when people use their dishwashers incorrectly. From loading blunders to maintenance mishaps, these mistakes can cause subpar cleaning results, waste resources or even damage your machine in extreme cases.

Loading Dishes Incorrectly

Proper positioning is key to making sure each item gets its fair share of attention during the wash cycle. One mistake many people make is nesting dishes together, which blocks water and detergent from reaching every surface.

‘Most dishwashers have adjustable racks and compartments designed to hold specific types of dinnerware and cutlery, ensuring optimal cleaning performance,’ begins Nathan Andersen from Homegeargeek. ‘Overpacking these compartments may result in poor cleaning results and could even damage your dishwasher in the process.’

Another thing you should never do is block spray arms with tall items such as baking sheets or large pots. Take a second look at how water flows through your machine while loading it up.

Overloading the Dishwasher

We’ve all been there before: It’s late in the evening after a very long day, and all you want is to pack in as many dishes as possible so you can get into bed already! But wait! Overloading your dishwasher will result in poor washing and may spoil this appliance over time.

The secret here is to provide enough space between each dish for water and detergent to move around freely. If you always find yourself playing dishwasher Jenga, then maybe consider upgrading to a model like the Whirlpool KitchenAid 44 dBA Dishwasher, which has more capacity. With its third rack, it allows for fitting hard-to-fit items, thus enabling one load more without compromising on cleanliness.

Mistaken Pre-Rinsing

Modern dishwashers and cleaner manufacturers are built to deal with some food particles, which makes pre-rinsing unnecessary in most cases. Therefore, you don’t have to do the occasional pre-rinse before you put your utensils into the washer. 

Pre-rinsing consumes a lot of water and energy, and it is also a waste of time. In fact, it can also render your detergent ineffective. Instead of rinsing plates altogether, scrape off large particles into the garbage disposal or trash can and place your dishes in the dishwasher.

Misuse of Soap

If you use the wrong type or amount of detergent, your washer can experience different problems. Make sure that you always use only detergents meant for dishwashers and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the quantity required.

You get what you pay for! The better-performing soaps may improve the appearance of clean cutlery or even make it shinier. You could try out various brands until you find one that works best for your particular appliance and water hardness level.

Negligence towards Maintenance

Your dishwasher has been working tirelessly every day, so show some appreciation by doing regular checkups, such as cleaning filters, checking nozzles aren’t blocked or leaking and running empty cycles using dishwasher cleaner once in a while (every few months).

Think of it as bringing your car in for an oil change. Taking care of things before they break can save money down the road by preventing expensive repairs later on when something does go wrong. This also applies to appliances like dishwashers, which should be maintained regularly, if not more often!

Incorrect Washing Cycle Selection

All dishwasher loads are not created equally—that’s why there are multiple wash cycles designed specifically for different types of soils and fragile items. Using the wrong cycle may result in poor cleaning performance, wasted energy consumption and damaged dishes.

Take time to familiarize yourself with what each setting means on your machine. Generally speaking, heavy duty is good at attacking baked-on grime, while delicate works well when dealing with china, wine glasses, etc.

Not Maximizing Rinse Aid Usage

Rinse aid is like having a secret weapon during dishwashing because it causes water drops to sheet off, minimizing spotting and streaking and leaving behind a brilliant shine. If you currently don’t use a rinse aid, start now because this simple step alone will make a huge difference in your dishwasher results.

Typically, there’s already a rinse aid dispenser built into most dishwashers, which automatically releases the proper amount during the final rinsing phase. Just remember to refill occasionally and enjoy sparkly clean dishes forever!

Doing Half Empty Loads

We understand that sometimes all you need are a few clean plates, but running a machine on half-empty loads can be wasteful in terms of water and energy consumption. Also, halfloads increase wear and tear on your machine. 

Whenever possible, wait for a full load before running your dishwasher. This not only saves money on utilities but also helps protect our environment from unnecessary resource depletion. 

Placing Non-Dishwasher Safe Items

It’s convenient to put everything into the dishwasher at once. However, some things should never go inside one due to material compatibility issues (e.g., wood, cast iron) or because they may get damaged under high temperatures/pressure settings provided by these appliances.

Before loading questionable items, take a few seconds to look for the dishwasher-safe logo or read what the manufacturer advises about washing instructions. When unsure, just hand wash such stuff instead—better safe than sorry!

Failure To Clean Inside Of Machine

With time, grease builds up, along with lime scale and other greasy, yucky growths that can interfere with performance and even cause stinkiness! So, like any other gadget out there, this one, too, needs some tender loving care (TLC) in order to keep functioning properly.

Apart from habitual servicing, consider having a dishwashing machine cleaned every month or so. This will help eliminate hard-to-remove dirt and keep your appliance smelling pleasant.

Do More for Your Dishes with Coburn’s

We all make mistakes with our dishwashers every once in a while, but following proper maintenance and utilization instructions is key to ensuring that it remains a dependable and effective part of your household for many years. This means knowing this appliance, properly loading it, using the correct detergent and cycles, and doing regular maintenance.

If you want more information about the KitchenAid 44dBA Dishwasher or any other kitchen appliances, Coburn’s should be your number one source. Feel free to visit our nearest Coburn’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom location where our consultants will showcase different models and respond to all your queries. Have a nice dishwashing!