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Must Know Dishwasher Tips and Tricks

Must Know Dishwasher Tips and Tricks

The evolution of dishwashers has revolutionized modern households, making them indispensable for saving time. Your modern-day dishwashers come with various functions and are loaded with many options, but you need to be familiar with the tips and tricks to make the most of your appliance.

Explore our treasure trove of must-know dishwasher tips and tricks, empowering you to unlock your appliance's full potential, save time and money, and enhance your dishwashing experience.

Clean your dishwasher

You might wonder, doesn’t the dishwasher clean itself with all that hot water and the premium dishwasher detergent? Not quite. Food debris accumulation and mineral buildup from hard water affect dishwasher functionality and not in a positive way. 

To maintain smooth dishwasher operation, use Finish Dishwasher Cleaner once a month or at least twice a year. This cleaner effectively cleans your dishwasher's moving parts, trays, and filter, removes grease and limescale build-up in the pipes, and ensures optimal performance and cleanliness.  

A popular dishwasher cleaning tip - consider using dissolvable tablets designed to provide a deep clean.

**You should know how to clean the dishwasher filter to ensure the remnants of last night’s dinner from recirculating back onto your dishes.**

Know the right way to load everything

Properly loading your dishwasher is crucial for achieving spotlessly clean dishes. Each dishwasher has a specific loading diagram in the manual (which you should consult). Here are some of the general rules or tips for loading dishes, cups, plates, baking pans, and other utensils:

  • Put the cups on the top rack and between the tines, never on top of them.
  • Put the plates and bowls on the bottom rack, and the dirty side must face the water spray. 
  • Put pots, pans, baking sheets, and similar large items on the sides of the dishwasher. Learn which types of pots and pans are ideal for dishwasher cleaning to ensure that you do not put anything inside that you aren’t supposed to.
  • Optimize utensil cleaning by alternating positions, with some facing up and others facing down. This prevents them from nesting together and ensures thorough cleaning of every surface.

You don’t need a pre-rinse

There’s no need to pre-rinse the utensils before putting them in the dishwasher. Instead, just scrape off food debris into the disposal or trash.

The food residue and grime on dishes help dishwasher detergents to hold onto something while in the dishwasher. You’ll also save a lot of water and time by skipping the pre-rinse before washing the utensils in the dishwasher.

Clean much more than dishes

Discover the versatility of this appliance in maintaining a sparkling clean home. Unlock the full potential of your dishwasher beyond dishwashing duties. Utilize its cleaning power to wash: 

  • Toothbrushes
  • Hairbrushes (remove hair from them first).
  • Plastic toys, such as Legos (place individual pieces together in a mesh bag).
  • Vacuum cleaner attachments
  • Flip-flops
  • Bath sponges and loofahs
  • Shower caddies and soap dishes

Soften up your water

Hard water can pose significant challenges for your dishwasher. It might leave stubborn deposits that are difficult to clean and hinders achieving sparkling dishes. In addition, glassware and silverware often bear a white residue due to hard water's effects.

Removing hard water stains is imperative for extending the utensils and dishwasher’s life cycle. Some of the troubleshooting options include:

  • Selecting dishwasher detergents specifically formulated for hard water.
  • Consider purchasing a dishwasher that requires dishwasher salt, which effectively softens water to ensure better cleaning performance of your detergent, preventing white residue marks from hard water on your glasses and dishes.
  • Installing a water softener to alleviate hard water problems throughout your home.

Pre-wet the sink

Before starting the dishwasher programs and cycles, preheat your kitchen sink with hot water. This ensures that the dishwasher begins the cycle with hot water, enhancing the effectiveness of the dishwashing process.

Unload from bottom

For efficient unloading of your dishwasher, it's recommended to start with the bottom rack and work your way up. This approach minimizes the risk of water from the top rack dripping onto the items below. 

In addition, prioritizing the bottom rack while unloading the dishwasher items can prevent spills, maintain cleanliness, and promote better dishwasher hygiene.


Is it ok to run the dishwasher empty?

Running a hot empty cycle ensures optimal performance by removing grease, limescale, deposits, and unpleasant odors from the pipes.

How do I troubleshoot common dishwasher problems?

You can troubleshoot common dishwasher problems by following the steps mentioned in the manufacturer's product manual or a troubleshooting guide.

What type of detergent should I use in my dishwasher?

Using subpar detergents can lead to potential leaks due to excessive suds. Therefore, exclusively use Finish dishwasher detergents, the #1 recommended dishwasher detergent by leading dishwasher manufacturers, specifically formulated for automatic dishwashers to ensure optimal performance.