• Josh Z.

6 Tips to get the most out of your dishwasher

Updated: Mar 11

There are a few simple tricks to get your dishes sparkling clean in your dishwasher. Whether you have noticed spots, left on stains, or an unpleasant odor, follow these tips to get your dishwasher running at peak performance!


  1. Run hot water to your sink before starting the dishwasher- Dishwashers, like everything else these days, are extremely water efficient. Most of them only use a few gallons throughout the entire cycle these days. That is a far cry from the nearly 15 gallons they used to use. That means the water isn't running long enough to get hot before the dishwasher starts running. Simply run the hot water at your kitchen sink before starting the unit and you can ensure you are getting the correct water temp in the unit.

  2. Don't completely clean your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher- It is important to get solid foods off the dishes. This includes soft solids such as mashed potatoes and pasta as well. However, you don't want to actually scrub them clean. The soap used in dishwashers these days is activated with hot water and some sort of grease, fat, and/or oil. Leave a little something on them so that the soap is activated to help clean the dishes better. It also breaks down the soap to help prevent buildup in the unit.

  3. Use the proper settings- The auto wash feature is more of a marketing gimmick. The only difference between light, normal, and heavy is the amount of time it washes for. Normal should be just fine. It is really the other options that matter. Be sure to select high temp wash if its available. This will further heat the incoming wash water. There is usually a sanitize option as well. Go ahead and select that. It will help spots from forming and improve the drying performance. Use heated dry unless you are going to pop open the unit immediately when it is done. These settings will make the unit run for quite a while, but it is oh so worth it!

  4. Not too much soap- If you are using the pods, you should be just fine. The more expensive ones do have additives that increase the wash performance. If you are using a powder or liquid detergent, you only need about a teaspoon. Using too much soap is the #1 cause of a smelly dishwasher.

  5. Keep the rinse aid full- Rinse aid, such as Jet Dry, works by lowering the surface tension of the water. This allows the water to drip off the dishes better during the drying process, and thus helps to eliminate water spots. Think of it like RainX for your dishes.

  6. Clean the dishwasher- Every couple of months, run a dishwasher cleaner through without any dishes. This will make a huge difference in the odor problems. It can also help improve wash performance and improve the life of the unit.


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