Everyone knows how to use a dishwasher, right? Wrong! Many common problems alluded to a faulty dishwasher result from the owner’s doing. Are you constantly opening the dishwasher to find dishes that aren’t completely clean? Maybe your dishes are continuously getting damaged. While you might be quick to call a professional to take a look at your dishwasher, you might want to take a step back and make sure you’re doing everything right to get the best results from the appliance. We’ve come up with four tips to help you get the most out of your dishwasher; Keep reading to learn how you can get your dishes not just clean but dazzling.

Scrape Dishes First:

While dishes don’t necessarily need to be rinsed, it’s best to scrape off excess food before placing them in the dishwasher. Depending on the food, you can scrape it in the trash or put it down the garbage disposal. Either way, your dishwasher isn’t equipped to rinse off dense mashed potatoes, scoopfuls of barbecue chicken, or other scraps. Think of it this way; a dishwasher is meant to wash, not dispose of!

Load it Properly:

Loading the dishwasher seems simple enough, right? Just place the dishes in the dishwasher, throw in some detergent, and choose which cycle you want. As it turns out, there’s a right and a wrong way to load your dishes. Loading the dishwasher the wrong way can prevent dishes from getting a full cleanse while knowing the proper way to load leads to an efficient and thorough cleaning cycle. Smaller items such as cups, soup bowls, and larger utensils should be reserved for the top rack, while larger items like cutting boards, mixing bowls, and pots should be placed on the bottom. Doing so allows for detergent and water to reach every item. If larger items are placed on top, they block items on the bottom rack from a thorough wash.

Examine New Dishes’ Labels:

Every time you get new dishes, be sure to check the packaging or any labels to know if it’s dishwasher safe or needs to be hand washed. Older items like china or delicate champagne glasses might be too fragile for a modern-day appliance. Some items are made up of materials that cannot sustain the heat from a dishwasher. The last thing you want is for a meaningful or new dish to be ruined by the dishwasher when it could have been easily prevented.

Keep Filters Clean:

A clean filter for your dishwasher is essential to clean your dishes effectively and efficiently. Newer models of dishwashers typically have a manual filter. If this is the case, you can remove the filter and clean it by hand using hot water, dish soap, and a brush you might use to hand wash dishes. On the other hand, older dishwashers tend to have automatic self-cleaning filters. With a self-cleaning filter, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about if it’s clean or not. However, you might want to put a bowl of distilled white vinegar on the top rack and run a normal cleaning cycle from time to time. This will help remove any grease or build-up left on the filter.