To Rinse Or Not To Rinse?

Put down the dishrag! The necessity of pre-rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher is a myth. In the past, dishwashers did not have the capability to tackle food particles, making it a common practice to wash dishes before placing them into the dishwasher. Well, you can take a sigh of relief -- this tedious process is no longer necessary.

woman pre-washing dishes in sink

With so many innovations coming out in the dishwashing market, the capabilities of today’s dishwashers are amazing. As a general rule, as long as you do not have baked on, caked on food, the dishwasher can handle the load.

What to pre-rinse

When an accident happens in the kitchen and food becomes burnt on, caked on or baked on, it's important to soak the dish in hot soapy water to loosen the stains before loading it into the dishwasher. Also, bones, toothpicks and large food items should be wiped from plates, pots and pans before loading to prevent damage to other items being washed. Although modern day dishwashers can handle grease, it is wise to remove grease from pans before loading to prevent the grease from being deposited on the walls and sprayers of your unit.

Pre-rinsing may not be the problem

Although using a dishwasher does save a significant amount of water, many households overload their dishwashers, which prevents a proper cleaning. To prevent spotty glass, wet dishes and dirty spots, make sure dishes are not stacked and that they have enough room around each of them to have access to the water source at all angles.

All cups and bowls should be turned upside down to prevent pooling water or food particle accumulation. When the dishwasher runs, food particles are made airborne and may land in cups and bowls if they are not properly loaded. This will look as though dishes are dirty when in fact, improper loading is to blame.

A waste of time, energy and money

Companies that manufacture dishwashing detergent and dishwashers test their products on heavily soiled dishes. The reason for this is due to customer complaints in the past of having to wash each dish before placing it into the unit. Due to the advances in technology, rinsing will not make dishes any cleaner but will actually waste energy, money and time by consuming double the water.

Wait for a full load

To further conserve, it is important to wait until each load is full before running. When waiting for a full load, always run the rinse cycle on a half-full load to prevent unwanted odors and caked on food from accumulating.

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