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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

15 Dishwashing Mistakes You are Probably Making

1.Washing them by hand

            Dirty dishes need hot water (140 degrees, much hotter than you can stand to touch) to be sanitized. Most dishwashers are also more efficient, using less water than you would to soak, scrub and rinse each dish by hand. So if you've got a dishwasher, USE IT.

2. Pre-scrubbing too much

            Rinsing away big, dried-on chunks is one thing. Scrubbing the plate spotless before you put it in the rack is another. Dishwashing detergent "needs somewhere to go — and if your dishes are free of gunk, the enzymes in the soap will just whirl around the inside of the dishwasher," explains Care2. "Over time, this can damage your dishes."

3. Using the wrong detergent

            Did you know that liquid dish washing detergent can clog up dishwasher parts and pipes? It's also likely to leave a film on your dishes even after the cycle is complete. For best results, use powdered detergent but don't use too much.

4. Use homemade detergents

            Homemade detergents are all the rage, and though they've got fewer chemicals and can save you money, they should be used with caution. Depending on what’s in your recipe, leave a white film on dishes, damage your dishwasher and/or dishes, and void your dishwasher's warranty.

5. Loading up knives, graters, and peelers

            Too many rounds in the dishwasher, and these utensils will become dull and useless. Washing them by hand after each use will help them keep their edge.

6. Overloading the racks     
            It can be tempting to show off your Tetris skills, but filling every nook and cranny of the dishwasher is usually a shortcut to rewashing. Try to work with the rack spacing, not against it, and you'll get better results.

7. Not facing bowls towards the waterjets

            Bowls always go on the top rack. Those in the rear should face forward; those in front should face the backward, so water can get in and do its job.

8. Running the dishwasher half full

            You may just want the dirty dishes out of your face. But running a dishwasher half full just wastes water and puts your dishes as risk of breakage because there's too much room for things to fly around.

9. Putting the wrong things on the bottom rack

            If you drink out of it, it should never end up on the bottom shelf of your dishwasher. Same thing goes for any plastic storage containers. The only thing on the bottom shelf should be pots, pans, large bowls, and sturdy plates.

10. Washing things that aren’t “dishwasher safe”

            "Wood splits and cracks when exposed to dishwasher temperatures, humidity, and water. Delicate glassware can break in a dishwasher, making for a big mess to clean up. Some metals like cast-iron and copper are not meant to be washed in the dishwasher and can become damaged as well as cause damage to other dishes," explains About.com. Basically, if it doesn't say "dishwasher safe" it's not.

11. Leaving knife points up

            Doing this is a surefire way to stab yourself when unloading the dishwasher later. Think safety first, and always load your sharp knives point down.

12. Putting glasses over the tines on the top rack

            Just getting them on the top rack isn't enough. "Glasses should go on the top rack between the tines, not over them, so they don’t rattle or come out with tine marks," explains Real Simple.

13. Not cleaning the dishwasher itself

            Despite using soap and hot water all the time, dishwashers can still get dirty. And a dirty dishwasher is going to do a crappy job of cleaning your dishes. A simple solution of baking soda and vinegar will fix things right up.

14. Forgetting about the food trap

            What's that? You have no idea what I'm talking about? The food trap is located under the spray arm at the bottom of your dishwasher, and it needs to be checked and cleaned at least once a week.

15. Separating your silverware

            Sorting forks, knives, and spoons into their own separate compartments might soothe your inner love of organization, but it's not the best way to get clean cutlery. Spoons and forks should be mixed together, with some placed business-end up, some down, to keep them from nesting. Butter knives should be blade side down (just like all your other knives).

Happy dish-washing!

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