1. Overloading the compartments
Overloading the compartments is one of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people make when it comes to filling their dishwashers. Of course, you’re going to want to make sure the dishwasher is as full as possible, but overfilling will prevent the machine from cleaning properly.
2. Not ‘cleaning’ dishes beforehand
Look, we’re not suggesting that you should fully wash up your dishes before they go into the dishwasher, but you do need to make sure they are reasonably clean. Rinsing dishes and pots that have food on them before they go into the dishwasher is essential for getting them as clean as possible.
3. Placing items facing upwards
Putting items in your dishwasher face up is one of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people make when loading the dishwasher. This isn’t going to damage them, but this is going to impact the way in which your dishwasher is able to clean your utensils, plates, bowls, and cups, not to mention fillng them with water.
4. Only cleaning the obvious parts
It is important to make sure you look after your dishwasher, and ensure proper maintenance. Only cleaning the obvious parts of the dishwasher is a big mistake, and you need to try to make sure you keep all the key parts of the machine clean and fully operational, including the filter, salt tray, and spray arm.
5. Placing cutlery right-side-up
This is a more controversial point, but many experts actually suggest that the optimal approach to loading your dishwasher is actually to place the cutlery handles up instead of the sharper end. This is more hygienic and also stops you from jabbing yourself unexpectedly on the point of cutlery.
6. Using the wrong detergent
Using the wrong type of detergent in your dishwasher is a common mistake, and one that can prevent your dishwasher from working effectively. There are so many different types you can choose from, and it is essential that you select the right detergent for the type of dishwasher you have.
7. Using too much detergent
Using too much detergent is something else that can be an issue, as this will cause it to overflow in the machine, and can cause soapy suds to flow into the interior and cover your dishes. It’s important to ensure you are using just the right amount of detergent, and most bottles will instruct you on how much this is.
8. Not opening the door immediately after the wash ends
You might think that once the wash has ended, you should leave it a while before opening the door, but this is a mistake. You need to try to make sure you open the door right away after the wash ends, as this allows the air to get in, reduces moisture, and prevents bacteria from spreading.
9. Overlooking the instruction manual
It’s common practice for many of us to ignore the instruction manual on things, and try to work out the process on our own. The problem with this is that all dishwashers are slightly different, and ignoring the instructions can lead to you making mistakes or errors leading to suboptimal usage, and potential damage.
10. Putting wooden items in
There are certain things that you shouldn’t put in the dishwasher, and one of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is putting wooden items in. This is something that’s easily done, but things like wooden spoons and bamboo bowls can warp and crack in the dishwasher so this is a no-no.
11. Not fully loading
Another mistake that homeowners make when it comes to using their dishwasher is to not fully load it. You have to make sure your dishwasher is adequately loaded, and that it is full enough to make it worth actually putting a cycle on. You need to be energy efficient and save money, and this helps you with that.
12. Not running hot water beforehand
Running hot water for a few seconds prior to actually putting your dishwasher on is a great way of helping to ensure that your appliance is already hot. This is essential for helping to improve cleaning performance, and ensuring that your dishes are getting the proper treatment they need during the wash cycle.
13. Overusing ‘eco’ mode
Eco mode is something that might seem like a great way of saving money and adopting a greener way of life. But, the reality is that many people wind up overusing this setting, to the point where it is no longer cost-effective to do so. This is something you should try to avoid.
14. Putting handles in the way of the spray arm
You need to consider the position and functionality of the spray arm, as this is something that is key to making the cleaning process more effective. Allowing pot and pan handles to get in the way of this arm is a big mistake, as this is going to prevent it from dispersing water correctly, and cleaning properly.
15. Overfilling the machine
Of course, the machine needs to be fully loaded before you turn it on, but you also have to ensure you aren’t overfilling it. Yes, overfilling the cutlery compartment specifically is a mistake, but you also need to ensure you aren’t overfilling the entire machine otherwise your items will not clean properly.
16. Washing dishes up first
Another mistake a lot of people make with their dishwashers is that they take the pre-rinsing part of the process to the extreme, and wind up washing the dishes. If you are washing up and cleaning your dishes and cutlery before putting them in the dishwasher, this is a waste because they are already going to be clean.
17. Loading incorrectly
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make when loading dishwashers is incorrect layout, and this is something you need to rectify. Following the optimal approach is going to help you take advantage of the capacity of the dishwasher, and this is going to improve loading, and keep your cutlery and crockery cleaner.
18. Stuffing utensils together
Utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, and fish slices are an integral part of the process of cooking food, and they can get caked in a lot of stuff like fat, grease, residue, and food. Stuffing utensils in together makes it much more difficult for the dishwasher to keep them clean, so you need to space them out as much as possible.
19. Not cleaning the filter
It might seem like cleaning a dishwasher is largely redundant, after all, it’s an appliance that uses hot water and soap any time it’s on. However, the dishwasher can get a build-up of grease and this can lead to longer-term issues such as clogging it up. Cleaning the filter regularly is something that can help protect against this.
20. Unloading the top rack first
One of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to dealing with their dishwashers is unloading the top rack first. Whilst this might appear to be the most optimal choice, it can actually lead to excess water that’s pooled on the top of mugs and bowls falling and dripping all over the clean stuff on the bottom rack.
21. Putting detergent in the wrong place
In most dishwashers, there are specific places to and locations within the appliance where detergent should be put. In most dishwashers, there will be a specific compartment for detergent, for tablets, for rinse aid, and for salt, and you need to familiarize yourself with which is which.
22. Closing the door straight after emptying
Something else you need to be wary of is closing the door of your dishwasher immediately after emptying it. The problem with this is that it can lead to a build-up of mold, as well as contributing to interior staining, which impacts the way your dishwasher looks.
23. Using the wrong setting
There are loads of different settings that you can use with your dishwasher, and choosing the right setting is absolutely essential. Selecting the right cycle is actually really cost-effective, and it can actually be more efficient than hand washing. However, using the wrong setting can have the opposite effect, taking a long time, and costing you money.
24. Not optimizing the right maximum efficiency
On a similar note, it is also essential to try to optimize your appliance, and look to use it in a way that helps save money as much as possible. Looking for dishwashers that have the Energy Star Certification is essential for helping you choose an appliance that is efficient and effective.
25. Putting drinking glasses over rack tines
Hooking your glasses over the tines on the racks is tempting way of getting more into the dishwasher, but this is another mistake. The problem with doing this is that it can apparently lead to stress or spotting on the glass, which you want to avoid if you want long-lasting glassware.
26. Putting forks with forks, and spoons with spoons…
Silverware needs to be placed in the flatware basket in order to keep it organized, as well as providing the best chance of cleaning it. But experts advise that you should avoid grouping types of cutlery together. If spoons, for instance, are altogether in the same area, they can block one another from getting clean.
27. Putting knives blade up
Putting knives in the dishwasher ‘blade up’ is another common mistake. This might seem like a great way of keeping the knives as clean as possible. However, there are some drawbacks to this, which include the blades being exposed, and this can lead to people cutting themselves when they reach into the dishwasher.
28. Not adjusting your cycle
Your dishwasher is bound to have a number of different cycles that you can use to keep your dishes as clean as possible. However, you need to make sure you know your options, and that you alter or adjust your dishwasher cycle to get the one that works best for you.
29. Putting tablets in the detergent dispenser
Some dishwashers have a detergent dispenser, and according to experts, it is important to ensure you avoid putting tablets in the detergent compartment. Apparently the recommended course of action is to pop these tablet in the machine loose, in order to get the best results from using them.
30. Washing sharp knives
Sharp knives are essential for food preparation, and if you spend good money on a set of sharp knives, it is important to make sure you look after them. Putting sharp knives in the dishwasher is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, because this can corrode the steel and blunt the sharp edges.
31. Choosing the wrong dishwasher
Another element that you need to consider when it comes to avoiding dishwasher mistakes is to choose the right dishwasher. Finding the right model involves doing some research, thinking about size, design, brand, and what you need from your dishwasher long-term, as well as setting yourself a budget.
32. Not getting your dishwasher serviced right
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people make when it comes to their dishwashers is not getting the right professional servicing. You need to ensure you get experts involved when it comes to looking after and taking care of your appliance, and being able to address problems as soon as they arise to prevent long-term issues.
33. Not using ‘eco’ mode
The ‘eco’ mode of the dishwasher is an important setting that can help you to live a greener life. There are plenty of advantages to using this setting, and making sure you are choosing greater energy-efficiency is really important, whilst also saving money in the process as well.
34. Forgetting about the dishwasher seal
When it comes to cleaning the dishwasher and making sure it looks as great as possible, as well as ensuring it’s fully operational, you need to make sure you don’t overlook the seal on the inside. This can trap dirt and clog up the settings in the appliance, so you need to make sure you keep it as clean as possible.
35. Using too much salt
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to their dishwashers is using too much salt. We know that dishwashers require salt in order refresh the appliance’s water softening system, but using too much salt is going to leave white marks on the dishes, as well as a potentially salty taste as well.
36. Using the machine with no salt
One the other hand, using a machine with no dishwasher salt can be a big mistake as well. The great thing about dishwasher salt is that it is essential for dealing with the issues hard water presents for cleaning plates and cutlery, and this can help to ensure the contents of the dishwasher are cleaned more effectively.
37. Stacking plates vertically
When you are trying to think about the best ways of improving your dishwasher usage, how you put your dishes in the dishwasher makes a big difference. One of the mistakes you are bound to make is stacking plates vertically, when the reality is that arranging them horizontally is better for water flow and cleaning.
38. Using the “rinse hold” cycle
The classic rinse-hold cycle is one of the key parts of using a dishwasher, and this is basically a cycle where you rinse the dishes without a full cycle. The problem is that the “rise hold” cycle uses excess water, making it less efficient, and it doesn’t even really improve the cleanliness of your dishes.
39. Forgetting the need for rinse aid
Something else that a lot of people overlook the importance of when it comes to their dishwasher is the need for rinse aid. Rinse aid is a key addition because it helps lower the surface tension of water, making it absolutely essential for people living in hard water areas.
40. Keeping the door closed when you aren’t using it
Closing the door of the dishwasher when you aren’t using it is another issue that you should look to avoid. Much like closing the door directly after use, closing it when you aren’t using it doesn’t allow air to get in, and increases the risk of moisture and mold spreading.