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The Dirt on Dishwashing

Dishwashers….STOP PRE-RINSING!

Let’s wash our dishes before we load them in the dishwasher….Uh… how about NO?

It is a common misconception that the quick wash is a more efficient setting on your dishwasher than a two hour normal wash when in reality a quick wash doesn’t wash long enough to clean dishes well.   Most people that use that cycle will pre-rinse their dishes.  If you do pre-rinse, then the quick cycle is fine.   But if you are rinsing – STOP!!!   That is significantly less efficient than using a full cycle without rinsing your dishes.   In just two or three minutes of pre-rinsing you will use as much, or more,  water than your dishwasher would for a full cycle.  Many dirty dishespremium dishwashers that have an auto wash, or sensor wash, need to see how dirty the water is in order to run a full cycle at the highest temperature.  High temps for longer periods of time allow for better drying.   If you pre-rinse the sensors recognize that your dishes are fairly clean and the dishwasher shortens the wash time, which adversely effects sanitizing and drying.  Modern detergents have enzymes that eat food particles.  If you have rinsed all of the food off, the enzymes can attack your glassware and turn them cloudy since they do not have food to eat.   Be sure to scrape the big chunks off, but the little bits will be washed away at the end of the wash cycle.  If you want more details, check out what the EPA says about pre-washing.

Submitted by Doug White – Appliance Expert  Doug