While my daughter was eating an early dinner at my parents’ place over the summer, my dad was puttering around the kitchen, and just before he poured himself one of his beloved Miller Genuine Draft beers before retreating to the living room to watch TV, he decided to set the dishwasher going.
Ten minutes later, my mother emerged to start preparing dinner for the 3 of us, and as soon as she heard the swooshing sound of the dishwasher, she went nuts. It takes something like a million years for their dishwasher to complete a full cleaning cycle and cool down enough so the dishes can be put away, which meant she wouldn’t be able to load the dishwasher as soon as we were finished our dinner.
And that was not acceptable.
I remember feeling extremely amused while I listened to their exchange because my husband and I have had similar discussions in the past. He sets the dishwasher going as soon as it’s full, regardless of the time of day, whereas I like to time things so I never (ever) have to let our dishes sit in the sink overnight.
Like mother, like daughter, right?
About 2 hours later, while my mother and I were devouring a packet of chocolate macaroons (don’t you dare judge us!), I watched in amazement as my dad opened up the dishwasher, wiped steam off of his glasses, and proceeded to put away the piping hot dishes with a tea towel wrapped around each hand so the dinner dishes didn’t have to wait. I momentarily thought about taking a video of him to send to my husband (“why won’t you do this kind of stuff for me??!”), but decided to pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy the hilarity of it all instead.
That scene is one of the last memories I have of my dear dad, and I had all but forgotten about it until I sat down to write this post. He was always doing funny stuff like that, and he and I often joked that we were among a very select group of people who know how to load a dishwasher properly. And while I no longer own a dishwasher that takes a million years to wash my dishes (yahoo!), I am still very particular about how our dishwasher is loaded.
And since I know I’m not the only one who likes my dishes to be CLEAN when I use them, I decided to share my top 5 tips to teach you how to get squeaky clean dishes every single time you run your dishwasher.
1. RINSE…AND SCRAPE!
My husband thinks I’m insane whenever he watches me not only rinse all of our dishes and cutlery before stacking them in the dishwasher, but also scrap off all stubborn food particles with a scouring sponge. He thinks it’s a complete waste of my time, but a little elbow grease goes a long way in ensuring our dishes are CLEAN at the end of every washing cycle. And if I’m careful to remove all traces of food from our dishes, I can opt for a lighter wash cycle, which reduces the amount of water and time needed to get the job done.
2. PUT LARGE ITEMS ON THE TOP RACK
It drives me bananas when people put bowls and pots on the bottom rack of a dishwasher. Don’t they realize this prevents the water jets from pumping water to the items on the top rack, and that none of the items up top get cleaned? Ugh. Rant over.
3. DON’T OVERLOAD
Before we got our Frigidaire Gallery® Dishwasher with OrbitClean® Technology, I used to overload our dishwasher a lot. It just took such a long time to clean our dishes that I couldn’t fathom running the darn thing twice in one day. But now that I can wash my dishes in only 30 minutes thanks to the Quick Clean option, I make sure not to cram too many items in for each wash, and I am amazed at the difference it makes in ensuring my dishes are squeaky clean every time!
4. PUT LARGE COOKING UTENSILS ON THE TOP RACK
While it may seem better to put these items in the cutlery basket on the bottom rack, tall items can actually interfere with the washing cycle, so I always lay mine down on the top rack. It’s not always practical from a space point of view, but with the Quick Clean option at my fingertips, it’s less of an issue for me these days as I’m happy to run my dishwasher 3 times a day if I have to!
5. RINSE WITH VINEGAR
Okay, full disclosure here: I have never run an empty dishwasher with vinegar in it, but after reading THIS INFOGRAPHIC from Frigidaire, I decided to give it a go. And guess what? My dishwasher has never been cleaner.
Now, if I could just be as vigilant about keeping the rest of our house as squeaky clean as our dishes…
If you have any additional tips for getting squeaky clean dishes, please leave me a comment below!
Disclosure: I am part of the Frigidaire Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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