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What do you expect from your dishwasher? (moved from General Topics)

My brother puts everything in his dishwasher without rinsing. And I mean without rinsing. Not a thing. He'll put a dish that contained dip in the dishwasher with a good amount of dip still coating the inside of the dish. He believes a dishwasher should do all the work.

I on the other hand rinse just about everything. My expectations of a dishwasher are that it thoroughly clean and sanitize my dishes, which is something I don't feel I can do (and really don't want to do) myself at the sink. But I'm not of the mind that massive amounts of food residue, etc. should go in the dishwasher, though I know the manufacturers' say the washers are made to handle it.

What do you expect from your dishwasher?

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  1. Do your brother's dishes come out clean? If reality lives up to his expectations, then I guess I don't see a problem with it.

    Personally, I rinse everything first like you, and I don't feel like my dishes are truly clean until they've been through the dishwasher. In my experience my dishwasher doesn't get all the food residue off if I don't rinse first.

    2 Replies
    1. re: morningbun

      A household of one or two doesn't run the dishwasher after every meal, more like once every 24 hours. The idea of having all that food and garbage sitting in the dishwasher is disgusting. I rinse.

      1. re: Querencia

        Often more like once a week, if pots and pans are handwashed as we always do. Even when we had the KitchenAid DW we washed pots/pans by hand since specific ones were often used either daily or no less often than every other day.

        And certain things (such as melted Parmesan cheese, potato starch, etc) leave a residue that simply cannot be 100% COMPLETELY removed from a dish or pan surface any other way than by contact-scrubbing. I don't care how how many times a water/detergent combo is sprayed onto or flows over it -- certain things need "elbow grease", pure and simple. Labels such as "pot scrubber cycle" are nothing more than marketing hype IMHO.

    2. I once read new york times article that one shouldn't rinse dishes before putting them in a dishwasher...mainly because that's what dishwashers suppose to do...wash, rinse and sanitize...and also saves water.
      I also think the performance definitely depends on the washing agents. I recently bought a box of green dishwasher powder from Costco which didn't do any job...i went back to Electrosol tablets.
      If there are a lot of food particles left on my dishes, i still tend to rinse before putting them in the washer....only because leftover food can splash to my floor while putting them in the dishwasher,etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Monica

        I think articles like that telling people they shouldn't rinse before loading the DW mostly assume that the machine is running at least once every day. I have a household of three and our machine only runs every other day & sometimes every third day. I'm not leaving dishes crusted with food sitting in the DW that long.

      2. While I always lightly rinse just to get rid of the particles, I understand that some dishwashers are probably capable of doing that for me, I just don't want to take a chance with mine.
        My in-laws put pieces of food (I mean chunks of meat, potatoes, veggies, sauce, even paper sometimes!) in the dishwasher, stuck to the plate, and their dishwasher is definitely not made to handle that, I've never unloaded a load of freshly washed dishes from their washer and not had to scrub off the pieces of food grilled onto the plate by the drying cycle. AND, I've always had to pull out food from the bottom of the dishwasher where water is supposed to go out.

        1 Reply
        1. I lightly rinse - mostly just to get big chunks off - but I'll leave sauces, etc. I use Trader Joe's powder detergent (in the green box), and it does a great job. TJs claims it is "environmentally sound", though I've not delved in to what that means.

          I have an old dishwasher, and it does a great (and quiet) job - my dishes are spotless, unless I overstuff the silverware holder or leave dried coffee in mugs.

          I have no strong belief system related to my dishwasher. I just follow it where it takes me.

          1. Never really thought about it! But, I do rinse before putting dishes in. I dont run the dishwasher every day, and rinsing prevents odors- especially in the summer. As a side point- I have found that the dishwashing detergent sold at the Dollar Tree works just as well as Cascade. And, for some reason, I never put pots or pans in the dishwasher.