Forget piles of dirty dishes in the sink, dishwashers work quietly to erase the traces of a whole day’s worth of food at just the touch of a button. Today’s dishwashers are also eco-friendly, meaning they use much less water than hand-washing even if you only run half a load. A full-size Indesit dishwasher uses just 16 litres of water per cycle, the same amount that you would use hand washing the dishes from just three meals.
There are some easy ways to make your dishwasher work even more efficiently. Here’s a quick guide on how to prepare and load your dishes to make broken glasses and stuck-on food a thing of the past.
Large amounts of leftover food need to be scraped off the plate before they are loaded. Bones, peelings and seeds are particularly tricky for dishwashers and could clog the filter. Smaller particles of food can be difficult to scrape off quickly with a fork, so use a paper towel to rub off any stubborn bits of rice.
Most modern dishwashers have pre-rinse functions built into their cycles and many cleaning tabs actually work more efficiently when they have something to remove. Pre-rinsing is a good idea, however, for any plates or pans that have been left dirty for a few hours or more. Warm soapy water and a scrubbing brush should soften up the stuck-on food in no time, which you can then scrape off before loading into the dishwasher.
Start with the plates. Insert them into the slots in the bottom drawer of the dishwasher, facing them towards the centre and leaning inwards. Keep all the plates separated as much as possible to allow the stream of water from the sprayers to reach all the dirty surfaces.
Bowls, cups, glasses should then go neatly into the top drawer of the dishwasher, open-side down and on an incline so the dirty water drains away. Pots and pans can also go into the top section of the dishwasher, but make sure heavy items do not touch breakables such as wine glasses, as the dishes can vibrate against each other during the cycle.
Plastic items such as tupperware should also go in the top drawer, as high temperatures at the bottom of the dishwasher can cause them to melt.
Leave the cutlery basket to last and place all knives, forks and spoons handle down for safety. Long utensils should be laid down in the top drawer to avoid blocking the spray and spinning arms. Sharp knives can become dulled in the dishwasher, so it’s best to give them a scrub in the sink.
This post is sponsored by Littlewoods