10 Important Things You Should Know About Your Dishwasher

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

If you’re so fortunate as to have a dishwasher in your house or apartment, then you want to make sure it’s always performing at its peak.

From the right way to load your dishwasher, to the simplest way to banish stinky smells, to some other surprising facts, here are 10 things every dishwasher-owner should know.

Loading a Dishwasher: Watch the Video

1. It’s more water-efficient to use a dishwasher than to wash dishes by hand.

For the most part, you’ll save water by washing dishes in the dishwasher rather than washing them by hand. This is especially true if you’re using a highly efficient model of dishwasher. So don’t feel bad about running that machine — you’re doing a good thing!

2. It’s smart and cheaper to run your dishwasher at night.

There are several reasons to run your dishwasher at night. In some areas, electricity is cheaper at off-peak hours, and you’re also adding humidity back into your kitchen overnight.

3. White vinegar is the magic fix to a stinky dishwasher and dull dishes.

Dishes looking dull and streaky? Dishwasher smelling a little funky? Run with a capful of white vinegar to restore everything.

Read more about dishwasher detergent: My Favorite Dishwasher Detergent (It’s a Tablet!)

(Image credit: Improvements Catalog)

4. Rusty racks? Cover them with dishwasher rack caps.

A small, smart fix for cheap dishwasher racks that are worn down and rusty.

5. If your dishwasher is running badly, you can fix it.

I didn’t realize until embarrassingly late in life that you can easily take a dishwasher apart and clean it until it runs better. Here’s how:

6. Run the hot water before starting the dishwasher.

Running the hot water in your sink before starting a load will ensure that the dishwasher starts with hot water and doesn’t spend time washing dishes with cold water.

7. Load the utensils by type for faster unloading.

Not everyone believes in this tip — but I love it.

(Image credit: Joe Clark)

8. Lots of manufacturers give you a diagram for best dishwasher loading. Do you have yours?

Have you checked out the manual for your dishwasher? Have you seen all your manufacturer’s tips for best loading?

9. Yes, you can cook salmon in the dishwasher.

Yeah, it sounds crazy! But you can actually cook amazing salmon in the dishwasher and get two things done at once.

10. The dishwasher is good for more than just dishes.

Here’s a smart tip: Your dishwasher is the best place to spray your baking pans with baking spray!

What else do you think is really important to know about using a dishwasher efficiently and effectively?