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5 Dishwasher Tips To Get Squeaky-clean Dishes Every Time

Here are some dishwasher tips and tricks to make the most out of your appliance and ensure that it keeps churning out squeaky-clean dishes. These are some things that I’ve picked up over the years when while living on my own.

The dishwasher is a wondrous invention. I mean, in the most simplistic sense, it’s a magical box where you put in dirty dishes and clean ones magically appear. Growing up, my parents were very anti-dishwasher because they were convinced that it was a huge waste of water. However, an article by the Washington Post concludes that “from an environmental perspective, these machines have grown so energy- and water-efficient — especially Energy Star-certified models — that it is very hard to beat them through hand-washing.”

5 Dishwasher Tips To Get Squeaky-clean Dishes Every Time

Dishwasher Tip #1: Presoak your dishes.

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There is nothing worse finally getting the motivation to do dishes and then realize that the dishes have a thick layer of crud on them. Let the water do the work for you- let your dishes [particularly pans] soak in a some warm water with a squirt of dish soap for 5-10 minutes.

Dishwasher Tip #2: Use a dish brush to get rid of lingering food particles

This will help prevent the likelihood of stubborn bits from lingering on the dishes. I like this dish brush because when it gets gross, I can just run it with some dishes and it comes out looking like new!

Dishwasher Tip #3: For a super easy way to clean the dishwasher, run a cycle with just Tang

Did you know that Tang Orange Powdered Drink Mix can help keep your dishwasher running like it’s brand-new? I got this trick from a recent dishwasher repairman. Apparently, the citric acid in the powdered drink mix helps to clear out the mineral deposits. I’ve been doing this for 2 years and so far, so good.

Alternatively, you can also clean it with good old-fashioned vinegar– use a mixture of 70% white vinegar and 30% water in a spray bottle. This article goes in-depth about this approach.

Dishwasher Tip #4: Exercise restraint and don’t overcrowd the dishwasher

 I’m definitely guilty of this [Team One Trip/One Attempt] but I’ve learned from experience that trying to cram too many dishes in at one time can make you have to run the load again.

Dishwasher Tip #5:Use magnetic labels to keep track of whether the dishwasher has dirty or clean dishes

I love this idea from Bright Nest- this quick and easy DIY can save you a lot of grief if you have more than one person who uses the dishwasher. I know my husband and I used to bicker over whether the dishwasher was really clean, or if it had dirty dishes in it. By using these magnets, it’s very clear to everyone in the household if the dishwasher has clean or dirty dishes.
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Image via Brightnest
Which tip was your favorite? Do you have any tips for using the dishwasher more efficiently? 

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  1. I’m very bad at not overcrowding. I use to do it until the door barely closed (really bad idea.) I had an Airbnb guest once who used regular dish soap (instead of dishwasher detergent) and it flooded my kitchen with bubbles. It was hilarious, like Ernie from Sesame Street would have partied in there! xD

    1. I’m an over-crowder too! I’m all for efficiency and I want to get as MANY clean dishes as posisble. And I’ve admittedly made the mistake of using dish soap when I ran out of actual detergent. My logic at the time was “soap is soap!” NOPE. Apparently, not all soap is created equal.

    1. I hope that one day, you will get to experience the joys of a dishwasher. I would go as far as saying it’s “life-changing”

    1. It sounds crazy, but it really does work! I’ve been using the tip for 3 years and haven’t had any mineral build-up in my dishwasher!

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