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If you’re putting away dirty dishes after a wash cycle, it might not be your dishwasher’s fault! To be honest, you’re probably loading your dishwasher wrong. Here are the most common mistakes made when loading a dishwasher, and how you can prevent them.

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Mistake 1: You don’t need to pre-rinse everything!
Just scrape off the larger pieces (and be careful about what you put in your garbage disposal). Save your water for the actual wash cycle.

 

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Mistake 2: If your bowls and plates all face one direction, you’re going to have a bad time.
This can actually block the sprayer from hitting all your dishes equally. Aim all dirty surfaces toward the water source for efficient spraying.

 

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Mistake 3: Loading the biggest pieces in the center will NOT get them cleaner.
Place any big ticket items like your serving bowls, cutting boards and baking dishes on the outside so they don’t block the spray. Or just hand wash them…

 

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Mistake 4: Your silverware is packed like sardines.
Your forks and knives need a little room to breathe, or in this case, get efficiently cleaned. Don’t jam all your silverware in the basket and assume it will all get sprayed. Alternate loading the pieces top and bottom up so the water can get a good 360 degree clean. And yes, you DO have time to do this.

 

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Mistake 5: You’re not using a rinse agent.
I know it’s not fun to spend extra money on household items, but using a rinse agent will really make a difference. If you’re regularly seeing water spots on your dishes, you’ll want to use one (There’s even a separate compartment for the stuff!) It removes mineral deposits from your dishes in the last cycle, it will also stop you from having to wash twice. Yay, no wasted water!