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How to Get Your Dishes Cleaner on No Dirty Dishes Day

by Cathy Carr

A hand holds up a perfectly clean wine glass in front of an open dishwasher full of clean dishware.

It’s the holiday you didn’t even know you needed, but now that it’s here, it’s gonna rock your world: today is No Dirty Dishes Day!

Your dishes already get cleaned more deeply and more efficiently when you wash them in a dishwasher instead of by hand, but what else can you do to optimize your dishwashing routine? To celebrate the holiday, make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your dishes as clean as possible. These simple tips will up your dishwashing game in no time!


Quit Handwashing

Ditch the handwashing for all but your most delicate dishes! Completely sanitizing your dishes requires washing them in water at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s much hotter water than you’re going to want your hands soaking in. So not only is washing dishes by hand a time and water waster, you’re not even getting your dishes completely clean!

You can skip the prerinses too – Lots of people think that rinsing dishes before running them through the dishwasher helps get dishes cleaner, but most dishwashers actually work better solo. All you need to do is scrape the biggest chunks of leftover food into the trash, then load your dishes in.

The powerful soil-sensing technology of most modern dishwashers can detect how much debris is stuck onto your dishes and adjust wash cycles accordingly. When there’s no visible debris, your dishwasher won’t wash as thoroughly, potentially leaving bacteria to proliferate, so ditch handwashing for good and let your dishwasher do what it does best!


Clean Your Dishwasher

If you aren’t keeping your dishwasher clean, it won’t be able to keep your dishes clean, either. It’s not tough to do, once you know how! Once a month, check your dishwasher’s filter and clean out any debris and food particles that may be stuck in there. Wipe down those hard to reach places, like spray arms and door seals, then run a cycle on the hottest setting, with only a cup full of white vinegar on the upper rack. Vinegar is a great food-safe cleaner, and it both disinfects and deodorizes your dishwasher, keeping it running at peak conditions and making sure your dishes come out clean as can be every time.


Load it Correctly

Loading your dishwasher the right way is another small thing you can do to optimize your dishwasher’s cleaning power. Find the right balance of full but not overfilled, and arrange your dishes in such a way that it doesn’t obstruct the flow of water to other areas of the dishwasher. Here’s the Cliffsnotes version of proper dishwasher loading technique:

Plates and large serving dishes should go on the bottom rack, but not all facing the same direction. Plates near the front of the machine should be pointing toward the back, and the ones in the back should be pointing forward, so water can flow more easily between dishware. Cups and bowls should always go on the upper rack, and whether you have a dedicated third rack of silverware or a bottom-rack bin, make sure the spoons and forks don’t “nest,” trapping dirt and food particles between them. See, not too complicated!

A dishwasher rack full of clean, white dishes.


Hit that Goldilocks Fill Level

Your dishwasher will do its best when it’s filled to just the right level. If your dishwasher is too empty, not only are you wasting energy and water, but that water has a harder time circulating and cleaning out all those hard to reach places. If you load it too full, then the flow of water will get blocked and you just won’t have enough water or detergent to get anything fully sanitized.


Upgrade Your Dishwasher

Of course, we’re giving all the advice above assuming your dishwasher is up to date and equipped with the latest technology. The older your dishwasher, the more inefficiently it’s sure to run. Older models have less accurate soil-sensing technology, less powerful spray jets, and use several times more water per cycle. So don’t risk it with your dishes! If your dishwasher is over 10 years old or just doesn’t seem to be giving your dishes the kind of clean you need, stop in and ask one of our appliance experts the best way to upgrade.


Enjoy your holiday the sanitary way! Treat your dishes and yourself to a whole new way of cleaning on No Dirty Dishes Day. And if you need more dishwasher expertise, just give us a call! We’re your source of all things clean, and we can’t wait to help you celebrate in style.