When I was growing up, a lot of our normal cleaning routine made sense to me. Things like folding laundry as soon as it was done or removing our shoes in the mudroom before entering our home. But one of the routines that never, ever made sense to me was having to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. After all, what’s the point of washing a dish right before it gets washed for you?
By the way, here’s how to make sure your dishwasher is actually clean.
One argument for pre-rinsing says that it prevents any food on the dishes from hardening if they end up sitting in there for a while. While this makes sense, but according to a Wall Street Journal article on this very topic, it’s really not doing you any favors.
Remember, dishwashers are machines. Some have sensors that actually can detect how dirty the dishes really are. This happens in the pre-wash, where the machine will remove any leftover food on the dishes. However, if there isn’t any food on those dishes than the dishwasher will immediately switch to the cleaning cycle.
Obviously, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, given that the pre-wash was simply done by hand. However, this is a big deal if you end up throwing in a dish that actually wasn’t clean. If you have a dish (or two) that have some food on it, while the others are rinsed off, the dishwasher will likely detect “cleaner” dishes and won’t do that pre-wash that the soiled dishes need.
At this point, you have an option: You could do the pre-wash, or you could let the dishwasher do it for you.
Now if your dishwasher doesn’t have those pre-wash cycle sensors, maybe it’s time to update your dishwasher. Here’s how to replace a dishwasher in 4 easy steps.