Are you making these common dishwasher mistakes? Avoid ruining your dishes and wasting energy by following these tips. From overloading to using the wrong detergent, we reveal the top 10 mistakes you should steer clear of to ensure sparkling-clean results every time.


Dishwashers are a modern marvel, effortlessly cleaning your plates and cutlery with a simple press of a button. However, despite their convenience, many people unknowingly make common mistakes that can affect the efficacy and longevity of their dishwashers.

From loading dishes incorrectly to neglecting regular maintenance, these blunders can lead to unsatisfactory results or even costly repairs. So, let’s dive into the world of dishwashing and explore 10 common dishwasher mistakes to avoid.

  1. Neglecting Proper Pre-Rinsing

While it may seem counterintuitive, pre-rinsing your dishes excessively can hinder the performance of your dishwasher. Dishwashing detergents are specifically designed to work most efficiently when there is some grease or food debris present. By leaving a little bit of grime on your dishes, you allow the detergent to do its job and cut through the grease, resulting in cleaner dishes. However, scraping off excessive chunks of food is still recommended to prevent clogging the dishwasher’s filter.

  1. Overloading the Dishwasher

It’s tempting to cram as many dishes as possible into a single load, but overloading can result in subpar cleaning and potential damage to your dishwasher. When dishes are overcrowded, water and detergent cannot circulate effectively, leaving smudges and stains behind. Additionally, overcrowding may prevent the spinning arms from moving freely, resulting in uneven distribution of water. To avoid this, load your dishwasher with mindful spacing between dishes, ensuring they have ample room to move and be cleaned thoroughly.

  1. Improper Dish Placement

Placing your dishes incorrectly can lead to disappointing cleaning results. It’s essential to position dishes strategically, allowing water to reach all surfaces. Avoid placing large, flat items such as cutting boards or baking sheets in front of smaller dishes, obstructing water flow. Also, make sure to angle your bowls and cups downward so that water can fully reach their interiors. By arranging your dishes with care, you’ll achieve a more consistent and effective cleaning process.

  1. Using the Wrong Dishwashing Detergent

Choosing the right dishwasher detergent can make all the difference in achieving outstanding cleaning results. Some people make the mistake of using regular dish soap, resulting in excessive suds and potential damage to the dishwasher. Dishwashing detergents are specially formulated to work in harmony with the dishwasher’s mechanics. Opt for specific dishwasher detergents, such as powders, gels, or pods, which will dissolve easily and combat grease effectively.

  1. Skipping Regular Maintenance

Just like any other household appliance, dishwashers need regular maintenance to function optimally. Neglecting routine cleaning and maintenance tasks can lead to a shortened lifespan and potential repairs. Clean the dishwasher’s filter regularly to prevent clogs and enhance water flow. Additionally, wipe down the interior walls and door seal with a damp cloth to remove any built-up debris or residue. Lastly, consider running an empty dishwasher cycle with a cup of vinegar to eliminate any odors or hidden grime.

  1. Using Too Much or Too Little Detergent

The quantity of detergent you use for each dishwasher load is crucial. Using too much can result in excessive suds that may leave a residue on your dishes, while using too little might lead to inadequate cleaning. Consult your dishwasher’s manual for recommended detergent quantities based on water hardness and load size. In areas with hard water, using dishwasher additives, such as rinse aids or hard water boosters, can enhance the cleaning process and prevent mineral deposits.

  1. Using the Incorrect Dishwasher Cycle

Dishwashers offer various cleaning cycles designed for specific types of loads, and using the wrong cycle can impact the results. For lightly soiled items and energy efficiency, opt for eco or light cycles. However, for heavily soiled items or cookware with stubborn residues, choose a heavy or intensive cycle. Additionally, delicate items, such as crystal or fine china, should be placed in the dishwasher’s top rack and washed on a gentle or delicate cycle to prevent damage.

  1. Ignoring the Dishwasher’s Spray Arms

The spray arms in your dishwasher play a vital role in distributing water and cleaning your dishes. Over time, they can accumulate debris and mineral deposits, hampering their performance. Check the spray arms regularly to ensure they are free from clogs or obstructions. Detach them if possible and clean them thoroughly using a brush and warm soapy water. By regularly maintaining your dishwasher’s spray arms, you’ll ensure a consistent, thorough clean every time.

  1. Plastic Items on the Bottom Rack

Plastic dinnerware, containers, and utensils tend to fit better on the top rack of the dishwasher. Placing them on the bottom rack can expose them to higher temperatures and direct heat, potentially leading to warping or distortion. Arrange your plastic items on the top rack, allowing them to be cleaned effectively while minimizing the risk of damage. If you have limited space on the top rack, consider switching to hand-washing plastic items to preserve their longevity.

  1. Using the Dishwasher as Storage

It’s convenient to stash dirty dishes in the dishwasher until it becomes full, but using it as temporary storage isn’t ideal. Stale food particles left sitting for long periods can decompose and cause unpleasant odors or even attract pests. Furthermore, stacking dishes for extended periods can make it challenging to remove some residues, resulting in unsatisfactory cleaning results. Instead, rinse off excess food and place dishes directly into the dishwasher to maintain cleanliness and prevent any lingering odors.


By avoiding these 10 common dishwasher mistakes, you can maximize the cleaning power of your dishwasher while extending its lifespan. Remember to load your dishes strategically, use the appropriate detergent and cycle, and provide regular maintenance to keep your dishwasher working at its best. With a few simple adjustments, you can ensure sparkling clean dishes with every wash, saving you time and effort in the kitchen.


Leave a Reply

Pin It