Dishwasher FAQs

Do I need to pre-rinse my dishes before putting them into my dishwasher?
Scrape excess food into your garbage disposal/disposer but skip the pre-rinsing and save the water. Most modern dishwashers are designed for food particle removal. No rinsing is needed unless your dishes and cookware have been left sitting out for several hours. In that case, you may need to soak them in soapy water to loosen particles before loading into the dishwasher.
What’s the proper way to load a dishwasher?
How do I know what can be washed in a dishwasher?
Which detergent type is better - liquid gel or powder?
My dishwasher takes too long. What’s wrong?
There’s always water at the bottom of my dishwasher. Why isn’t it draining completely?
My cups and glasses are coming out spotty, cloudy and filmy. What’s wrong?
Do I need to pre-rinse my dishes before putting them into my dishwasher?
Scrape excess food into your garbage disposal/disposer but skip the pre-rinsing and save the water. Most modern dishwashers are designed for food particle removal. No rinsing is needed unless your dishes and cookware have been left sitting out for several hours. In that case, you may need to soak them in soapy water to loosen particles before loading into the dishwasher.
What’s the proper way to load a dishwasher?
Okay, we’ll settle the great debate. Here’s the proper way to load a dishwasher: Manufacturers advise that cutlery be loaded with the “business” end facing up, a.k.a. the end that touches food. The reason? Better water circulation. Facing the business-end down in the basket restricts water flow. However, sharp knives and utensils should always face down to help prevent injury when unloading the dishwasher. Care should be taken, of course, when removing these utensils from the basket. Dishes and cookware should have exposed surfaces facing the spray arms. Knives and other cutlery with wooden handles are best washed by hand because over time, detergent can cause wood to become brittle and crack. Lower rack • Plates, leaning toward the center near the spray arm. Make sure the surface is exposed! • Pots upside down. • Cutting boards should be placed on the outer-most part of the rack. Upper rack • Plastic, glassware, mugs and cups. Make sure to leave space between them so that there’s no fear of breakage. • Long utensils and knives may block the spray arm in the lower rack so it’s best to rest them flat in the upper rack. RepairClinic has dishwasher accessories and parts including recommended replacement parts. Have your model number handy.
How do I know what can be washed in a dishwasher?
Look for a dishwasher-safe imprint before you place items into your dishwasher. Pay particular attention to plastic food storage containers, which can melt if they come into contact with the heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher. If you’re not sure, put them in the top rack only or wash them by hand. If a piece of plastic melts to the heating element, it can be tough to remove it.
Which detergent type is better - liquid gel or powder?
We recommend the powdered/granular detergents (i.e. Cascade®). In recent years, we’ve found the pod-like, powder detergent-filled, dissolving packets to work well because they reduce likelihood of using too much detergent. We’ve also found that prominent brands perform better than generic brands.
My dishwasher takes too long. What’s wrong?
It may be a model that pre-heats the water. If so, and if the water entering the dishwasher is cool, the heater may take up to half an hour to heat the water. To avoid the wait, increase the incoming water temperature before turning on the dishwasher. Do that by running the kitchen sink faucet until the water runs hot. Or increase the temperature of the hot water to the entire house at the hot water heater. Warning! To lessen the risk of scalding, don’t set the hot water heater temperature higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 Celsius).
There’s always water at the bottom of my dishwasher. Why isn’t it draining completely?
All dishwashers leave a small amount of water at the bottom in order to keep the seals and pump moist. The pump and seals may become brittle and lead to leaks and expensive repairs if left to dry out completely.
My cups and glasses are coming out spotty, cloudy and filmy. What’s wrong?
For spotting only, try using the heated drying cycle. If that doesn’t help, try using a rinse-aid product. For cloudiness or filminess, there are several possible causes: • Excessive detergent usage: Etching, or cloudiness, is glass corrosion. It is often caused by using too much detergent. A rainbow hue is the first sign of etching. Cut in half the amount of detergent used. • There could be a water flow restriction. Enter your dishwasher’s model number in our Repair Help for additional information. • You may have hard water. You can purchase water hardness testing kits at home improvement stores to determine if a water softener is needed for your water supply.