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Why You Shouldn’t Rinse Your Dishes Before the Dishwasher

A person places dishes into a dishwasher.
Gabi Moisa/Shutterstock.com

We all use our dishwashers differently. Maybe you put your silverware in upside down or put all your bowls in the top rack. But if you’re a rinse-before-loading person, that’s one habit you’ll want to break.

When you rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, it can actually prevent them from getting as clean as possible due to the way detergents work.

Rinsing before loading also wastes water, but on top of that, your dishes just won’t get as clean. This is because detergents—whether liquid, powder, or tablets—are full of enzymes designed to attach to leftover food particles.

They then break down and remove the leftover residue that the rinse cycle then washes away. If you rinse off all those leftover bits, your detergent isn’t going to be able to attach to them, and therefore, won’t clean your dishes as well.

Of course, large amounts of food or full-on leftovers should be removed before sticking your plates in the washing rack, but bits of sauce, crumbs, or grease residue are totally fine and actually should stay.

If you’re not a pre-rinser but still think your dishwasher isn’t cleaning as well as it should, you might want to try a rinsing agent to help remove any stubborn leftovers. It could also be that your machine just needs a good cleaning.

[Via The Spruce]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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