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Can I Really Put Delicate Dishes in the Dishwasher? And Other FAQs

by Waverly Wilde

The dishwasher is one appliance you can always count on to give you a hand with the kitchen cleanup, no matter how big or small. Whether you need to tend to a giant mess left after a feast or just a couple dishes from dinner, dishwashers these days can handle almost anything you throw their way.  

So, while you probably already know that dishwashers are fantastic at cleaning cups and plates, you may be wondering, “what else can they do?” It’s a fair question and it’s not like there is always a clear guide as to everything they are capable of or how to handle them properly. That’s why we’ve gathered a few of our most frequently asked questions in the hopes that we’ll be able to answer some of yours and make cleanup in your cooking space more convenient than ever.  

Can I really put delicate dishes in the dishwasher? 

If your dishwasher has the right setting for gently washing your dishes, then you can absolutely put delicate dishware in the dishwasher. Crystal and china tend to be no-no's when it comes to washing in the dishwasher, but if you have a Crystal Protection System like this Thermador dishwasher (DWHD770W), then having those delicate items run in a dishwashing cycle shouldn’t be an issue. 

Is there a correct way to load the dishwasher? 

There isn’t so much a correct way to load the dishwasher as there are a few rules of thumb to follow while you fill up the racks with your dirty dishes. 

  1. Place plates in the bottom section of the dishwasher and face them toward the center. 
  2. Glasses and bowls go in the top rack at an angle so that you can be sure that they get water from below. 
  3. All plastic pieces go on the top rack since the heating element is generally on the bottom which could cause your items to warp or even melt. 
  4. Pots and pans go in the bottom rack with the open-side down. 
  5. Cutlery goes in the basket with the handle down unless it’s a knife – point those down so as to prevent cutting yourself when removing them later. 

If you need a dishwasher that’s big enough for all your dishes and can help you organize them all, this Frigidaire dishwasher (FPID2498SF) with SpacePro Organization System will get the job done. You’ll get a dishwasher with three racks so that you can experience flexibility while loading your dirty dishes. The top, third rack is a great place for smaller items and utensils while the second rack is adjustable for fitting larger items if needed. 

What shouldn’t I wash in the dishwasher? 

Well that’s a funny question and the answer is a long one. Electrical equipment, books, and your pet dog are a few obvious ones, but if you were meaning more along the lines of items pertaining to your dishes, here’s a good list to follow: 

  1. Wood items – The heat will dry them out and make them crack. 
  2. Painted dishware – The paint is likely to wash away after a cycle so it’s a good idea to gently wash this one in the sink. 
  3. Sharp knives – They become dull over time. 
  4. Cast Iron – You don’t want to strip the pan’s seasoning so it’s best to avoid dishwashers. 
  5. Copper/Precious Metals – The intensity of the dishwasher could dull and discolor your prized heirlooms and it’s best to clean by hand so as to avoid tarnishing them. 

Should I wash or rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher? 

NO! Sorry we don’t mean to be so aggressive, but if you rinse or wash your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher to clean, there’s a chance your dishes won’t get as good of a wash. We know it sounds odd, but it’s the truth. Many innovative dishwashers are built with smart tech which allows them to use sensors for determining how dirty a dish is and adjust the cleaning based on the load size and soil level just like the ClearScan Sensor Cycle on this JennAir dishwasher (JDTSS244GS). 

So, it would seem that the less you do, the more your dishwasher cleans. Go figure! 

Is there a way to prevent water spots after a dishwasher cycle? 

If you happen to end up with water spots after almost every wash cycle is done and drying, then we understand that you must be a bit peeved with your dishwasher. Fortunately, many dishwashers these days aim to reduce those water spots so you end up with sparkly dishware every time. In fact, this LG dishwasher (LDT7808SS) uses TrueSteam to not only eliminate water spots by up to 60 percent, but also uses the power of Steam to destroy all food grime. Not to mention, LG dishwashers are certified by the National Sanitization Foundation and reduce 99.999% of all bacteria during the TrueSteam setting.  

Understanding how your dishwasher works is the best way to get the most out of it. If you happen to have more questions regarding your dishwasher or are interested in getting a new one for your kitchen, our team is available at East Coast Appliance to help! Give us a call or stop by one of our locations to get the expert assistance you’ve been needing.