Dishwashers – Detergents and Best Practices!

ByAdam Pate

Dishwashers – Detergents and Best Practices!

Getting the best results from your dishwashers means taking many things into consideration.  Below we will break down what we think are the three big things you need to pay attention to get the best results.  Detergents, Loading, and Food Level.


Getting the best results with your dishwasher starts with a good undestanding of dishwasher detergents.  Just like with H.E. washers, using the right soap goes a long way towards keeping your dishwasher running its best and will ensure the best cleaning results.

The right soap and amount depends on the dishwasher so you should read your use and care guide that came with your dishwasher.  On most dishwashers there is a fill line inside the dispenser and you should not go above that line.  Don’t think that adding more soap will give you better results.  Extra soap can cause build up resulting in poor washing performance.

You also need to be aware that a lot of detergents are now phosphate free.  This is to help the environment since phosphates can damage rivers and streams.  Phosphates in detergents help cut down the minerals that are naturally found in water such as calcium and lime.   This of course means that over time you may start to see more mineral build up in your dishwasher.

If you see excessive white build up, you should buy a cleaning agent to help clean your dishwasher.  You can buy dishwasher cleaning tablets from our store that have proven to be very effective.  These cleaning tablets help remove the calcium and lime that the the phosphate free soap is no longer removing.

Also don’t forget the importance of rinse aids.  Rinse aid will help the soiled water run off your dishes and will not only help in better rinsing results which means cleaner dishes but will also help you get the best drying results.


None of your dishes should overlap.  It’s great to maximize space when we fill the dishwasher, but too often we overcrowd our dishes.  This prevents dishes from getting clean.  Space the dishes so that each one has the space it needs to get clean.  Keep in mind that water flow comes from underneath.  So always put dishes, dirty side down.  Also try tilting your dishes so that the dirty water can run off during the rinse.

It also matters where you put your dishes.  Your bottom rack will should be reserved for pots and pans.  In general, the dishes that are on the bottom rack will get cleaner because they are closer to the motor.  Also many dishwashers will have a larger spray arm on the bottom.  Save glasses and smaller items for your top rack and again remember that spacing is key.  Make sure that you only put dishes in that are dishwasher safe.


Todays dishwashers do a pretty good job removing food but you still need to scrape your plates in the garbage or disposal.  Some dishwashers have a soft food disposal in them or filter and too much food will cause problems.  Make sure there are not things on the plates that can cause problems such as non food items.

While you should scrape your plates, make sure you do not pre wash them.  This can cause more harm then good.  Light soil level means the soap has nothing to attack and may leave your dishes with a  film.


Following the above will hopefully help you get the best results with your dishwasher.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call us anytime.  We are more than happy to assist you in any way we can.



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