How do dishwashers work?
Dishwashers clean your dishes by spraying them with hot water and dish detergent through several water fills and drains, followed by drying. The hot water comes from spray arms or towers. Although they may differ in size, shape, and placement, they all work similarly to spread the soap, remove soil and food messes, and then rinse your dishes clean. A hot dry cycle heats your dishes so they dry more quickly and with less water spotting.
Get tips for maintaining your dishwasher.
Is there a correct way to load the dishwasher?
Every dishwasher is different, so always refer to your owner’s manual, but the general principles of loading a dishwasher are typically the same. Always face dishes inwards towards the center of your machine. Put larger, bulky items like pots and baking sheets on the sides or in the back, paying special attention to the path of the sprayer and the location of your dishwasher’s detergent chamber. Glasses and heat-sensitive plastics should go in the top rack. Avoid water spots by placing glasses between tines, not over them. And for super clean utensils, try alternating the way you place silverware into the utensil basket with some head-first and others feet-first to avoid accidental nesting during the wash cycle. For more detailed instructions, check out our article on how to load a dishwasher correctly to learn more.
Do I have to use a dishwasher detergent, or can I use other types of soap in my dishwasher?
You should not substitute or add any other cleaning products or hand-dishwashing liquid for automatic dishwasher detergent. All other types of detergents or soaps produce too many suds for the water action to clean your dishes. Too many suds may also cause a dishwasher to overflow, which can be damaging to both your dishwasher and the surfaces around it.
Are there items I should not place in my dishwasher?
Yes. A good rule of thumb is to leave out wood, iron, silver, aluminum, or any china or crystal not labeled dishwasher-safe. Dawn Pure Essentials is a great choice for those items that should be hand-washed, as these items can be permanently discolored or damaged in the dishwasher. You can learn more here. When in doubt, follow the manufacturer's recommendation on what is dishwasher-safe.
How do I ensure my dishes dry properly in the dishwasher?
Always load your dishes properly so that they do not collect excess water.
Heat and the use of rinse aid in accordance with your dishwasher manufacturer’s specifications will help your dishes to dry faster after the wash cycle. Cascade Rinse Aid is specifically formulated to give you outstanding spot protection—plus amazing shine and drying. Our rinse aid has specialized wetting agents that allow water to sheet off the dishes and helps rinse away food particles and residues that can cause spots on dishes.