Modern-day dishwashers have surely resolved the fight among couples regarding who does the washing after a late-night party. But it has given rise to new arguments about its use and how to correctly handle the load of utensils. Yes, though dishwashers have been around in our kitchens for quite some time, they have always been the epicentre of kitchen debates because of the numerous myths that surround their functionality.
To help you debunk some common dishwasher myths and unlock the hidden potential of this kitchen giant that takes the load of washing off your shoulders, we asked a few experts and cleaning professionals to unveil the facts and clear the myths that undermine the prospects of this extremely useful kitchen appliance.
Myth 1: Dishwashers Are Not as Effective as Hand Washing
Using a dishwasher is far more convenient and efficient when compared to hand washing the dishes. As Paul Berry owner of Mr.Appliance says, “Not only do dishwashers have tremendous water and energy-saving benefits, they can also safely help with cleaning additional items outside of your kitchen, like plastic toys and other household items.”
They are safe, secure and hygienic when it comes to washing kitchen stuff that needs utmost care.
Myth 2: Dishwashers Cannot Handle Large Utensils and Cookware
Contrary to the common myth that a dishwasher cannot handle large pots, pans, bakeware, and casseroles, modern-day dishwashers are designed to handle the heaviest load including Indian pots and pressure cookers. However, load your dishwasher correctly by placing larger dishes in the bottom rack. Also, ensure they do not obstruct the water spray arm.
Myth 3: It is Not Safe to Clean Baby Feeding Bottles in Dishwashers
Your baby is a part of the family, so his feeding bottles can go in the dishwasher like any other family dish from the kitchen. A dishwasher’s hot water cycle is ideal for cleaning baby feeding bottles but make sure that it is dishwasher safe to withstand the high temperature.
Place them upside down and ensure that the small parts of the bottle are loaded in the mesh bag or upper basket to avoid trapping them in the drain. Remember, though dishwasher only cleans them and does not sterilize them.
Myth 4: You Should Pre-Rinse the Dishes Before Loading Them in the Dishwasher
The most popular myth that is largely responsible for undermining this genuinely useful kitchen appliance and one that is largely wrong! You do not need to pre-rinse the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, after all, if you had to do this gruelling task it would defeat the purpose of bringing home a dishwasher.
All you need to do is just scrape any solid food from the plates so that it does not clog your drain. Alexander Fraga from Frisco Maids shares his thoughts, “The pre-rinse before the dishwasher is a myth. You don’t want to rinse the dishes and clean them too hard because then you are doing double the work and secondly the dishwasher sensors may think your dishes are cleaner than they are, therefore reducing the cycle length.”
For more clarity or specific food items and stains, refer to the instruction manual of the machine.
Myth 5: You Can Start a Dishwasher Only When it is Fully Loaded
This is half true. Running a dishwasher cycle with only a few plates and a couple of mugs after breakfast can cost you dearly because the appliance consumes reasonable energy. So not using it to its optimum level is not a prudent decision. However, having said that, overcrowding the dishwasher with loads of utensils is not a wise idea either. It obstructs the washing arms of the appliance, hindering its cleaning capacity. Finding the happy balance of the load is what makes the dishwasher effectively do your dishes.
Myth 6: Dishwashers are for Dishes Only
Don’t be misguided by its humble name, because a dishwasher can handle stuff far beyond your expectation. Besides your regular kitchen utensils, cookware, plates, and pots it can handle other household items like baby bottles, plastic toys, refrigerator shelves, some parts of the vacuum cleaner, and everything that is tagged with the label ‘dishwasher safe’.
Myth 7: Dishwashers Consume Lot of Electricity and Water
One of the most misconstrued facts that discourages people from using a dishwasher is the thought that it consumes a lot of electricity and water in every cycle. However, facts unveil a different truth. Studies suggest that hand washing a 12 piece dinner set consumes about 100 litres of water with the tap running (a common practice) while you scrub and rinse. A dishwasher can accomplish the same task with just 10-17 litres of water. Cathryn Bailey a home renovation expert and founder of Bomisch agrees, “Many modern dishwashers will rinse the bottom rack, pool the water, and rinse the top rack with the same water instead of disposing of it and refilling it. How dishwashers cycle and reuse water is incredibly efficient.”
Similarly, most modern-day dishwashers are energy efficient. They use just about 1800 Watts of energy which is similar to that used by other appliances like washing machines. Considering the load of the mess that it clears, it is worth the bill you pay for its energy consumption.
Myth 8: Dishwashers Cannot Clean Heavy Stains from Indian Curries and Gravies
Again an understated fact that needs much light. Dishwashers can handle the most stubborn stains left behind from spices, oil and eggs. The hot water can effectively handle tough stains to give you a clean cycle. Just that you need to choose the right dishwasher detergent!
Myth 9: More Dishwasher Detergent For a Cleaner Wash
Contrary to popular belief, more is not always better. Using too much dishwasher detergent can only increase the water consumption of the appliance. It will take up more water to wash off that extra layer of soapy liquid from your dishes. Or it may leave a murky film of soap on your dishes and make your glasses look old and cloudy. Judge the quantity of cleaning agent based on the load that you are cleaning to get the perfect wash.
Myth 10: You Can Put Every Kitchen Tool in the Dishwasher
Though meant for cleaning yet a dishwasher has its decent limitations. Since it uses water at high temperatures avoid tossing items that are made of wood or cast iron. Similarly, non-stick items need gentle hand washing as continuous exposure to high water temperature can alter their non-stick coating. Sharp knives and tools like cheese graters should also not find an entry into the dishwasher. Aluminium and anodized aluminium should also be avoided as the detergent reacts and discolours them.
Myth 11: Glassware Gets Scratched or Cracked while Washing in a Dishwasher
This is so untrue. They get neither cracked nor scratched provided you place them correctly in the placeholders meant for them. This ensures that they are firmly secure and do not bump against each other when the dishwasher is in operation. Modern-day dishwashers handle your crockery and crystalware delicately and with more precautions than you would follow during hand washing.
Myth 12: A Dishwasher Needs no Cleaning
Everything needs cleaning, even if it is an appliance that does cleaning itself. Though you don’t need to clean a dishwasher after every load, cleaning it once a week is a good idea. Instead of depending on expensive liquids to clean your appliance, you can run a cycle with some white vinegar. This flushes out germs and bacteria that build up from leftover food.
Similarly, the dishwasher filter needs regular attention too. Else, you end up with gritty dishes. Jake Romano from John The Plumber says, “Clean the dishwasher filter regularly to help prevent germs and matter from spreading all over your clean dishware.”
We hope the above facts helped you debunk the common myths that undermine the potential of dishwashers.