How to Get Clean Dishes on the First Run of Your Dishwasher


A dishwasher is one of the most convenient appliances, but itโ€™s frustrating when a wash cycle ends, and your dishes are still dirty. Food particles and by-products of cooking make the appliance work hard. Dishwashers are designed to conserve water, and you should not have to run another cycle to get your dishes clean.

If you follow these tips, your dishes will get clean on the first run:

Scrape Your Dishes First

Thereโ€™s no need to pre-rinse your dishes. The dishwasher and detergent will work less efficiently. It also wastes water, so all you need to do is scrape the excess food so there are fewer particles left behind. Just scrape food and debris into the garbage before putting anything into the dishwasher.

Donโ€™t Use Too Much Soap

When it comes to dishwashers, more soap doesnโ€™t mean cleaner dishes. Overuse of soap, or using the wrong type of detergent, can damage the appliance. Always follow the manufacturerโ€™s instructions for the recommended type and amount of detergent depending on the size of the load.

Clean the Filter

Dishwasher filters get dirty and clogged. Maintaining them ensures food particles and scraps that build up are removed, so your dishwasher works efficiently. To clean the filter, spray it out or wash it in the sink with hot water. A clean filter will enable your dishwasher to drain properly so your dishes get clean.

Run the Hot Water

Run hot water from the sink faucet before starting the dishwasher. This ensures the hot water heater is turned up and supplies the appliance with hot water. It will get your dishes clean and eliminate any bacteria or other microbes. Water can take longer to heat up in winter, so a delay in heating doesnโ€™t mean thereโ€™s a water heater problem.

Clean Your Dishwasher

The cleaner your unit is, the cleaner your dishes will be after one cycle. Load a cup of white vinegar and run a normal cycle to clean out leftover food particles. Cleaning the dishwasher trap removes bits of food that have collected there. If the tray is removable, take it out and rinse it in the sink, or wipe off the excess buildup with a towel. And, if any grime collects on the dishwasher seals, wipe them down with a damp towel.

Run the Appliance on the Correct Cycle

If washing extremely dirty dishes, using a shorter, lighter setting wonโ€™t save time or money. Wash your dirtiest dishes together for the best performance. The way your dishwasher was designed makes this the best way to get dishes clean the first time.

Do a Water Test

Checking for hard water can determine why there are marks on your dishes. If there is heavy mineral content in the water, a water softener can help. A teaspoon of vinegar added during the rinse cycle can help as well.

Donโ€™t Overload the Dishwasher

Packing dishes and bowls too tightly can result in uneven washing. If you feel the need to stick one extra plate in there, just wash it by hand and let the dishwasher do the rest.

Is Your Dishwasher Not Cleaning Properly? Call Wilshire Refrigeration & Appliance for Help

We are the leading Cove dishwasher repair and maintenance company serving Southern California and Las Vegas. If your dishes arenโ€™t getting clean, call us and a technician will inspect your appliance. Weโ€™ll provide tips for maintaining your dishwasher and perform any repair necessary. To request service, contact us online or call 800-427-3653.