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Stop Rinsing Your Dishes Before You Put Them In The Dishwasher

Flickr - Peapod Labs

Listen, doing dishes is arguably the worst household chore. Having to scrape off all of those giant food pieces can be a real hassle, and don't even get me started on leftover sauces crusted onto a plate.

Luckily, the dishwasher was invented and saved many of us a lot of frustration. But even with the wonderful appliance, a lot of us are still having issues with our dishes. Why aren't they getting as clean as the dish washing detergent commercials say they should? Well, apparently it's because we're doing too much of the work for them.

If you have a dishwasher, chances are that when you go to load it, you always make sure to rinse off the dishes before you put them in. But even when we do, we tend to find there are still little bits of food stuck onto the plates and cookware that were supposed to be clean.

We've all been conditioned to believe that rinsing dishes will get them cleaner, but apparently that's totally wrong.

Morgan Brashear, scientist with Procter & Gamble, claims that rinsing your dishes is why you end up with food still stuck on them, and it's because our dishwashers are way smarter than we're giving them credit for.

Brashear says that most modern dishwashers have sensors inside them that detect food, and if you rinse the particles away, the dishwasher won't run as thorough of a cleaning.

"The water in the pre-wash will remove any loose soils the same way they would be removed with water alone by rinsing in the sink — think things like ketchup or loose crumbs,” she explained. "The machine will then recognize that there is food present and will run a more thorough cleaning cycle."

But for those of you who are still convinced that rinsing is your best option, she explains why it's not helpful to rinse the dishes.

"If you pull a helicopter cleaner and you rinse all of your dishes except for one casserole dish with some baked on cheese or one morning bowl of stuck-on oatmeal, nothing will come off in the pre-wash, telling your dishwasher that there’s no food present, and it will run a shorter cycle, leading to a less thorough clean and potentially some cheese or oatmeal left on the dish.”

This doesn't mean that you should leave all food scraps there, because your dishwasher is a not a garbage disposal, but leaving a bit of residue will make sure that it runs a proper deep-cleaning cycle.

The one thing that you should do though is make a habit of cleaning out the filter on your dishwasher. The left over pieces of food that come off in the wash can build up over time, so just clean out the filter every once and a while to make sure your dishwasher keeps running at it's full ability.

Do you rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher?

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com