Appliances have definitely made lives easier and a dishwasher is one of those gadgets sent from tech heaven that can make washing dishes a breeze. But are you making these mistakes while using your dishwasher? These can shorten can life of your dishwasher and increase your expenditure on appliance repair. Keep on reading to find out more.

Overloading The Dishwasher

This one is a no-brainer, but you definitely don’t want to overload the dishwasher because that’s not only going to lead to dirty dishes, but it might put a lot of load on the motor and it can wear down prematurely.

There is a specific capacity, above which you shouldn’t normally go. If you load your dishwasher to capacity then it’s going to wash the dishes nicely and you’ll not only get clean and dry dishes at the end, but your dishwasher will last longer too.

Not Loading The Dishwasher To Its Capacity

This might sound misleading when you’ve just come to terms with the fact that you shouldn’t overload the dishwasher. That’s true in itself, but you also shouldn’t load your dishwasher under capacity. A dishwasher isn’t meant to wash a single plate or glass. It’s meant to be loaded to full capacity, in order to work properly.

You’ll just be wasting water and detergent and your dishwasher might misbehave as well, if you turn it on, when the unit isn’t filled with dishes. So, the best thing to do is to fill it just to its capacity and neither overfill it nor leave it empty with just a couple of dishes.

Washing Sharp Utensils

If your dishwasher doesn’t have a third rack, that’s usually meant for utensils, then you shouldn’t pop in sharp things like forks or knives blindly into the unit and turn it on. It’s better to wash those things by hand because the powerful water jets, which are the main cleaning feature of a dishwasher, can knock over lightweight utensils like knives and forks off the rack and they can go flying in the dishwasher.

Things aren’t meant to move around in the dishwasher because that can lead to damage inside the unit. The walls of the dishwasher might get scratched and the knives can actually block the water inlet and outlet valves and that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

To avoid your appliance breaking down on you, it’s important that you don’t wash lightweight and sharp objects in the dishwasher or if there’s a designated rack for utensils, then you can certainly use that. But it’s better to keep knives and blades away from the dishwasher if you want it to last longer and keep making your life easier.

Haphazard Arrangement

You might not know this, but there is a certain way in which the racks are designed and the dishes are meant to be stacked in a certain way to ensure proper cleaning. The racks are designed to let the dishes stand upright and turned over so that the water jets can target the dirty plates and dishes correctly and everything is washed perfectly.

You don’t want to set the dishes as you would on a table, otherwise, the top part of the dishes might not get cleaned and you’ll just be wasting a load of water and detergent over nothing.

Not Using The Correct Setting

A dishwasher has a lot of washing and temperature settings, just like a washing machine. There are different utensils and dishes that require different types of washes and that’s also a learning curve for you. The settings of the dishwasher may seem the same to you, but they’re actually not.

If the dishes are more greasy, then you’ll want to select a hot wash setting. If you want to do a quick spin of cleaning in the dishwasher, then there is a normal setting for that and the list goes on.

You’re Not Cleaning The Dishwasher

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe your dishwasher might also need cleaning? That’s right! Your dishwasher does clean the dishes for you but it’s up to you to maintain it and make sure that it keeps operating smoothly in the long run.

Every so often, you’ll want to clear out the dishwasher and clean the inside of it too. You want to inspect the jets, to ensure that they’re not blocked. You want to check the filters and the lower part of the dishwasher as well, just to make sure that there isn’t any gunk or dried food on the surface of the assembly.

Just as your clean your oven or refrigerator frequently that leads to less occurrences of needing refrigerator repair Northern VA, dishwasher cleaning is as important.

Rinsing The Dishes Before Hand

This is a very common practice among people. Before loading the dishwasher, a lot of people can pre-rinse the dishes in the sink, just to ensure that they don’t smell before the dishwasher is turned on. That’s just a huge waste of water. You’re essentially doing the job of a dishwasher and wasting water as well as electricity.

If you’re worried about the dishes not being clean, post-wash, then there are pre-rinse settings in many dishwashers and they can do the job for you, with much less waste and almost no elbow grease.

Not Letting The Unit Dry

This is also important to remember, especially if you don’t want to deal with a smelly dishwasher. After a load of dishes is done, you’ll want to open the door of the dishwasher to let the unit dry completely. This is a much better way of drying the dishwasher, other than using the hot air drying setting if your dishwasher has it.

If you want to save a bit of electricity, then after every load of washing, open the door about halfway to let the chamber dry completely. Then, you can close it and call it a day. In this way, your dishwasher unit will be dry and there’ll be no funky smell either.

Putting Pods In The Main Chamber

A lot of people don’t use the detergent chamber for the right purpose. There are dishwasher pods available that can be thrown into the detergent chamber and that’s going to deposit the right amount of detergent from time to time, as needed, and the dishes will be washed efficiently.

However, a lot of the time, people can throw these pods into the main washing chamber of the dishwasher where the dishes are, and while that doesn’t damage the dishwasher per se, it does waste a lot of detergent and you’ll see that the pod is used up very quickly in this way.

Wrong Selection Of Dishwasher

This is more of a purchasing tip, than anything, but you want to select the right dishwasher for yourself. There are a plethora of dishwashers available, with different settings, capacities, and exterior designs. You definitely want to go over the specifications of each dishwasher and select the right one.

You don’t want to go for the pretty-looking appliances, instead choose a dishwasher with good capacity, more settings, and eco-friendly modes, if possible.


These mistakes are quite common to occur, and a lot of people won’t realize that they’re actually ruining the performance of their dishwasher by doing these things. So, the next time you see yourself repeating these things, stop yourself right there. If you find any problems with your dishwasher, hire a dishwasher repair Alexandria expert to fix them.