Full disclosure - I love my dishwasher. I can't imagine living without one. The convenience and time-saving is huge.
Also? We put pretty much everything in there. Including our crystal and our cooking pots. Sometimes at the same time. We like to live on the wild side. I used to pre-rinse really messy stuff, but since switching to Finish Quantum, I have given up on that. Pre-rinsing has become totally unnecessary now, even egg yolk, mashed potatoes or dried on syrups. (I think my mother-in-law would perish if she saw how we load our dishwasher, but that's a story for another day - her dishes are clean before they go in there. I think she uses it just for sanitizing.)
A little while back Mom Central provided a special webinar for the #FinishRevolution bloggers, put on by Finish's North American dishwasher technician trainer, Diane Hoffman. The webinar provided a wealth of information on dishwashers and their detergents, how they work, and how to make them work better.
Given my experiences with my mother-in-law, and her entirely different approach to the dishwasher, I was very pleased to hear in this webinar that it is completely ok to put my pots and pans in there. You just need to make sure they are placed properly and you are using a good detergent. My machine does have a special pots & pans setting, but I tend to just put them in with my regular dishes, with good results. I used to keep certain messier ones out, but have found the the Finish Quantum does a great job on those as well. So, assuming there is room, in they go. (Check out my experiment with a cheesy, messy baking dish.)
I learned a lot from the webinar, some of it pretty technical. But here are some key, practical takeaways for you, to help you get the most out of your dishwasher.
1. Load properly. This is one the Teen would do well to remember. The water has to be able to get to the dishes in your machine. If you have spoons nesting into each other, knives lying against each other, or bowls covered by a pot - surfaces can't be reached and you will be left with food residue.
2. Use hot water. Dishwashers are designed for use with hot water. They typically need 120 degree water temperature, which is pretty standard. If you have your hot water boiler turned down, your water may not be hot enough to get your dishes clean.
3. Check the labels. If you are unsure whether or not an item is dishwasher safe, check for a label or imprinted instructions. Most "questionable" items will say.
4. Use a rinse agent. Why? According to our webinar, "it makes water wetter." Basically, the rinse agent lowers the surface tension of the water droplets, so they more easily slide off your dishes, providing less opportunity to leave a water stain or food particles behind. Cool, hey?
5. Clean your dishwasher. You'd think with all that detergent and water flowing through there, your machine would be naturally clean, right? Not so much. Build-ups can happen in the body of the machine and the sprayer arm, as well as in the hoses. Finish recommends using their cleaner once a month to prevent build-up. Yucky odours can build-up too. I have to say that I found an amazing difference in my machine, its efficiency, and its smell once I used the cleaner!
Would you like to try Finish Quantum for yourself? Finish Canada has brought back it's 50,000 free sample giveaway on Facebook. And/Or you can enter here to win 2 full-sized packages of Finish Quantum from Raising My Boys. Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below, open to Canadian residents only, and contest closes at midnight EDT, Sunday, June 3.
Good luck! And happy dishwashing :)
Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Blogger Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.a Rafflecopter giveaway