Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Maximum Performance From Your Dishwasher

Consumers Union reports on dishwashers. If you have one, you have had the same results I have. There are times the dishes come out with a "grit" on them. There are times there are still food chunks adhered like concrete on them. And then there are the times a cloudy film covers your good glassware.@!*#@&!
Here are their recommendations--and some of mine.
*Scrape off the chunks.
*Face the dirtiest side to the center.
*Do not nest, silverware for example.
*Rest glasses upside down, not touching.
*Make good use of the prongs for items that can tip.
*Hand wash silver, crystal and china. There are components in dishwashing soaps that can etch these items and ruin them forever.
*If you wash only full loads and it takes a few days to get there, a funky smell can emanate from your dishwasher. Pour 1/2 cup white vinegar in your dishwasher.
*If the interior of your dishwasher is white and it gets brown stains in it, run a short cycle (with no dishes in it) with a packet of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid. This type of Kool-Aid contains citric acid, which cleans those stains out. It's amazing how well it works.
*Dishwashers today use only about 1-1.5 gallons of water per wash cycle. If your water takes a long time to get hot, realize you may be washing atleast one, maybe more cycles with cold water. Run you kitchen faucet until the water gets hot before starting your dishwasher.
*Most people use too much dishwasher soap. You only need the equivalent of 1 Tablespoon to clean a full load of dishes. That white cloudy film on your glassware is a result of using too much dishwasher soap.
*Most dishwasher soaps currently have phosphates in them to help clean and sanitize your dishes. They add to pollution if they get into the bodies of water, like lakes and rivers, by creating a good petri dish for algae. There are some products that do not have phosphates. They are Simplicity and Method Dishwasher Detergents. Consumers Union reports they don't clean worth a damn. (My words, not theirs!) Some states are trying to prohibit phosphate dishwasher soaps all together. *Cascade and Finish rank best among the top dishwasher detergents, with Cascade with bleach action being #1.
*The rinsing agents do help rid you of the streaking issue...so does 1/2 cup of vinegar/load.

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