Rinsing your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher seems to self-evidently make sense – getting the majority of the grime off before you put it in the dishwasher just means that the machine has to do less work, right?
A recent article from MyRecipes has reminded us that we’re all loading the dishwasher wrong – we shouldn’t be rinsing at all.
A 2015 Wall Street Journal feature was the first to inform us of the info, with a rep from the Cascade detergent brand telling the newspaper that you should “never pre-rinse”.
“Don’t hand wash anything, put everything in the dishwasher,” Casey Tubman said. One reason? Washing detergents are often specifically designed to cling to food particles – meaning pre-washing can prevent your dishes from getting really, really clean.
Consumer Reports also points out that many newer washing machines have a sensor to detect how dirty dishes are before deciding on a cycle. If you’ve rinsed your dishes, the machine might be fooled into thinking it only needs to a quick or less powerful wash – meaning your dishes stay dirty.
But there’s also an environmental factor. According to Tubman, you waste more money and water rinsing your dishes than you do simply putting them in for a regular wash in the machine.
You might be shocked by how much water you’re wasting with pre-rinsing, too – because it’s a not-insignificant 6,000 gallons a year.
According to Consumer Reports, dishwashing machines are far more effective than hand washing, too. It might sound surprising – dishwashers use far more electricity, for instance – but in actual fact the average dishwasher uses 3 to 5 gallons per load, with most of us using around 27 gallons when we do our dishes.
All that time diligently spent rinsing your dishes, totally wasted. What a bummer.