People clean dishes better than dishwashers

The biggest misconceptions about dishwashers

Dishwashers, like cookers and refrigerators, are now part of almost every kitchen. Hardly anyone wants to do without this practical piece of kitchen technology, as it takes on the most unpopular activity in the kitchen and cleans even heavily soiled dishes without complaint. However, although almost every household owns and regularly uses such a device, there are some common misconceptions about the dishwasher. Many of these budget rules developed decades ago and were often correct back then. But technology has made rapid advances, and quite a few of “Grandma's dishwasher tips” have long since become obsolete. So that you not only rely on the latest technology when it comes to dishwashers, but also know-how about this kitchen appliance for kitchen planning, we want to tell you about in the following the biggest dishwasher mistakes to inform.

Misconception # 1: Pre-rinsing brings better results

A mistake that has persisted for a long time. In the 1960s and 1970s, the first fully automatic machines really achieved even better cleaning results if you pre-wash the dishes by hand, but that was a long time ago. Optimized water nozzles, electronic program control and modern dishwashing detergents ensure that even the most critical housewife can find nothing wrong with dishes that are only washed in the machine. So you can do without pre-rinsing completely. This not only saves you water and detergent, it also saves you an enormous amount of time.

Misconception No. 2: Washing by hand uses less water

This is also a prejudice from the early days of the dishwashers. According to experts, the water consumption of dishwashers has reduced by around 70 percent over the past 20 years. It is now almost impossible to wash dishes by hand with as little water as a dishwasher consumes on average. And machine washing is also usually more economical when it comes to detergent. Because quite a few “handwashers” dose the agent according to the principle “a lot helps a lot”. However, this means that you not only burden your wallet but also the environment far more than necessary. Washing by hand is only preferable if you only have one or two plates to clean. In all other cases the dishwasher is much more economical.

Misconception No. 3: You don't have to refill salt

In all honesty: Why should manufacturers install a salt container in the machines when the necessary salt was already in the tabs? In fact, the salt is needed to soften the water, because soft water is much more suitable for washing dishes. Modern dishwashers have a so-called ion exchanger that makes the water softer, i.e. removes lime from the water. This ion exchanger is regenerated by the added salt, hence the name regeneration salt. There are multi-tabs for the dishwasher that also soften the water, but they cannot replace the regeneration salt. They only ensure that soft water is available in the rinse cycle. They do not help to regenerate the ion exchanger. In order to clean your dishes with soft water over the long term and thus prevent limescale and water stains, the salt is absolutely necessary in addition to the tabs. Therefore, always make sure that there is enough salt and rinse aid in your dishwasher and top it up regularly.


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Misconception no. 4: When loading the machine, you should do without a system

The myth persists that a messy dishwasher would deliver better results because it would better direct the water jet into corners and gaps. Nothing could be less right. Even a single incorrectly placed plate can interrupt the jet and prevent other dishes from being cleaned properly. Nowadays the water flow in dishwashers is precisely calculated, and only if individual pieces are placed in the intended place can it be ensured that the water is evenly distributed in all areas of the interior. You will therefore achieve the best washing results if you place the dishes where the manufacturer intended them to be and do not forget to regularly top up with salt and rinse aid. In addition, this is how you make the best use of the space in the machine.

Mistake no. 5: So that the machine does not build up limescale, you should choose different programs

Many dishwasher owners believe that you shouldn't use the same wash program over and over again. The ECO programs would save energy, but to prevent the machine from calcifying, you should consciously select a higher program from time to time. This is simply wrong. Modern machines have an ion exchanger that decalcifies the water. The temperature or the duration of the washing program have no influence on any calcification of the machine. The best way to prevent limescale build-up in the dishwasher is to check regularly whether there is still enough regeneration salt in the machine. Nevertheless, it is recommended to run the dishwasher every now and then on the program at the highest temperature in order to loosen any grease residues and thus enjoy the appliance for as long as possible.

Misconception 6: ECO programs are more expensive

ECO or organic programs can take between three and five hours. But anyone who believes that these programs therefore consume more energy than conventional programs is wrong. The ECO program not only uses less water, it is also not heated as much. So that the dishes can still be cleaned effectively, the water simply runs longer in the dishwasher. In numbers: A full ten cents can be saved per wash cycle if you choose the ECO program instead of the standard program

Misconception No. 7: You don't have to clean the dishwasher

A device that is used to clean dishes cleans itself at the same time - doesn't it? In fact, there is still the misconception that you don't have to clean the dishwasher (or even the washing machine) because they are used for cleaning. But that is wrong. Over time, food residues, dirt and grease accumulate in the dishwasher, which is often responsible for the development of unpleasant odors when dishes are washed clean. For this reason alone, regular cleaning of the dishwasher is necessary. For quick cleaning, all you have to do is remove the filter from the dishwasher and rinse it clean under clear water. For intensive cleaning, you should first remove the filter and wash arms and remove any residues under clean water. Then the rubber is cleaned with a sponge and a little washing-up liquid. Finally, put one to two tablespoons of baking soda in the dishwasher, fill the powder compartment with vinegar and let the empty dishwasher run at high degrees.

Mistake no. 8: The glass-and-fork symbol stands for dishwasher-safe

It can mainly be found on plastic dishes and cooking utensils: the symbol with a glass and a fork. However, it does not mean that you can put the appropriate dishes in the dishwasher. In fact, it is the EU symbol for Cooking utensils that are suitable for contact with food. So you can be sure that plastic forks, bread boxes and the like do not release any harmful substances into the food. However, it does not say anything about the heat resistance of the material, which is why it can happen that plastic dishes with this symbol are deformed by the heat of the dishwasher.

Misconception No. 9: You can use detergent instead of tabs

There is no place for detergent in the dishwasher. Anyone who tries to replace tabs or cleaning powder with "detergent" will be in for a nasty surprise - mountains of foam. This oozes out on all sides and can permanently damage the dishwasher. If detergent has got into the machine, the water should be pumped out and the foam thoroughly removed if possible. This works, for example, with salt, vinegar, oil or ice cubes.
Detergent is also not a good substitute for rinse aid. The rinse aid ensures that the dishes dry better in the machine. The use of rinse aid prevents limescale and water stains from forming on the dishes. It should therefore be topped up regularly. The correct dosage of rinse aid depends on the hardness of the water used. Rinse aid can only be dispensed with in regions with very soft water.

Common questions about dishwashers

The most efficient way to do this is to run a full dishwasher. If you wash a few plates or cups by hand every now and then, it uses significantly more electricity and water than a modern dishwasher.

Yes. Even if many dishwasher tabs now contain salt, it should still be refilled regularly. The dishwasher salt regenerates the machine's ion exchanger and thus prevents limescale stains from forming on the dishes. The harder the water, the more salt is needed.

In the case of a substructure, the device is simply pushed under the worktop. The control bar is completely accessible. Partially integrated is when the front of the dishwasher is adapted to the design of the kitchen, but the control bar remains visible. Fully integrated devices disappear completely behind the kitchen fronts. You have to open it to use it. Fully integrated dishwashers are supplied without front panels or worktops and should be installed by the kitchen professional.

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