11 Dishwasher Do’s And Don’ts You Need To Know

dishwasher guide

Based on everything that I’ve heard from my readers over the years, there’s one particular household chore that seems to be a source of contention for many people. Can you guess what it is? I would have guessed it had something to do with cleaning the toilet, but it has nothing to with the bathroom at all!

Surprisingly, a lot of household chore drama seems to stem from the dishwasher. I’ve heard arguments about loading it, unloading it, how much it can hold, when to start a wash cycle, and much more!

Related: 11 Things You Should Never Put In Your Dishwasher


I’ve actually received a handful of specific requests to make a printable guide about the right way to load a dishwasher. I love to meet specific requests where I can, but it’s difficult to make a universal guide for loading dishwashers because every model is different.

Some have unique features that other machines don’t have, so it would be hard to make recommendations that would be equally useful to everyone. (One spot you can find great tips about loading your specific dishwasher? Your dishwasher’s User’s Manual!)

So instead, I decided to put together a dishwasher guide with some useful “do’s and dont’s,” which I hope will help settle at least a few of those dishwasher-related squabbles!

Below you’ll find a links to download my dishwasher guide as a printable PDF and as a mobile-friendly image file. Feel free to download either, or both!

Download The Dishwasher Guide

“Do’s and Don’ts of Dishwashers” Printable Guide

Click the button below to download a printable PDF file of my “Do’s and Don’ts of Dishwashers” guide.

Download The Dishwasher Guide PDF

“Do’s and Don’ts of Dishwashers” Mobile Guide

Click the button below to download a mobile-friendly image file of my “Do’s and Don’ts of Dishwashers” guide.

Download The Mobile Dishwasher Guide

Here are a few extra tips and tricks for making the most of your dishwasher…

5 Bonus Dishwasher Tips


1. Clean Your Sponges

Wash your kitchen sponge or dish brush once a week in the utensil compartment of your dishwasher. This will help eliminate bacteria and mildew that may be forming in your cleaning tools.


2. Pre-Treat Extra Dirty Dishes

Mix a couple of cups of water with a small amount of dishwasher detergent, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Use the spray bottle to “pre-treat” heavily soiled dishes before you load them into your dishwasher. The detergent will go to work immediately on the grease and grime, and your dish will be more likely to come out sparkling clean.


3. Rinse Aid Check

Check to see if your detergent has a rinse aid in the formula. If it does, you probably don’t need to add more rinse aid to your washer!


4. Clean The Spray Arms

If your dishes don’t seem to be coming out as clean as they once did, use a toothpick to clean out the small holes on your dishwasher’s spray arms. They can get clogged up with gunk over time, which can reduce the spraying action.


5. Unload From The Bottom Up

When you’re unloading your dishes, start with the bottom rack first. That way you won’t be dripping any leftover water from the top rack onto the clean dishes in the bottom rack. :-)

For more great tips about your dishwasher, check out the link below.

Related: 10 Things Everyone With A Dishwasher Should Know

Do you have any other dishwasher tips you would add to this list?