When I was growing up, a lot of our normal routine made sense to me. My mom always had us help out with cleaning our home every two weeks. We folded the laundry as soon as it was done. We made sure to remove our shoes in the mudroom before entering our home. But one of the routines that never, ever made sense to me was having to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
It never made sense to me! Why would you wash the dishes when you’re about to put them in a machine that will do it for you?
Apparently, it’s a hot topic in numerous households. When I got married, my in-laws are the type of people who don’t bother doing the pre-rinse before putting them in the dishwasher. Hallelujah! We just eat dinner together and put our dirty dishes in the dishwasher and let it run. Done, done, and done.
So which way really is the right way? Some people make the argument that pre-rinsing prevents the food on the dishes to harden if they end up sitting in there for a while. This does make sense, but according to a Wall Street Journal article on this very topic, it’s really not doing you any favors.
Remember, dishwashers are machines. Some have sensors that actually can detect how dirty the dishes really are. This happens in the pre-wash, where the machine will remove any leftover food on the dishes. However, if there isn’t any food on those dishes than the dishwasher will immediately switch to the cleaning cycle.
Obviously, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, given that the pre-wash was simply done by hand. However, this is a big deal if you end up throwing in a dish that actually wasn’t clean. If you have a dish (or two) that have some food on it, while the others are rinsed off, the dishwasher will likely detect “cleaner” dishes and won’t do that pre-wash that the soiled dishes need.
At this point, you have an option: You could do the pre-wash, or you could let the dishwasher do it for you. Since I absolutely despise doing the dishes, I’m going to choose the option with as little work as possible. I also plan on sending this article over to my mother as soon as it’s published, just to make a point so I never have to pre-rinse dishes when I’m back home ever again.
Now if your dishwasher doesn’t have those pre-wash cycle sensors, maybe it’s time to update your dishwasher! Here’s how to replace a dishwasher in 4 easy steps.