Dishes in the dishwasher
Kitchen Cleaning

How To Wash Dishes In Dishwasher

A dishwasher makes cleaning up after a meal so easy! But there a few rules to remember. Read on to find out more about how to wash dishes in a dishwasher.

Key Steps:

  • Use a product specially designed for use in a dishwasher – dishwasher tablets are a great choice.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using your dishwasher product.
  • Regularly clean your dishwasher to make sure it functions effectively.

Dishwashers can make cleaning up after a messy meal so easy, but it’s important to use the right technique, products, and dishwasher settings for the cutlery, crockery, and pans that you’re trying to get clean. Here’s our essential guide on how to wash dishes in a dishwasher, making it quicker and easier to get your kitchenware clean and hygienic.

How to Prepare Your Dishes for the Dishwasher

When you’ve spent hours slaving away over a hot stove, all you want to do is throw the dishes into the dishwasher, sit back, and relax. Unfortunately, while this sounds good, it could mean you need to do your dishes again afterwards, removing all the real advantages of using a dishwasher in the first place.

Dishwashers are designed to pump out water, not solids. This means that they have very small outlets at the bottom of the machine to let just the water out: If the outlets were any bigger, you could accidentally lose a few spoons! Any food that goes into the dishwasher isn’t going to be disposed of – all it’s going to do is stay in the machine and block the water outlet, leaving your dishwasher practically useless. Although it may take you a minute or two, it’s always worth quickly scraping down your plates before putting them in the dishwasher – it’s far more pleasant than having to manually pull out old, soggy pieces of corn and carrots from the outlets.

What Can You Wash in a Dishwasher?

Dishwashers are very safe for nearly all kitchenware, but it’s important to remember that dishwashers don’t just use hot water: They also steam items to help them dry. Anything that is particularly sensitive to heat should be washed by hand to protect the material and the integrity of the item. It’s also worth making judicious use of the top shelf of the dishwasher, which is further away from the heating elements at the bottom – making it more suitable for delicate items. Always check the cleaning advice on new kitchenware, as manufacturers will usually state whether their products are dishwasher safe or not.

As a general rule, the following items are best washed by hand:

  • Crystal: The heat of the dishwasher can cause cracking.
  • Cast iron: These heavy griddles and skillets are best washed by hand.
  • Wooden spoons: Wood can crack in the dishwasher.
  • Plastic containers: These can warp in the heat, or even melt.
  • Baby bottles: Dishwashers do not use hot enough water to provide a sterilising effect.

Can I Use Liquid Soap in my Dishwasher?

Although there are dedicated dishwasher soaps available in stores, what many people want to know is if they can use their regular liquid dishwashing soap or even laundry washing powder in a dishwasher. After all, why have two products when you can have one? The answer may surprise you. You may think that it makes more sense to use liquid dishwashing soap than laundry detergent, but neither is appropriate for the dishwasher. Liquid dishwashing soap is designed to foam and lather, and you’ll be fighting your way through a sea of bubbles to get to your squeaky clean plates by the end of the washing cycle.

Only use products specifically designed for use in a dishwasher – not laundry detergent or liquid or bar dish soap. Also, keep in mind that if you use products that aren’t specifically designed for use in dishwashers, your warranty may be deemed invalid and you could have difficulty replacing your machine if it breaks.

Dishwashers are safe, effective, and most importantly, they make life easier. Use them correctly, and you’ll never have to wash a plate by hand again. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Top Tip


When using a dishwasher to wash dishes, remember to remove any big pieces of leftover food from your plates and pots first, and make sure that you only put items that are dishwasher-safe inside the dishwasher. Items made from materials like crystal and glass might get damaged if washed in a dishwasher.