Look ahead. The main washing action comes from the center spray tower. Arrange all your dishes to face the center, and don't put large items in front of smaller items or over the center, or you may block the spray.
Leave nesting to the birds. Don't nest bowls inside each other or have all your silverware face one way. This prevents water from getting between them.
Clear a path. Don't place glasses or other narrow objects over the tines; they can interfere with cleaning inside the glass. And with larger items, make sure they don't block the detergent dispenser or the wash arm.
Keep it straight. Never put more than one item between the tines, or you could chip your dishes. Plates and saucers should be upright against the tines, not leaning forward. To protect delicate crystal, leave a bit of space between items.
Get fresh. Old or damp dish detergent can clump together, clogging the dispenser and leaving your dishes less than sparkly. Dish detergent should not be stored under the kitchen sink; dampness can deactivate some of the cleaning ingredients.
Dive right in. Pre-rinsing can actually interfere with your dishwasher's performance. Too little food on the dishes leaves nothing for the detergent to clean. This can cause too much sudsing, and can even cause etching of your glassware. Plus, it uses water unnecessarily.
Heat it up. If your dishwasher isn't cleaning properly due to low water temperatures, run the hot water in the sink before starting the dishwasher to clear the cold water in the lines. You may also need to delay activities such as showering that use a lot of hot water until after the dishwasher has run.
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