Washing Dishes 101: How to Clean the Dishes


Ready to make the most of your dishwasher? Our comprehensive guide on how to clean the dishes will equip you with the tips and tricks you need to tackle dirty dishes like a pro.

If you have a dishwasher at home, you know how much of a lifesaver it can be when it comes to cleaning the dishes. But are you using your dishwasher to its full potential? Our Washing Dishes 101 will show you how to clean the dishes using a dishwasher, including how to best load the dishwasher, choosing the right detergent, and how to keep your machine clean. By the end of this guide, you'll be a dishwasher pro and your dishes will be sparkling clean every time!

How to Clean The Dishes

It may seem that hand washing your dishes is a sustainable option, but believe it or not, when you’re dealing with a full sink, using your dishwasher is a greener choice. In fact, an Energy Star certified dishwasher can save almost 5,000 gallons of water per year. Just remember to run full loads to make it count! Now, let’s learn how to make the most of your dishwasher.

Choose the Right Detergent

The first step towards your cleanest dishes is choosing the right detergent! Dropps Dishwasher Detergent pods are specially formulated to power away 24-hour stuck-on food without rinse aids, extra chambers, phosphates, or dyes. No pre-wash needed! The gentle scrub eliminates caked on residue, and protects glasses from etching, cloudiness, and streaks. Want proof that Dropps Pods are a winner? All our products undergo independent third-party testing before launch to ensure they perform as well as (and in many cases better than) leading comparable brands. Here's how Dropps dishwasher detergent pods stack up against the leading brand in independent third-party testing.

This study measured the performance of dishwashing detergent in terms of the buildup of spots and film on glassware and soil removal. Spotting and filming ratings are rated from 1-5, with one being the best. Dropps has been proven to be just as effective as the leading industry competitor—but without toxic chemicals, added colors, and single-use plastic packaging. 🎉

Load It Up

You may think you know how to load a dishwasher, but here are a few tips on how to properly wash dishes to make sure your dishwasher can do its best work!

• Always face dishes inwards towards the center of your machine.
• Put larger, bulky items like pots and baking sheets on the sides or in the back, paying special attention to the path of the sprayer and the location of your dishwasher’s detergent chamber.
• Glasses and heat-sensitive plastics should go in the top rack.
• Avoid water spots by placing glasses between tines, not over them.
• For super clean utensils, try alternating the way you place silverware into the utensil basket! Place some head-first and others feet-first to avoid accidental nesting during the wash cycle.

PRO TIP: Did you know that pre-washing your dishes can actually make them look dirtier after a cycle in the dishwasher? Dishwashing detergent attacks food particles, so when there isn’t enough in those “dirty” dishes, the detergent ends up scrubbing away at your clean glasses, making them cloudy. It’s okay to rinse big chunks of food off your dishes before loading up the dishwasher—but for your dishes to really shine, leave a little behind.

Keeping Your Dishwasher Clean

Did you know that the machines that do the cleaning need to be cleaned too? That’s right, even your dishwasher needs some TLC every once in a while. Not sure how to clean your dishwasher? Try these three easy steps!

1. Clear The Drain!

Is your dishwasher not properly draining after the end of the wash cycle? It could be because food debris and grime is stuck in the drain. Remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher to reveal the drain. Remove any food and grime left behind with a wet Swedish Dishcloth.

2. Run a Cycle with Vinegar

Place a cup full of white vinegar in a dishwasher safe cup on the top rack and run a hot-water cycle. The white vinegar and hot-water will rinse away any grease and grime, plus get rid of musty odors.

3. Clean it with Baking Soda

After the dishwasher cycle is complete, let the machine completely dry. Then coat the bottom of the dishwasher with one cup of baking soda. Use a short, hot-water cycle. The baking soda will take care of any remaining stains inside the dishwasher as well as add a fresh scent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have more questions about how to clean the dishes? We have answers!

What is the best thing to clean dishes with?

Your dishwasher is a powerful tool, but it can’t clean your dishes alone–it needs an equally powerful dishwasher detergent. Dropps Dishwasher Pods cut through grease and stuck-on food using natural, mineral-based ingredients to ensure your dishes are as clean as they can be.

What is the proper method for cleaning dirty dishes?

Dishes can be cleaned by hand or in a dishwasher. If you have access to a dishwasher, we recommend running a full load using the above tips. If you only have one or two plates to deal with, or do not have a dishwasher, check out our guide to how to wash dishes by hand to make sure they’re sparkling clean.

How do you sanitize dishes after washing?

Most dishwashers sanitize as part of the cycle when they rinse the dishes. We recommend consulting your dishwasher’s manual to see if sanitizing is included in the standard cycle! Some machines have a separate “sanitize” cycle you can run for an added boost of cleanliness. To sanitize dishes by hand, soak dishes in hot water (at least 170 degrees) for at least 30 seconds.

What are the 5 steps to washing dishes?

Good news: washing the dishes is easier than you think! If you are using a dishwasher, you can simply load the dishes into the machine, add a dishwasher detergent pod, and run the cycle. The dishwasher will take care of the rest! It may be tempting to pre-wash the dishes before running the cycle, but try to resist. Dishwasher detergent attacks food particles, so when they have already been rinsed, the detergent ends up scrubbing away at your clean glasses, making them cloudy. The dishwasher can wash and rinse the dishes on its own!