how dishwashers work


Why you shouldn't throw your dishwasher pod into the bottom of your dishwasher

Dishwashers actually use the dirty water to know how to wash your dishes.

Photos by cottonbro studio and PhotoMIX Ltd. via Canva

Why your detergent shouldn't go in the bottom of the dishwasher

There always seem to be something going on with the pods and powders you're supposed to use in the dishwasher to clean your dishes. Either the pods don't dissolve completely or the powder gets all goopy and hard, never really fully dispensing into the dishwasher.

The inconsistency in product dispensing can leave you wondering if the dishes are even getting cleaned, causing some to toss the detergent pod into the bottom of the dishwasher. It would seem that placing the detergent at the bottom would allow for it to actually reach your dirty dishes. But Melissa Pateras, a domestic expert, explains that doing it that way isn't doing what you think it's doing.

Pateras actually breaks down exactly how dishwashers work to clean your dishes while explaining why putting the detergent on the bottom is ineffective.

"Your detergent tab has to go into the compartment because when you press start on a dishwasher there is a small amount of water that goes into the machine, and then a pump will push that water into the spray arms and then the force of that water makes them turn sort of like a lawn sprinkler," Pateras says.

The mom explains that this part of the prewash is important because your dishwasher uses the dirty water to determine how dirty your dishes are. Then the water is promptly drained. If you place your detergent in the bottom of the dishwasher, all the detergent is now drained out with the dirty water. This means you're basically washing your dishes with plain water since the soap is now gone.

@melissadilkespateras Where does it go? @Jenn K #cleantok #dishwasher #dishes ♬ original sound - Laundrytok | Melissa Pateras

Commenters were curious why the pods weren't dissolving or seemingly getting stuck on the compartment door. Pateras says, it "could be that the compartment is wet when you load the tab or the door needs to be cleaned."

When someone asks about using the "auto" button on their dishwasher, the author explains that the auto setting, "uses the sensor to detect how much dirt is on your dishes, and then adjusts the water temperature and cycle duration accordingly."

Who knew there was this much detail going into washing the dishes. If you're wondering about the best cleaning detergent, Pateras swears by Cascade Platinum but says not to buy any dishwasher detergent in bulk as it becomes more ineffective the longer it sits. The more you know>