Are you using too much detergent in your dishwasher?

Chances are, you probably are. Are you experiencing an increasing amount of clogs in the drain? Roughness or a film, deposited on your glasses? Or worse, scratches on your glasses? Mildew build up? All of that is caused by using too much dishwasher detergent.

But, it’s not your fault. Most of us learned how to operate a dishwasher as a teenager, in our parents’ home. Dishwashers today are far more efficient than the previous generation. You’re just stuck in old habits. Modern dishwashers are made to use far less water now than older models and, thus, need less detergent. Modern detergents have also become increasingly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

Most people use 10-15x more detergent than is needed to get the job done! You’re wasting money and you’re making it harder for your dishwasher to do its job efficiently.

For one, you don’t have to fill the detergent dispenser all the way full. Try cutting back on the amount of dishwashing powder you use; like 1/3 of the dispenser amount and see what that does. Or, try switching to pods, which are premeasured for you; you can’t over-soap with pods. Pods are a more expensive option, however, and don’t necessarily clean your dishes any better than powdered detergent. if budget is a concern, then stick with powder or liquid dishwashing detergent, just try using less.

And, while we’re on the topic of proper dishwasher use, we may as well bring it up here: Don’t pre-rinse your dishes. Again, that’s how we were all taught, but today’s dishwashers don’t require that. Matter of fact, by pre-washing your dishes, you’re working against your dishwasher. Cleaning enzymes in the detergent need something to work against, to get your dishes clean. Pre-rinsing can lead to dirty dishes and filmy glasses.

A dishwasher is an appliance to treasure and appreciate, for the ease and convenience of getting your dishes clean and getting you out of the kitchen. Treat it right and it will continue to love you back, load after load.


Having dishwasher issues? Give Appliance Doctor a call sooner than later. A small fix now is less time and money than a major repair down the line.

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