(CNN) — Pre-rinsing your dishes and sticking them in the dishwasher can make your dishes come out dirtier, not cleaner.
Washing dishes is the last thing you want to do, especially after a big meal.
However, there’s a little secret that not only makes washing dishes easier, it also gets your plates cleaner. Find out why leaving grime on your plate may help get your dishes really clean.
For many, it’s typical to rinse off a dish before you put it in the dishwasher.
But testers for Consumer Reports say you don’t need to pre-rinse to get your dishes clean.
“It’s actually a waste of water to rinse your dishes. And if you are using hot water, it’s a waste of energy too,” explained a Consumer Reports tester.
In fact, pre-rinsing can even make your dishes dirtier.
According to Consumer Reports, most dishwashers sold in the past five years that cost 500 dollars or more have a sensor to determine how hard the dishwasher needs to work.
In the beginning of the wash it rinses the dishes and then checks how dirty the water is.
If you manually washed off most of the muck the sensor is thrown off and thinks your dishes are already pretty clean. So instead of fully washing that dish, you only get a light wash.
Consumer Reports says detergent and a rinse agent can wash off stubborn food.
“We get our dishes dirty with some of the toughest food out there, like oatmeal, egg yolk, and peanut butter and tomato sauce,” Consumer Reports said.
Loading is also key. Make sure your plates have the dirty side facing the center. Use your silverware basket to separate utensils.
And read the instructions.
“I know it’s a bore, but you really need to read the instruction manual for your dishwasher. You need to follow the guidelines for loading that machine, so you get the cleanest dishes possible,” Consumer Reports said.