The Great Debate: Should You Rinse Your Dishes Before Putting Them in the Dishwasher?
Remember when your parents told you as a kid that if you swallow gum it will stay in your stomach for years? How about sitting too close to the TV will make you go blind? Or the classic waiting an hour after you eat to go swimming so you don't get cramps.
All of these are myths that science has proven not to be true, but people still debate over them today. A similar hotly debated issue is whether or not you should rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
Please don't judge how my dishwasher is loaded in that picture. That's a topic for another day.
We asked our listeners to call in to let us know if they rinsed their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. The majority of people did rinse them, while I was one of the few who does not. However, there are facts to back up why you shouldn't pre-rinse your dishes.
A quick Google search reveals many well know and respected websites saying that you do not need to rinse. Homeserve, Popular Science, Good Housekeeping, the LA Times, Better Homes and Gardens, Consumer Reports, and the Today Show all say, don't bother rinsing. Here's why.
Today's modern dishwashers, those manufactured within the last seven years, have a sensor that checks to see how dirty the water is to figure out how long it needs to run its cycle to get the dishes clean. If your dishwasher has a timer on it, that's the reason you'll usually find that the time it takes to finish, varies.
So if you rinse your dishes, the sensor detects the water isn't that dirty, and runs a shorter cycle which can leave bits of food on your dishes and glasses.
If you want to rinse, experts recommend letting a rinse aid take care of that for you. Your dishwasher likely has a reservoir for the rinse aid built-in.
I know you've pre-rinsed all your life, but this is the 21st century. The age of the internet, smartphones, artificial intelligence, and dishwashers that don't need your help rinsing the dishes.
Still not convinced? Try not rinsing just once. Scrape the solid food off, but leave everything else and let the dishwasher do its job. You'll probably be surprised at the results.