Our Dishwasher Cleaning Tips & Hints

Having been at the forefront of automatic dishwashing for the past 60 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about getting the best results from your machine. Below you’ll find a collection of tips and hints from our experts to help answer questions you may have in and around the kitchen.

1. Handwashing vs. Dishwashing

Did you know that handwashing your dishes uses up to seven times more water than a regular dishwashing cycle? Learn how you can maximize your clean and minimize your footprint with the help of these dishwashing tips from Finish and the squeaky-clean shining power of our new Finish® Max in 1® dishwashing detergent.


Finish Dishwashing Tips

2. Is there a right way to load my dishwasher?

When it comes to loading your dishwasher, there is a proper way to load your dishwasher to ensure that you get both amazing results and protection for your dishware, cookware, flatware and glasses. As always, you should always follow your manufacturer's recommendations when loading your dishwasher, but here are a few simple guidelines to follow:

  • Before you put anything in the dishwasher, scrape off the large food particles and do not pre-rinse. Your dishwasher detergent’s job is to cling to food and help wash it away.
  • With silverware, make sure to avoid nesting so that water can rinse all surfaces.  Since safety comes first, knives should face downwards. With spoons and forks, mix it up!
  • Load your large soiled dishes on the bottom rack of the dishwasher so they get good water flow. Be sure to load stemware and cups on an angle so water can run off the bottoms and dry properly. Always face stains towards the sprayer arms, and as long as pots and pans are dishwasher safe, they can be cleaned.
  • If your dishwasher has an exposed heating element, plastics go in the top rack, but if it has a concealed heating element, plastics can go anywhere in the dishwasher. But be sure your plastic is dishwasher safe!

Watch our helpful video on how to load your dishwasher properly

Find out how our dishwasher detergents and enhancers can help you.

3. How important is it to set my water temperature?

For sparkling clean dishes, your dishwasher needs hot water (120ºF). Water at this temperature helps dissolve food stains. Check the water temperature in your house using a glass of hot water from your kitchen sink and a meat thermometer. If your water is less than 120ºF, consult your hot water heater's user manual or call a service technician to adjust its settings.

Visit our products page to learn more

4. How do I store my dishwasher detergent?

Your dishwashing detergent should be stored in a dry environment. If you are using powders,  be careful to close the spout after each use to help keep the product dry and to avoid spills. Like all cleaning products, store your detergent out of the reach of children.

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5. How do I use Finish® Jet-Dry® Rinse Aid?

  1. Check whether your dishwasher has a built-in liquid rinse aid dispenser which is usually located near the detergent cup(s).
  2. Fill your rinse aid dispenser with our Finish® Jet-Dry® Rinse Aid. Wipe up any spilled product.
  3. Finish® Jet-Dry® Rinse Aid is automatically released in the rinse cycle every time your dishwasher runs.

Learn more about Finish® Jet-Dry® Rinse Aid

6. How do I use Finish® Jet-Dry® Turbo Dry®?

  1. Check whether your dishwasher has a built-in liquid rinse aid dispenser, which is usually located near the detergent cup(s).
  2. Fill your rinse aid dispenser with Finish® Jet-Dry® Turbo Dry®. Wipe up any spilled product.
  3. Finish® Jet-Dry® Turbo Dry® is automatically released every time your dishwasher runs.
  4. Discard your old dish towel. With Finish® Jet-Dry® Turbo Dry®, your dishes are done!

Learn more about Finish® Jet-Dry® Turbo Dry®

7. How do I use Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner?

  1. Do not remove the cap. Instead, remove the sticker from top of the bottle to expose the wax plug.
  2. Make sure your dishwasher is empty.
  3. Place the Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner bottle upside down inside the silverware basket or in any bottom dish rack.
  4. Do not use any soap or dishwasher detergent.
  5. Close dishwasher door, then run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle.
  6. After full cycle is complete and the dishwasher is off, remove the bottle and discard.
  7. For heavy build up, a second application may be necessary.

We recommend that you use Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner once a month, or as soon as you notice build up in your dishwasher.

8. How do I use Finish® Power Up™ All in 1 Detergent Booster?

If you live in an area with particularly hard water,  we recommend that you use a performance booster,  such as Finish® Power Up™ All in 1 Detergent Booster.

  1. Load the dishwasher.
  2. Fill the pre-wash chamber with Finish® Power Up™ All in 1 Detergent Booster. If no pre-wash chamber is present,  dispense 2 tablespoons of product into bottom of dishwasher.
  3. Place your detergent in the main wash cup.
  4. Start your dishwasher.
  5. For optimal results,  fill up the pre-wash chamber and pour a similar quantity directly onto the bottom of the machine.

Learn more about Finish® Power Up™ All in 1 Detergent Booster

9. Dishwashing vs. Handwashing: Which uses more water and energy?

Did you know that a recent study showed that washing dishes by hand uses more energy than using a dishwasher? The electricity in a dishwasher is used to heat up the water, which is then pumped and recycled around the machine. The less water used, the less electricity is needed to heat up the water.  

Compared to washing dishes by hand, dishwashers use much less water. Handwashing uses up to seven times more water than a regular dishwashing cycle. Dishwashers also heat up the water more efficiently, which results in less heat loss than heating water in a tank and transporting it to the sink. In addition, the appliance is insulated to avoid heat loss from the interior space. All the more reason to use your dishwasher!  

The truth behind dishwashing by hand:  

  • Water used - 140 L  
  • Energy used - 3.5 kWh  
  • Time spent - 71 min   

The truth behind using a dishwasher (at 3 levels):  

  • Water used – Quick: 13 L /Normal: 18 L /Intensive: 27 L  
  • Energy used – Quick: 0.9 kWh / Normal: 1.6 kWh / Intensive: 2.0 kWh /  
  • Time spent: Quick: 39 min / Normal 131 min / Intensive 112 min   

So, not only does the dishwasher save you time by doing all of the work for you, but it actually does it by using less water and energy. Even more of an excuse to never wash another dish by hand again!  

Download full results at our Dishwashing Expert site.  

Dishwashing Myths: Handwashing vs. Dishwashing

10. A lot of people think that washing dishes by hand saves water and energy. When actually, it’s the other way around.

11. So, what do rinse aids actually do?

12. So what do detergents actually do?

13. Ever wonder what goes on inside your dishwasher?

Check out our videos and see for yourself

Discover how to boost your dishwashing results


14. So, what does Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner actually do?

It helps:

  • Remove limescale and grease that can build up in your dishwasher over time
  • Eliminate odor caused by build up in your dishwasher’s filter and freshen your machine
  • Maintain the mechanical power of the sprayer arm
  • Reach the optimal heating temperature

Visit our tips page on dealing with dishwasher odor

Learn the science of Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner at our Dishwashing
Expert site

See what Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner can do for you!