Don't waste time and money prerinsing your dishes

Today's dishwashers are designed to get off all the sticky stuff

Published: November 11, 2014 11:00 AM

Let's face it, routines are hard to break even if they continue well past their expiration date. Take prerinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. If you still do it you're in good company. Industry data consistently show that about 60 percent of dishwasher owners prerinse their dishes no matter how loudly manufacturers and government regulators instruct otherwise. But here's a news alert: Today’s dishwashers don’t need your help. To prove it, why not give it a try the next time you load your dishwasher.

In addition to your time, an added benefit of not prerinsing is saving money. Depending on its age, a kitchen faucet delivers 1.5 to 7 gallons of water a minute when run full blast. (At the high end, a minute at that rate uses more water than a dishwasher’s entire regular cycle.) The energy required to heat the water costs money too. So ask yourself whether, having spent $700 or more for a top-performing dishwasher, you deserve to get what you paid for.

So here’s our challenge: Go cold turkey. Scrape off larger bits of food and put absolutely everything in the dishwasher without first rinsing it. Double-check the manual to make sure you’re loading items properly. Run the proper cycle for what you’re washing. Any items that don’t get perfectly clean are the only ones you should prerinse next time.

Need a new dishwasher before Thanksgiving? Consumer Reports' Ratings of more than 180 dishwashers include such winners as the KitchenAid KDTM354DSS, $1,200, Kenmore Elite 12793, $1,050, and the Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR7[5]UC, $730. Be sure to check out our dishwasher buying guide before shopping.

—Ed Perratore (@EdPerratore on Twitter)

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