should you pre-rinse dishes

Should You Pre-Rinse Dishes Before Loading the Dishwasher? The Answer May Surprise You…

After a big, messy meal, the first thing many people do is bring the dishes straight to the sink and start rinsing. But, should you pre-rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher? The answer, surprisingly, is no.

Why You Shouldn’t Pre-Rinse Dishes
Before Loading the Dishwasher

Pre-Rinsing Dishes Can Throw off Sensors

Dishwashers have come a long way in the past few decades. From clunky old things that basically needed you to do all the work, to sleek, high-tech appliances that make life so much easier.

And that’s exactly why you don’t need to pre-rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher. Modern machines are specifically built to sense the amount of food on your dishes and adjust their settings accordingly.

How is that possible? Sensors detect the amount of food on dishes and this tells them how long to run a cycle. If you pre-rinse your dishes, the sensors will not detect any food and run a cycle that’s too short to get the job done properly.

So all you have to do is scrape off the large food particles left behind by picky eaters. Then, simply place your dishes in the correct spot and let the machine do the rest.

pre-rinse dishes
Whirlpool dishwashers have soil sensors so you don’t have to rinse your dishes before starting the machine.

Pre-Rinsing Dishes Wastes Water, Time, and Money

According to Consumer Reports, nearly 6,000 gallons of water is wasted each year due to pre-rinsing dishes before loading the dishwasher. All that wasted water adds up to wasted money in energy bills.

Stop pre-rinsing dishes before loading the dishwasher, and you’ll save hundreds of hours every year as well.

Does My Dishwasher Require Pre-Rinsing?

If you purchased your dishwasher within the last five years and it cost over $500, it can handle dishes that haven’t been pre-rinsed. Be sure to use a detergent like Cascade that’s designed to attach to food particles as well.

cascade dishwasher detergent
Cascade dishwasher detergent is specially formulated so you don’t have to pre-wash your dishes.


There may be a bigger problem if your dishwasher doesn’t deliver sparkling results even though you’re following these rules. Don’t hesitate to call us to schedule fast dishwasher repair near you.