I know what you’re thinking. How to properly load a dishwasher? There’s a right way to load a dishwasher?
Oh! Yes, my friends, there is!
I haven’t always been a prized pupil in the science of dish washing. Oh, no. In fact, I’ve been a wayward student who wanted to do things my own way because I thought my way was better, more efficient, and faster.
Until I was invited to the Cascade Kitchen Dish Council Blogger Day.
A post about my trip to Cincinnati, The Art of Entertaining, the fab 21C Museum Hotel, and our visit to P&G RD is to come. First, I would like to share what I learned about Cascade history, Cascade products, dish washing technologies, and rinse aid technologies. Of course, I’d also like to share what I learned that blew me away — How to properly load a dishwasher!
Diana, a great group of American bloggers, and I got to play “scientists” for the day (we were even outfitted with our very own Cascade Kitchen Dish Council lab coats)!
Cascade has been around for six decades! Cascade was introduced in 1955, Cascade Liquid came out in 1986, and Cascade Action Pacs came out in 2003.
The P & G Archives Tour was like stepping back in time. The history of the company and the products really interested me. Not only was it interesting to see how the products came to be and how they evolved over time, but seeing the ads (print ads and commercials) also showed us about the history of our society, culture and the history of advertising! Some of the old commercials from the 1980s really made me giggle and the funny thing is that I actually remember seeing those commercials from when I was a kid! I remember seeing them in between, before, and after soap operas (my grandparents loved their soaps)!
I just love the vintage ads and vintage packaging. It’s quite telling of the times and the Archives Tour definitely gave the feeling of nostalgia.
In the above photo, you can see Cascade through the years.
Dish Washing 101:
The success of a dish washing load is dependent on 3 things: The detergent, the dishwasher, and YOU!
Did you know that key conditioning-related factors for cleaning are time, temperature and hardness? Time – longer is better. Temperature – higher is better. Hardness – less is better.
You play a huge role in the successful cleaning of your dishes. This is where I learned how to properly load a dishwasher! Proper loading is vital to ensure your dishes are properly cleaned. Simple principle: If the cleaning water does now hit the dirty parts of the dishes, they will not get clean.
When Mike Orr was talking to us about dish washing, the light bulb in my head lit up and all of a sudden, I gasped, “Oh my gosh. I’ve been loading my dishwasher the wrong way all this time?!”
I always tried to fill my dishwasher as full as I could and at times I may have “nestled” or “cradled” dishes into each other. Wrong! If the surface of the dirty dishes can’t get reached by the spray/cleaning water, the dishes won’t get cleaned! Another interesting tidbit was the recommendation to mix things up a bit. In your cutlery compartment in your dishwasher, mix cutlery up. If you put all your forks together or all your spoons together, they have the tendency to nest or cradle each other. That way, they cover each other and don’t all get reached by the cleaning water. Mix up your forks, spoons, and knives!
Science, Chemistry, and Clean Dishes
In order to clean a dish, you need:
- Alkalinity – “Alkalinity” is a measure of the concentration of carbonate, bicarbonate and hydroxide, and contributes to the formation of scale in hard water areas. High Alkalinity (pH> 10) is one of the key mechanism for good cleaning. It can help hydrate soils for better removal by enzymatic action or chelating action.
- Chelants – Traditionally, the role of chelants is to remove trace amounts of heavy metal ions (e.g. copper, iron, manganese), which could otherwise act to destabilize peroxide, per-acid, chlorine bleach or other reactive species. Chelant is one of the chemicals Cascade used as a replacement for phosphate builder to control water hardness and to aid in tough food and stain removal.
- Polymers – Can bind Calcium (not as effective as chelants). Can trap food bits and take them down the drain. Bad polymers crash out and deposit when they get caught up with calcium and food.
- Enzymes – Only work on target soils (like protein or starch). This is like nature’s lock and key technology. Enzymes break up large pieces of food into little pieces so it’s easier to remove.
- Surfactant – 1. Suds control 2. Sheeting action 3. Cleaning benefits 4. Process aid – Surfactant provides grease cleaning benefit. Prevents grease from re-depositing on surfaces.
- Bleach – Cascade uses chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach (peroxide) in formulation.
Without overwhelming you with everything I learned, I will leave you with the following:
How do YOU load a dishwasher? Do you know the science behind clean dishes?
Thank you to Cascade and to P&G for giving me the opportunity to get some insight on Cascade, the history, and how things work. It was a very valuable learning experience for me. I’ll be posting soon about my favourite part of the P&G Archive Tour. Also keep an eye out for all the other fun parts of our time in Cincinnati (The Art of Entertaining and 21C Museum Hotel)!
If you’ve tried (or if you use) Cascade, you can leave your review here.
Please check out my fellow #CascadeBloggerDay #KitchenDishCouncil bloggers and read what their experiences from our time in Cincinnati together!
Disclosure – As a member of Cascade’s #KitchenDishCouncil, I was invited to #CascadeBloggerDay to visit P&G’s North American head office in Cincinnati to learn more about Cascade. As always all thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.
Victoria Ess says
Those are great tips! Now I wonder if I’ve been loading mine wrong!
Jenn Erin says
Such a helpful post! I will keep these tips in mind when I get a dishwasher!
Anne Taylor says
Unfortunately, I don’t have a dishwasher, but if I ever do get one, at least I now know how to load it properly!
Diana @ Toronto Teacher Mom says
Wasn’t it pretty fantastic being able to travel through time and see all of their vintage products? I think that was one of my favourite parts of the trip. That, and hanging out with you eating ice cream, salsa dancing in the square and conducting experiments in our fancy lab coats. You know, nothing out of the ordinary.
PS. That lock and load tip is brilliant!
Diana, what an incredible experience! I learned SO much AND had a blast with you! You’re awesome. Just sayin’.
There is actually some very good ideas here, several which I will use
Thanks so much! They’re handy tips!
Judy Cowan says
Well I guess I get a big F grade when it comes to loading the dishwasher – thanks for the tips, I better starting doing it the right way!
I’ve been using my dishwasher all wrong! hehe Thanks for all the tips!!
Christine: Incredible how many of us have been using our dishwashers incorrectly, right?!
What a great post! Apparently I have been loading the dishwasher wrong to! I always cram as many dishes as I can int here! It makes sense that you need to have the water come in contact with the dishes for them to get clean! DUH! I love cascade!
Ha! Jenn! I had that “Aha! moment too! It does make sense that you need the water to come into contact with the dishes for them to get clean! LOL!
I wish I had a dishwasher in my kitchen! lol. Next home for sure. The day looked so fun and I was happy to follow along on instagram and twitter.
🙂 Ahh! Thanks, Pam! It was a fun event indeed! I learned so much!
Kelly @ City Mom says
These tips are great! I enjoyed learning that I am in fact loading my dishwasher properly! I thank my husband for this though as he’s pretty specific about clean dishes! Looks like a really interesting & fun day!
Yay! Kelly, awesome that you’ve been doing it right! I’m embarrassed to say the opposite is true for me!
jodi shaw says
I shared this on my FB pages for my readers. I love the last two tips on the infograph you shared, putting the glasses between the tines and threading the utensils through mug handles. Those are awesome tips.
Thanks SO much for sharing, Jodi!! Really appreciate it! The tips are pretty great! I need to print that infographic and put it on my fridge so my husband can see how to load a dishwasher! lol
Suzanne Rudge (MapleMouseMama) says
I think i love the top about put long utensil handles thru coffee mug handles the best! Genius!
Suzanne: I know, right? I would never have thought of doing that!
Emily Smith @ The Best of this Life says
I love the lab coats!! So official! What an experience, to step back in time and see all those vintage products. I admit, I’ve fallen victim of ‘sorting’ my cutlery in the dishwasher so it’s easier to put away afterwards, only to find that they’ve flatten on each other and stuff stuck. So, mixing it up does make a difference! Great info!
Thanks, Emily! Yes! I was a cutlery sorter too, and for the same reasons! Now that I’ve learned that by doing so, cutlery doesn’t get cleaned as well because they nest into each other, I mix it up!
I can’t stand it when my husband “tries” to load the dishwasher – I just have to go and do it all over. He thinks you can just jam everything in. It drives me nuts!!
Lee-Ann: Confession time. I used to be exactly like your husband! LOL! I’ve learned that’s not the way to load a dishwasher! LOL!
It was soooo nice meeting you! I loved getting to know you.
I look at the way I load the dishwasher entirely different now. Instead of just shoving stuff in, I’m more aware of how I place things so that the detergent and soiled areas have a face to face meeting to ensure my dishes come out clean.
Crystal, I really enjoyed meeting you and the other ladies as well! I have to say that I LOVE your blog. I love your openness and honesty. It’s so refreshing.
Ha! I totally load the dishwasher differently now too! What a great experience and so much learning!