Dishwasher - How to Get the Best Wash Performance

There are four important factors for getting good wash performance in all areas of your dishwasher:

  1. Loading the dishes

  2. Water temperature

  3. Detergent

  4. Rinse Aids


  • Top Rack - The top rack is for glasses, cups and saucers.

    • Cups and glasses fit best along the sides.

    • This is also a good place for dishwasher-safe plastics and all kinds of odd-shaped utensils.

    • All items should be placed facing down towards the spray arm.

    • Do not block the wash system parts including spray arms and towers located in the lower and/or upper racks.

  • Bottom Rack -Large items such as broiler pans and cookie sheets should go along the sides.

    • Load platters, pots and bowls along the sides, in corners, or in the back and at an angle so that water can come up, in and around them.

    • On most models, a wash tower rises through the center of the bottom rack during the cycle. Do not block the circular opening through which this tower rises.

    • Some models have a mid-level spray arm. It is important not to block this arm. Spin the spray arm before each load to make sure it is free to rotate.

  • View a short video about proper loading:



Water Temperature:

  • The water going into the dishwasher must be at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit and not more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • The water temperature can be checked with a candy or meat thermometer by turning on the faucet nearest the dishwasher. Place the thermometer in a glass and let the water run into the glass until the temperature stops rising.

  • Let the water run in the sink until it gets hot before you start the dishwasher.

Fresh Detergent:

  • It is important to keep your detergent fresh and dry.

  • Discard detergent if it gets old or lumpy because old detergent may not dissolve and can leave a gritty residue.

  • Store the detergent in a closed container.

  • Do not put detergent into the dispenser until you're ready to wash dishes. It might not stay fresh or dry.

  • View a short video about the proper detergent to use:



Rinse Aid:

  • Rinse Aid allows water to sheet off glasses and dinnerware which prevents spotting and improves overall drying performance.

  • View a short video about checking and filling the Rinse Aid dispenser:



If you are getting a white film on the dishes when using your dishwasher, you may want to check out our Dishwasher - White Film on Glassware, Dishware and the Interior article.


For more information about getting the best performance from your dishwasher, consult the Owner's Manual for the specific model you own.