Use your dishwasher right to save time and money


On a recent CBS News Sunday Morning, an intelligent but little-known magazine show (which is sort of like NPR for your TV), contributor Nancy Giles set out to test a few of those old wives' tales about dishwashers. Like those nerdy goofs on Mythbusters, she put a few old saws to the test and found out that when it comes to cleaning up after meals, most of us are doing more work than we have to.

With the advice of an appliance expert at the Good Housekeeping Institute (yes, it exists -- it's the place that issues that famous seal of approval), Giles reversed a few bits of conventional wisdom about your dishwasher. To do less pre-washing and re-washing, it turns out you just have to use the machine the way it was designed to be used, and not load it the way you usually do.

The biggest revelation is that you don't have to pre-rinse anything. Just dump the big scraps in the garbage and go. To test that one, Giles sent a casserole dish of caked-on mac and cheese and an oatmeal-crusted saucepan into the dishwasher with no preamble. She set the dishwasher to high heat and let loose. Two hours later, they came out fine -- at least, they do in Giles' piece for CBS. What other dishwasher magic tricks are revealed?