We designed Puracy Natural Dishwashing Detergent Packs to get all of your dishes bright and clean. But how you load your dishwasher is just as important as the products you use to wash them.

Here are a few other tips to use your dishwasher as efficiently as possible to save time, water, and dishwasher liquid. 

To Pre-Soak or Not to Pre-Soak? 

Pre-soaking is helpful for dishes with tough buildup (like burnt-on food and grease) or those that have been sitting overnight. Add a few drops of Puracy Natural Dish Soap to a sink full of warm water and let them sit for at least an hour before scraping off debris and stacking them in the dishwasher. 

When you’re done with your meal, don't use your sink as dirty dish storage: Scrape or wipe the dish and put it right in the dishwasher. Not only does this avoid wasted water and soaking time, but you’ll also keep your sink cleaner.

soak dirty dishes

Pro tip: Don’t worry about little bits of food residue left on your plate – it actually helps our Dishwasher Detergent Packs formula work better. Like you, the enzymes need something to eat.

What Dishes Can’t Go in the Dishwasher?

As convenient as it may be to leave the heavy lifting to your dishwasher, some items need a gentler touch. When in doubt, hand wash the following: 

1. Aluminum 

Aluminum can be stained by high temperature water and may leave marks on other dishes.

2. Cast Iron

That smooth coating that’s taken years to create will be stripped away in the dishwasher, leaving it prone to rust. It’s very easy to clean your cast iron pan by hand.

3. Certain Plastics 

Certain types of plastic can not only warp, but melt in higher temps, causing damage to other items – and your dishwasher – in the process. Only run loads with items specifically marked “dishwasher safe.” As a solid measure, always keep plastic on the top rack (which is furthest from the heating element). 

4. Crystal

Dishwashing certain types of crystal (including lead crystal) can cause chipping and clouding. Play it safe by soaking crystal in warm water with a few drops of dish soap and gently rinsing it clean with fresh water. 

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5. Gold, Brass, Bronze, or Pewter

While silver typically withstands machine washing fairly well, utensils and other items made from other precious metals tend to discolor in the dishwasher. Hand wash and towel dry to keep them sparkling and bright. 

6. Insulated Drinkware 

Reusable travel mugs and thermoses are great for the planet, but dishwashing can cause them to lose their seal. Unless it’s specified as “dishwasher-safe” (like YETI), hand wash these types of drinkware to keep them intact and prevent leaks. 

7. Pressure Cooker Parts

Avoid putting pressure cooker (e.g. Instant Pot) parts in the dishwasher. Small bits of food and debris can become lodged in the openings of the regulators and safety valves, affecting their performance. 

8.  Teflon Pots & Pans

Newer non-stick pans use ceramic coating which is usually safe for the dishwasher. Older Teflon pans, however, should be washed by hand to avoid dissolving the surface coating. Without that slick coating, most of your dinner is going to stick to the pan (and the metal below Teflon coating might not be food safe). 

9. Sharp Knives 

Butter knives are fine to machine wash, but dishwashers can dull high-quality knives while discoloring (and even cracking) their handles. Handwashing also helps to prevent accidents when loading and unloading sharp objects. 

10. Wood 

Cutting boards, mixing spoons, and other wooden items will crack, warm, and splinter when exposed to hot water and humidity inside the dishwasher. Choose to hand wash them instead.

How to Load a Dishwasher Properly

Load a Dishwasher Properly

If you have ever had a heated debate with your partner, roommate, or child over how to load the dishwasher correctly, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a “right” way to do it. Following these few easy tips will get all of your dishes sparkling clean while being far more efficient. 

1. No Touching - Give Dishes Their Space 

Every dish, pot, pan, and glass needs ample space for the water to reach it on all sides. If you stack items too closely together, you’ll probably find dirty areas the washer missed. Most dishwasher models come with specific loading instructions – check yours to ensure you’re stacking dishes in the best way possible.  

2. Utensils Need Space, Too 

Like dishes, pots, and pans, smaller utensils should be stored with space between them to allow water to reach them. When it comes to loading the dishwasher cutlery basket, direct the sharp ends of knives down for safety – but place the pointy ends of forks and round ends of spoons upwards.

load dishwasher cutlery basket

To make unloading a breeze, load similar items in the same direction. For long serving spoons and spatulas, lay them flat on the upper shelves. 

Pro tip: Avoid putting all spoons in the same utensil compartment. They’ll fit inside one another and won’t be thoroughly cleaned. The same advice goes for forks!

3. Keep Bowls and Plates on the Bottom 

Because the bottom shelf generally gets the most spraying power, place larger items down below. Put glasses, cups, and more fragile items on the top. Plastic items also belong on the top shelf to avoid melting and warping.

Pro tip: When loading anything in the dishwasher, always remember to face them inwards and downwards, toward the sprayers for maximum cleaning.

4. How to Load Dishwasher With Pots and Pans

Place large pots, pans, and serving bowls on the bottom facing inward and downward to ensure that the dirtiest sides are exposed to the sprayer. To increase proper water circulation:

  • Don’t cover the bottom spray arm 
  • Ensure that lid handles aren’t positioned in a way that might stop the spinning arms 

5. Keep Small Parts Contained 

To keep lids, baby bottle parts, and other smaller items from falling into – and damaging – the dishwasher’s moving parts, store them in a dishwasher basket on the top shelf. Depending on their care instructions, you may wash pacifiers and plastic baby toys in a basket. 

6. Avoid Half-Load Dishwashing

Running a half-load dishwasher wastes water and product: Wait until you have enough dishes to run a full load. Natural Puracy Dishwasher Packs are powerful enough – and designed -- to get a dishwasher full of dirty dishes clean. This saves you water, energy, and time.

For the best and brightest clean possible, here are some simple instructions for how to use dishwasher pods:

  • Make sure your hands are dry before placing a Puracy Dishwasher Pod in place. 
  • Scrape food and debris from dishes before loading them using the tips above. 
  • Reseal the pack to keep them fresh between loads.
how to use dishwasher pods

    The Best Way to Clean a Dishwasher 

    If you’ve followed all of these tips and your dishes are still cloudy or covered in bits of food, it’s probably time to clean your dishwasher. We recommend deep cleaning your dishwasher every 1-2 months – the following instructions will make that process quick and easy:

    1. Remove the filter. Use an old toothbrush dipped in a solution of warm water and a few drops of Puracy Dish Soap to clean all of the areas of the washer where food collects. Puracy Dish Soap is ideal for this. 
    2. Fill a cup with white vinegar and place it on the top rack. Run the empty dishwasher for one cycle. 
    3. Finally, sprinkle baking soda throughout the bottom of your dishwasher. Run another empty cycle with hot water and allow the machine to complete the drying cycle. 

    Pro Tip: Finish the cleaning process on the outside of your dishwasher by using Puracy Multi-Surface Spray and a gentle microfiber cleaning cloth

    Choose Eco-Friendly Puracy Dishwasher Packs for Spotless Dishes Without Harsh Chemicals 

    It took years of R&D to create what we consider the best natural dishwasher pods on the market. Unlike synthetic ingredients found in other products, our 99.5% natural formula harnesses the power of plant enzymes to break down food stains on any dishwasher-safe surface safe. 

    Say good-bye to spots, clouds, and streaks!