Don't Make This Common Dishwasher Mistake

It happens to the best of us.

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It's not unusual for us to use the office dishwasher for our personal dishes, but the annual Halloween Party last week left us with dozens of dirty baking sheets, cupcake pans, and plastic containers. No problem, right? Just toss them in with the other dishes and run a cycle over the weekend! What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, it seems. Come Monday, we were greeted with a putrid scent, a trail of detergent residue leaking from the dispenser, and—most importantly—piles of unwashed dishes. Had the reliable lab dishwasher finally given up the ghost after years of constant use? Was it time to cash in on the warranty?

Actually, it was just a rookie mistake. In rushing to get everything done in one go, we got a little creative with loading all those baking sheets and cupcake pans. The result? We learned that just because everything fits, it doesn't mean the dishwasher isn't overloaded.

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Overloading your machine is one of the worst mistakes you can make. At best, a few dishes won't get cleaned because they’re hiding behind others. At worst, the detergent dispenser door will get blocked and nothing will get cleaned, which was what happened to us.

So the next time your dishwasher fails spectacularly, before you call for repairs or go shopping for a new machine, make sure you haven't just blocked the detergent dispenser. It sounds dumb, but it’s a surprisingly common mistake.

Before you call for repairs, make sure you haven't just blocked the detergent dispenser.

It's so common, in fact, that some manufacturers have even designed detergent doors that slide to the side instead of flipping open in order to avoid this problem entirely. The truth is, it’s simply not something on people’s minds while they’re loading their dishwashers.

But now you’ll be thinking about it. Don’t make the same mistake we did.

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