How To Get All Your Dinner Table Essentials Truly Clean

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Few things are as aggravating as removing items from the dishwasher and finding remnants of what it was supposed to be dealing with: a hint of stuck-on tomato sauce, a light coffee stain, a crunchy piece of burnt cheese on it. the edge. (Annoying!)

But you don’t have to settle for stained or spotted dishes, and you don’t have to be an expert at cleaning to make all those pieces shine. The key is to arm yourself with some smart strategies – sharp utensils should always be loaded face down, folks! – and some heavy-duty dirt repellants like Cascade Platinum + Oxi, a potent solution that has stain-resistant ingredients that break down stuck-on food and leaves your dishes with a hygienic clean you can see and smell.

Want a foolproof solution for all your dish essentials? Check out our quick cleaning guide below.

Ceramic bowls and plates

ceramic mugs

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Theoretically, a dishwasher cycle is enough to completely clean these everyday parts, but a lot depends on your approach. First, scrape off any food scraps, but don’t pre-wash – most detergents work best when enzymes can attach themselves to certain food particles. Choose a strong, stain-resistant formula that will remove visible dirt as well as residue that you may not be able to see but may feel (like a rough texture when you slide your hand across a supposedly “clean” dish).

Then load strategically: the bowls up, face down – to prevent water from pooling – and the dishes at the bottom, where the spray is strongest, facing the center. And no nesting! Anything that the spray cannot reach will not be cleaned.

Stainless steel cutlery

Covered

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Your everyday forks, knives, and spoons have their own little house – the cutlery tray – and with that, a few “house rules” to follow. Never use lemon detergent as this acidity can damage the finish of the dishes. Make sure the dishwasher’s rinse aid dispenser is full – this will help prevent stains. In dishwashers that have a cutlery tray, place the knives with the handles facing up for safety, and alternate forks and spoons; otherwise, they will nest together and water will not be able to touch all surfaces. In dishwashers with a cutlery tray, there are usually notches to help utensils stay propped up as they should.

What if you see stains from a previous wash and want to get rid of them quickly? Polish them with a paste of baking soda and water, then rinse and dry.

Steak knives

It’s tempting to toss them in the cutlery basket with your other knives, but those sharper ones require hand washing instead (in hot, soapy water), according to Good Housekeeping’s. The Complete Household Manual. This is because the blades can get damaged in the dishwasher and high heat can deform the handles and crack them if they are made of wood. Immediately dry steak knives with a towel to prevent rusting and store them in a wood block or other slotted device that prevents the blades from touching each other, so that they remain scratch-free. If you have rust marks, don’t worry; just stab a large onion several times (really!). The acid in the onion will remove the rust.

Drinking glasses and wine glasses

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An anti-grease dishwasher detergent should leave your glassware clear after washing. If you have hard water, these minerals can sometimes leave a cloudy film, so make sure your rinse aid is full when you run your dishwasher. Think your glasses are on those dishwasher spits? Nope. They are supposed to go next at their because the tips of the pins can leave water spots.

Ceramic mugs

This procedure is as simple as it gets: load it on the upper rack, between the rungs, and use an effective detergent specially formulated to fight stains. If your stained cups are delicate porcelain that are not dishwasher safe, simply scrub them with a little bit of baking soda paste and dish soap, then rinse and wash as usual.

Wooden bowls and salad servers

wooden bowl

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Wood will warp or crack if you put it in the dishwasher due to humidity and high heat, so your best bet is to always wash wood pieces by hand with mild dish soap and the water. Dry them thoroughly and immediately with a soft cloth (no air drying!). To keep the finish looking good, you may want to coat the surface with mineral oil every now and then. Let sit overnight, then wipe off with paper towels.

Oven-to-table pots and pans

Most oven-to-table cookware is dishwasher safe; for best results, use a detergent formulated to remove burnt foods.

But if you have a pot or saucepan that is not dishwasher safe, it can help to pretreat it before washing your hands. Use a plastic spatula to remove as much of the stuck-on food as possible, rinse the dish, then scrub away stubborn spots with a bristle brush and a mixture of baking soda and liquid dish soap. Once you’ve got rid of the grime, run it in the dishwasher as usual.

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