It's something that's been tearing families apart for decades. It's right up there with "should the toilet paper roll go over or under." Well now, once and for all, we settle one of the oldest couples' arguments ever:

Should you rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher?

For years, I was a rinse the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher kind of guy. My wife, on the other hand, always got annoyed, and would always tell me it wasn't necessary. So, I did some serious research and here's what I learned:

You're actually NOT suppose to rinse the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher and here's why:

According to, any newer dishwasher sold within the last 5-7 years that was $500 or more has a built-in sensor that will automatically check to see how dirty the water is. Then, it will also determine how long of a cycle is needed to get the dishes as clean as possible. If the sensor detects little or no dish crud, it will proceed to a lighter wash setting, and leave some of the dishes and glassware with bits of food stuck to them. Now, to take advantage of this feature, you will actually have to scrape some of the leftover food off the dishes, but you're supposed to leave a good majority of the food on the plates for the dishwasher to take care of.

Here are three handy dandy tips to achieve the cleanest dishes ever:

  • Load your dishwasher according to the diagram in the manual. Not all dishwasher racks are the same.
  • Run the hot water in the sink before turning the dishwasher on to prevent the cycle from starting with cold water.
  • For optimal drying, all dishwasher manufacturers recommend a rinse aid, which causes water to sheet off glassware and dishes.

Here's what some of our listeners had to say on Facebook when asked the question, "Do you rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher?":

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