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How to clean cutlery in the dishwasher

How to clean cutlery in the dishwasher

From whether you can put silver cutlery in the dishwasher to how to load a dishwasher cutlery basket properly, we share our top tips on making sure your cutlery and utensils shine after every wash.

From caring for your precious silverware to ensuring your expensive knives don’t dull, it’s important to understand how to load a dishwasher cutlery basket properly in order to get optimum results.

Which way should cutlery go in the dishwasher?

The question of whether to place your knives, forks and spoons up or down is a common debate when deciphering how to load utensils in the dishwasher. Truth be told, there are multiple ways to do this, depending on how full your dishwasher is. 

If you’ve got space, spoon handles can go up when you load the dishwasher cutlery basket – however, if you’re filling the basket to capacity, it’s best to point spoon handles down to save room. Large utensils, like serving tongs and spoons, can be rested on the top shelf, whilst forks and knives are safer to place in the basket pointy side down (for obvious reasons!).

Whether you’re ‘Team Up’ or ‘Team Down’ it’s always best to consult your dishwasher manual first to be sure. 

Can you put knives in the dishwasher?

When it comes to putting knives in the dishwasher, it depends on what kind of knife it is. You can put them in – particularly when it comes to cutlery and the likes – but you may want to wash your more expensive knives by hand. These will usually include expensive ones such as carving knives, your best steak knives, ceramic knives, and all those that you want to keep particularly sharp. This is because putting sharp knives in the dishwasher can dull them over time, so washing your valuable ones by hand (think those you use for slicing, peeling, chopping!) will keep them sharper for longer.

Do dishwashers blunt all knives?

Dishwashers do tend to blunt sharp knives over time, but this shouldn’t be a massive concern for the cutlery knives you use every day. Plus, we don’t always have time to wash all our knives by hand – so if you are putting them in the dishwasher, just bear these things in mind:

  • Always separate sharp knives in cutlery baskets: Your best knives should always be kept apart, so they don’t come in contact during the wash and dullen.
  • Purchase a dishwasher knife rack: This will ensure that your knives are cleaned effectively and won’t cause the same issues that stacking them in a single basket might.
  • Always place your knives upside down: You should always put your knives blunt side up to avoid any accidents that could happen.
  • Choose the right dishwasher tablets: This will help to bring out the cleaning power of a dishwasher and help to maintain the shine of your sharp knives. We would recommend a Finish dishwasher detergent.
Video tutorial: How to load your dishwasher

Your detergent needs to complement the cleansing action of your dishwasher. Automatic dishwashing detergent is specially formulated to disperse food residue and greasy soiling, hold it in suspension, and remove it in the final rinse. It does all this while producing little or no suds.

For best results use the detergent recommended by the manufacturer of your machine.

However, finish is the #1 brand in the automatic dishwashing category. It is recommended by leading dishwasher manufacturers such as Bosch*. In very hard water areas we also recommend the use of separate Salt and Rinse aid to protect your machine and achieve the best result.

*Finish brand is #1 global value sales in Automatic Dish Washing category (source: NielsenIQ RMS data).

No need to! Pre-rinsing is a thing of the past. And although many British households do it, it’s time consuming and wasteful of precious resources.   

Modern detergents such as Finish Quantum Max contain both bleach and enzymes and are recommended by dishwasher manufacturers for use without pre-rinsing.

Bleach fights tough stains like tea and coffee, and enzymes breakdown proteins and starches. All you have to do is scrape the larger pieces into the rubbish bin and load your dishwasher.

Dishwasher tablets contain surfactants, which affect the liquid they are added to, making it more efficient at picking up and washing away debris. They also include enzymes (to break down starchy foods and protein), builders (to tackle hard water) and safe bleaches.

Once you’ve put your dishwasher tablet into the detergent dispenser compartment, your machine will release the contents at the optimal time allowing the tab to disintegrate into the water, release all ingredients and clean your dishes!

Your dishwashing detergent should be stored in a dry environment. If you are using powder, be careful to close the spout after each use to help keep the product dry (and to avoid spills!). Like all cleaning products, store your detergent out of the reach of children.

Rinse aid is required to:

  • Ensure spot-free, shiny dishes
  • Assist the drying function

Salt is required to:

  • Protect your machine from limescale
  • Soften the water for better cleaning

With multi-benefit tablets such as Finish Quantum Ultimate and Finish All in One, rinse aid and salt functions are included. However, in very hard water areas we also recommend the use of separate Salt and Rinse aid products to protect your machine and achieve the best result.

"Dishwasher tablets are very simple to use. If needed, remove any protective packaging, pop the tablet into your detergent dispensing compartment, close the compartment, turn on your washing machine and let technology and Finish handle the rest!

For detailed information on how to use Finish Tablets, read on below.

With dry hands, remove the tablet from the container and place it in the detergent dispenser. Ensure both the dispenser and the tablet is dry to prevent it from dissolving prematurely.

Close the tablets packaging lid tightly. Store away from heat and moisture to protect the remaining tablets.

Our tablets are wrapper-free (with the exception of Finish Classic) and are designed to release their contents when they come into contact with water. Do not pierce or attempt to unwrap the tablets.

Clip the detergent dispenser shut and close your dishwasher.

Make sure all items are dishwasher safe and separate silver from stainless steel.

Wash metal items according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Run dishwasher. The optimal water temperature is 51° – 60°C.

For optimal results, it is recommended to also use Finish Rinse Aid for shinier and drier dishes (vs detergent alone).

Detergent tablets should always be placed in the detergent dispenser compartment.

If you’re placing the tablet at the bottom of the dishwasher it’s likely that it will dissolve too quickly, releasing the detergent during the prewash and leaving no detergent for the main wash cycle. This will reduce the efficiency of your wash.

Whether you need to remove the plastic from your dishwasher tablet depends on the product you have bought. As a good rule of thumb, if the tablet comes individually wrapped then yes, you should remove the plastic wrap before using. If, however, the tablet is encased in a skin of thin, transparent plastic, this should not be removed and will dissolve itself safely during the washing process.

Dishwasher tablets should only go in the dishwasher detergent compartment of your dishwasher, not loose in the dishwasher itself.