Have you ever questioned whether or not to rinse dirty dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? It’s a common question since most people wonder how it will affect the cleaning results and if the dishwasher will clog.

There is no need to pre-rinse your dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher. All you need is to scrape any solid food off your dishes, pop them in the unit, and let it do the rest.

Experts say that pre-rinsing dishes may actually give you poor cleaning results. This is because some dishwashers use advanced soil sensors to detect the amount of dirt on the dishes. Hence, rinsing them may trick the machine into a slight wash when it should do a thorough clean cycle.

Here’s our take on putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher and finding the perfect balance.

Can You Leave Dirty Dishes in the Dishwasher?

Dirty dishes can stay in the dishwasher for three to four days. Any longer than that, you will be inviting bacteria to survive, posing a threat to your health.

Also, the longer you wait, the food particles will harden onto the plates making it harder for the dishwasher to clean.

Reasons Against Leaving Dirty Dishes in the Dishwasher

They Will Attract Pests

Roaches will find their way into your dishwasher thanks to the abundance of food on the dishes. Thus, they can easily become an infestation that will be harder to clear once they set foot in your kitchen.

Stinky Dishwasher

You definitely don’t want to leave food to ferment in the dishwasher. The smell produced can make it difficult to conduct your business in the kitchen. Moreover, you will have a stinky machine that will require you to run the unit for longer than usual to remove stuck-on food and stains.

Do You Need to Rinse Dishes Before Putting Them in The Dishwasher?

It is mostly unnecessary to pre-rinse dishes. Doing this is performing some of the dishwasher’s duties. Furthermore, modern dishwashers have advanced technology that makes them more effective at cleaning the dirtiest dishes. Take a look at your dishwasher specs, and you’re likely to find that pre-rinsing is a futile task.

All you need is to scrape the food particles into a bin and place them in the dishwasher. You will be saving time, water, and energy.

However, pre-rinsing can work wonders if your dishes have been sitting in the dishwasher for three or four days. This is because stuck-on food will be easier to remove, especially if you have crusts already forming on the dishes.

Some may argue that not rinsing dishes is a sure way to have a backed-up drain. Nevertheless, an older dishwasher can use the extra help from rinsing dishes. Plus, you won’t have to deal with a clogged filter basket.

The best way to go around it is to place dishes soiled enough for the dishwasher to know they are dirty.

Can You Put Pots and Pans in the Dishwasher?

You can place pots and pans in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher safe. This will depend on the material of the cookware, as materials like aluminum, cast-iron, copper, and non-stick are not safe to clean in a dishwasher. Still, if the pots and pans are dishwasher safe, running them through a quick cycle is best to avoid damaging their finish.

You may place stainless steel pots and pans since they are generally dishwasher safe. Nonetheless, the humidity can cause damage over time.

Dishwashers also loosen the handles of pots and pans over time, which will give you a hard time when cooking.


To rinse or not to rinse has been a constant argument when using the dishwasher. It makes sense if you have an older model because it may not have the best soil-sensing technology. However, rinsing could be counteractive if you have the latest models because you may end up with poor cleaning results.