Our Tips & Hints

Having been at the forefront of automatic dishwashing for the past 60 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about getting the best results from your machine. Below you’ll find a collection of tips and hints from our experts to help answer questions you may have in and around the kitchen.

1. Is there a right way to load my dishwasher?

When it comes to loading your dishwasher, there is a proper way to load that ensures you get both amazing results and protection for your dishes, cookware and glasses. As always, you should always follow your manufacturer's recommendations when loading your dishwasher, but here are a few simple guidelines to follow:

  • Before you put anything in the dishwasher, scrape off the large food particles and do not pre-rinse. Your dishwasher detergent’s job is to cling to food and help wash it away.
  • With silverware, make sure to avoid nesting so that water can rinse all surfaces.  Since safety comes first, knives should face downwards. With spoons and forks, mix it up!
  • Load your large soiled dishes on the bottom rack of the dishwasher so they get good water flow. Be sure to load stemware and cups on an angle so water can run off the bottoms and dry properly. Always face stains towards the sprayer arms, and as long as pots and pans are dishwasher safe, they can be cleaned.
  • If your dishwasher has an exposed heating element, plastics go in the top rack, but if it has a concealed heating element, plastics can go anywhere in the dishwasher. But be sure your plastic is dishwasher safe!

Find out how our dishwasher detergents and enhancers can help you.


2. How do I get the best results from my dishwasher?

Here are our Top Tips for achieving the best possible cleaning results with your dishwasher.

  • Always scrape off excess food before loading or use a pre-wash programme on heavily soiled items. Modern dishwashers automatically detect and eliminate even the toughest dirt.
  • There is no need to wash your dishes in the sink first when using modern dishwashers and high quality products like Finish. 
  • Load and sort dishes according to manufacturer instructions, allowing water to circulate and reach all items. Generally, larger and dirtier items are best on the bottom rack, cups, glasses and less soiled items should be put on the top rack.
  • Ensure spray arms can rotate and spray water freely. They get blocked by large items such as utensils and pan handles so always give the spray arm a spin before pressing start.
  • Avoid using old or damp detergent and use the detergent recommended by your machine manufacturer 
  • Read and follow all the detergent pack instructions and use right dosages.
  • With multi-benefit tablets, some rinse aid functions are included in the detergent. However specialist rinse aid will prevent drop marks, boost drying results and deliver the complete shine. 
  • To maintain performance of your machine, remove and clean the filters regularly. 
  • Use a high quality dishwasher cleaner to clear build-up of grease and grime in vital hidden dishwasher parts (the average machine needs cleaning once a month)

3. How do I store my dishwasher detergent?

Your dishwashing detergent should be stored in a dry environment. If you are using powders,  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.

FIRST AID - For advice , contact a Poisons Information centre ( Phone Australia 131 146 New Zealnd 0800 764 766) or a doctor

Visit our products page to learn more

4. How do I use Finish Rinse Aid?

  1. Check whether your dishwasher has a built-in liquid rinse aid dispenser which is usually located near the detergent cup(s).
  2. Fill your rinse aid dispenser with our Finish® Rinse Aid. Wipe up any spilled product.
  3. Finish® Rinse Aid is automatically released in the rinse cycle every time your dishwasher runs.

Learn more about Finish® Rinse Aid

5. How do I use Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner?

  1. Do not remove the cap. Instead, remove the sticker from top of the bottle to expose the wax plug.
  2. Make sure your dishwasher is empty.
  3. Place the Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner bottle upside down inside the silverware basket or in any bottom dish rack.
  4. Do not use any soap or dishwasher detergent.
  5. Close dishwasher door, then run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle.
  6. After full cycle is complete and the dishwasher is off, remove the bottle and discard.
  7. For heavy build up, a second application may be necessary.

We recommend that you use Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner once a month, or as soon as you notice build up in your dishwasher.

6. Dishwashing vs. Handwashing

(1) Dishwashing saves you time!

Whilst on Eco or Energy Saving Cycles the dishwasher can take up to 2 hours to run (for everyday loads with normal soil levels), the Normal and Intensive Cycles can often heat up and circulate water for a much shorter period of time which also saves a lot of energy. As well as this, you can run the dishwasher overnight to not only get the work done whilst you sleep, but using cheaper electricity rates too!

If you have only lightly soiled dishes such as glasses, cups and saucers that require cleaning, you can use a short /gentle/ delicate/ glass programme which can take only around 30 minutes to run, leaving you much more time to do enjoy doing the things you love away from the kitchen!

(2) Dishwashing is actually a more hygienic way to clean your dishes vs Handwashing

For getting a good cleaning result when washing up by hand, you need to bring in a lot of mechanical force as this is the main cleaning factor. Temperature and the hand wash liquid itself are less effective as the maximum temperature can only reach about 45°C and the detergent needs to be a mild formulation.
This is different for automatic dishwashing where temperatures can rise up to 70°C and the detergent includes different ingredients which are specially formulated to remove various food residues, like starch, protein or bleachable stains. A dishwasher works more effectively on food stains, as proven in different studies by Bonn University. Results show that washing in a dishwasher leads to better cleaning results than washing up by hand.

(3) Using a Dishwasher will save you more Energy and Water than Handwashing

Did you know that a recent study showed that washing dishes by hand uses more energy than using a dishwasher? The electricity in a dishwasher is used to heat up the water, which is then pumped and recycled around the machine. The less water used, the less electricity is needed to heat up the water.  

Compared to washing dishes by hand, dishwashers use much less water. Handwashing uses up to seven times more water than a regular dishwashing cycle. Dishwashers also heat up the water more efficiently, which results in less heat loss than heating water in a tank and transporting it to the sink. In addition, the appliance is insulated to avoid heat loss from the interior space. All the more reason to use your dishwasher!  

(4) Dishwashers don’t have to be big

That’s why dishwashers come in a range of different sized models, not only 60cm appliances. For example, modern slimline dishwashers are only as wide as a standard cupboard at 45cms, while compact dishwashers can fit on worktops. Slimline models can be loaded with 8 to 9 place settings, compact dishwashers with 4 to 6 place settings. And both dishwasher types work as efficiently as the standard sized model.

Before purchasing a dishwasher, it is therefore quite useful to recap the amount of dishes that need to be cleaned in the household. And if you still want to buy a standard sized dishwasher, there are models featuring the half load function for when there are just a few items to wash.

7. A lot of people think that washing dishes by hand saves water and energy. When actually, it’s the other way around.

8. So what do detergents actually do?

  • Remove soil from surfaces
  • Prevent the re-deposition of soils on the surfaces

     Click here to see how to remove detergent residue

     Learn more at our Dishwashing Expert site


9. So, what do rinse aids actually do?

10. So, what does Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner actually do?

It helps:

  • Remove limescale and grease that can build up in your dishwasher over time
  • Eliminate odor caused by build up in your dishwasher’s filter and freshen your machine
  • Maintain the mechanical power of the sprayer arm
  • Reach the optimal heating temperature

Visit our tips page on dealing with dishwasher odour

Learn the science of Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner at our Dishwashing
Expert site