It's easy to take your dishwasher for granted, but given the time and energy it saves you each day, this trusty kitchen companion deserves to be treated properly.
First off, use the best dishwasher detergent you can afford and only use as much as you need. It may be tempting to throw in some extra detergent before you start a cycle but this will not result in cleaner dishes. On the contrary, it may leave an unwanted layer of film across the surface of your load. Follow instructions - they are there for a reason.
When you are stacking your dishwasher, don't overcrowd your dishes as this could result in breakage or prevent items from being cleaned properly. Rinse everything thoroughly so that you are not clogging up the system with food residue.
Where you place things does matter. Glasses, cups, bowls and large utensils should go on the top rack, while plates, pots, pans and cutlery should go on the bottom. Stay safe by ensuring that all knives are pointing downwards and make sure that the sprayer isn't blocked. When unloading, start with the bottom rack.
Avoid placing non-dishwasher safe items in your machine - this is no place for wood, copper, cast-iron or delicate glassware. They'll either be ruined or cause damage to other items.