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Cleaning expert Ashley Iredale says rinsing dishes before the dishwasher leaves them dirtier

Rinsing dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher is likely to leave them dirtier than loading them straight from the table, an Australian cleaning expert has claimed.

Ashley Iredale, a consultant with consumer advocacy group CHOICE, told the ABC there is ‘absolutely no need to pre-rinse’ plates and encouraged people to skip the widely practiced step if they want to avoid deeply ingrained food stains.

That’s because most dishwashers have built-in sensors which detect how dirty items are so they can blast them with an appropriate strength of water and detergent.

All you need to do is scrape solid food into the bin before stacking plates on the bottom shelf of the dishwasher, he said.

Mr Iredale’s claim is supported by cleaning experts from lifestyle website Bon Appetit, who called the concept of pre-rinsing an ‘urban myth’ earlier this month. 

Contrary to popular belief, experts said there’s no benefit to pre-rinsing which only wastes time and water. 

Pre-rinsing should only be considered if dirty dishes have been sitting for a prolonged period before being loaded into the dishwasher.

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In these cases a quick wash can ‘work wonders’ to remove tough stains, Melbourne facilities management director Bridget Gardner told the ABC.

The revelation divided Australians, with many arguing that chunks of food clog the dishwasher filters if they’re not rinsed off.

‘If you don’t remove scraps from plates before stacking them in a device with filters, where do you imagine those scraps end up?’ one man asked.

Another said: ‘If you see how thin the drain hose is on a dishwasher then you’d understand why you need to rinse. It only takes a couple of peas or corn kernels to block the pipe and then you’re pulling the whole thing apart.’

One woman agreed with the pre-rinse ban, saying: ‘It wastes water. The dishwasher is supposed to be more water efficient than a sink – but not if you rinse!’

‘Scrape, stack and run. Rinsing will block the sink anyway, scraping is good for the compost bin – if you have to throw away food.’

Others said they prefer to wash plates by hand because loading the dishwasher is too much hassle to begin with.

‘I’ve never understood this, if you’re going to rinse it anyway then why not just take the extra 5 seconds to wipe the cutlery fully with dish washing liquid? What is the point of the dishwasher then? asked one man.

A woman said: ‘I find it easier to do dishes by hand then to put them in a dishwasher…things often don’t wash properly and then need hand washing anyway.’

Earlier this month, Bon Appetit experts told Australians that dishwashers should be filled from back to front to maximise space, with cutlery pointing downwards to reduce risk of injury and the chance of smudging freshly cleaned stainless steel.

Sharp kitchen knives, wooden boards and pans should never be machine washed, according to experts who say it will damage the finish of the items as well as the inside of the dishwasher.

They also recommend placing bowls and cups face down or at an angle to prevent water from accumulating, and stacking plates on the bottom shelf where the spray from the jets is strongest. 

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