Did you know: It might be better NOT to prewash dishes?

I was around before dishwashers became a mainstay in the house. We would hand wash all our dishes. Then, we moved into a new house that had a dishwasher. How awesome is that, having a machine that would wash dishes for you!

Not so fast. The dishwasher was looked upon with suspicion in our household, an appliance that could not be trusted. I was taught that we had to pre-wash the dishes before putting it into the dishwasher. 

Many years later, I worked at the Procter and Gamble company, the company that makes Cascade dishwashing detergent. I left to start my own business (yes, this website and all the products on it). 

But it wasn't until recently that one of my former colleagues said it was actually better NOT to pre-wash your dishes if you're using an enzyme based detergent like Cascade Complete because the enzymes were activated by food particles. Was this true?

Yes, according to the Cascade website.  "The enzymes actually work BETTER if you don't pre-wash your dishes, because without food to attack, their cleaning power is underutilized." This is great news. Less water, less work, more clean. The type of win-win-win that's one of our values.

So I gave it a try. Here's the before picture:


And I used one of the Cascade Platinum Action Pacs

(Sorry for the poor angle, it's hard to hold a phone and open a tub at the same time)

I ran the dishwasher at the normal cycle, and here are the results!

Voila! Myth busted! Take a special look at the cutting boards, before and after. They are clean as a whistle. 

Loading the dishwasher is a lot less work now after finding out about this. I like to think of the stuck on food as breakfast for the little enzymes to start their day of work. So stop pre-washing your dishes and use an enzyme based detergent!

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1 comment

I have the pre wash syndrome while my wife is the opposite. When visiting my father-in-law the DW 👮‍♀️, I often hear him upset because he not only prewash, but he scrubs the dishes clean prior to running the cycle. And don’t forget using the rack as an overnight drying station😂


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