Who would have ever thought a dishwasher could be so dangerous? Today, I’d like to share with you a little about dishwasher safety and what you need to do to keep yourself and your family a little safer while in the kitchen.
As wonderful as the kitchen is, there are a lot of hazardous areas; many of which we don’t consider a danger until it’s too late. Say hello to the dangerous dishwasher.
Dishwasher safety tips
One. When storing automatic dishwasher detergent, always keep it in the original packaging away from the reach of children. Keeping it away from kids is a given, but why’s it so important to keep in its original packaging?
Dishwasher detergents retain moisture and carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere. The moisture can make the product lumpy, causing it to be less effective while in the dishwasher. If a detergent can’t do its job properly, what good is it?
Two. Most of us are guilty of loading the dishwasher, adding the dishwashing detergent closing the dishwasher, and walking away. In the time it took you to leave the kitchen to change the channel on the TV, your kid could have opened the dishwasher, grabbed the squishy orange essence dishwashing gel pack, and started chewing on it.
With that said, make sure to always add detergent just before turning on the dishwasher and return the product immediately back to where you store it.
Three. Once the entire cycle has completed, check to be sure that no detergent is left in the dispenser cups. If there’s a lot of detergent left in the cup, you’ll want to run the dishwasher again. Sometimes the dispense cup doesn’t open up, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to re-run the dishwasher. If there’s just a small amount in there, you’ll just want to clean out if necessary. The hot water alone isn’t enough to kill whatever bacteria may be living on the dirty dishes.
Four. Once the cycle is completed and fully cooled off, you’re ready to empty the dishwasher. Pay close attention to see if any steam is escaping from the dishwasher. If there is steam. To prevent possible burns and scalds, exercise caution when opening the dishwasher door, especially if your kiddos are around. If there’s still steam coming out of it; don’t open the door.
Five. Using homemade dishwashing detergent can make you more susceptible to foodborne illness. There is a possibility the dishwasher detergent you make may not clean your dishes efficiently. Most recipes will call for Borax, which is a pretty common ingredient in a lot of DIY cleaning recipes. Although Borax is a great product there is an actual scientific process in ensuring each dishwashing powder brick or pod holds the correct amount of dishwashing cleaner. Can you say that about your homemade dishwashing detergent?
“No other type of cleaning product such as baking soda, borax, vinegar, or hand dishwashing liquid can be substituted for automatic dishwasher detergent. These other materials will not perform well and may be damaging to the items being washed or to the dishwasher itself”.Healthy Cleaning
Six. Although your hands may not be physically soiled, wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before emptying the dishwasher. By not washing your hands first, you’re putting dirty hands all over the clean dishes. That kind of defeats the purpose.
Seven. Place all utensils, especially sharp items like forks and knives with their points down in the utensil basket. There’s plenty of controversy about the subject of how you should keep your utensils in the dishwasher. Most dishwasher manufacturers state the points of the knives and forks should be pointing up, but there are two safety issues that happen when you do that.
- If the points are up, you’re going to have to touch them with your fingers. (Did you wash your hands before emptying the dishwasher?)
- You risk cutting your fingers, the palm of your hand, or even your wrist when reaching into the dishwasher on a fork or knife. Regardless of how careful you intend to be, you stand a greater risk of a hand injury by doing that.
Believe me; I have the battle scars to prove that point.
Eight. Make sure you carefully put your glassware on the top rack with enough space between each item to prevent breaking or chipping by them rattling between each other.
There’s nothing worse than emptying the dishwasher only to find bits of broken glass.
Nine. Avoid overloading the dishwasher. Yes, we’re all guilty of doing that one. Although shoving as much stuff as possible in the dishwasher may seem like a good idea to save time, but there are a few reasons you shouldn’t do this.
- You may not put enough dishwasher detergent in the cup and all of the dishes won’t be cleaned properly.
- If you put enough dishwasher detergent in the cup, the water and detergent may not be able to clean all of the dishes efficiently.
- You stand a good chance at chipping or breaking glassware or your favorite coffee mug. No one wants that to happen!
- You may cut your fingers or hand on a chipped or broken piece of glass.
Ten. Follow the manufactures directions on the proper use of the dish detergent. Always read the use and cautionary information included on the label of the package.
I know, you’re thinking, “It comes with instructions? That’s crazy, I know how to use this stuff”! Yeah, you do know how, but it never hurts to read the directions.
Eleven. If you’re using a gel dishwashing detergent, wash your hands immediately after use, as some brands contain Formaldehyde. If you get it on your clothes, remove that article of clothing and place it in the laundry basket.
Twelve. Always make sure to close the dishwasher door after loading or unloading dishes to prevent tripping accidents.
Thirteen: Child-proof your dishwasher by adding a lock to help keep your kiddos away from the dishwasher when you’re not using it. Kids are curious by nature and some will open it up and they can either get burnt by steam, eat a sweet-smelling dishwashing pod, or cut themselves on a knife or fork.
If you put the prongs of the knife or fork facing down, that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about. That is unless they pull it out of the utensil holder, and then that’s a whole other story.
Fourteen. Avoid putting plastic in the dishwasher. Due to the force of the water stream a plastic utensil, cover, or small container can fall and land on the heating element. Aside from having your entire house smelling like burnt plastic, it can damage your dishwasher.
Fifteen: Check to make sure the seals of your dishwasher are tight, in case a plastic spatula (as noted above) falls on the heating element and causes a fire, or due to overheating of the dishwashers components.
How many of these dishwasher safety tips are new to you? Is there some dishwasher safety practice I missed that you currently do? Share in a comment.
Until we meet again,