Dishwasher debate: To rinse or not to rinse



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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DETROIT, Mich. — It's the dishwashing advice that starts a big debate every time we bring it up.

Consumer Reports says we don't have to pre-rinse the dishes before we put them in the dishwasher.

However, many disagree.

Chrissy Whitwell has two kids and does plenty of dishes.

#poll

She falls on the 'don't rinse side of the debate.

"I mean that's what the dishwasher is there for, isn't it? To wash your dishes, so why should I pre-wash them?" Whitwell said.

She allowed reporter Ruth Spencer to use her kitchen for a non-scientific experiment to see if pre-rinsing makes a difference.

One group of dishes was rinsed before loading; the other group was left covered with food.

In the end, when it came to regular dishes, we couldn't tell which were rinsed, and which were not, but, an egg- covered pan did not come clean whether pre-rinsed, or not.

"Of course our test confirms that rinsing won't touch dried-on egg, or actually any food that's burned on a pan. That goes way beyond the rinse, no-rinse debate, for that you just have to scrub," Spencer said.

Consumer Reports said it found most dishwashers do a good to excellent job of cleaning dishes without pre-rinsing, and all that rinsing can waste, on average, 6,000 gallons of water per year in each household.

Ruth Spencer
    NBC News

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