365 Ways #81–Dishwashing and the environment Posted on September 01, 2010, 0 Comments

#86–Loading the dishwasher right, and not overloading it, will get your dishes cleaner.

Load large items at the sides and back of the dishwasher so that they don’t block water and detergent from reaching other dishes.
Place the dirtier side of the dishes toward the center of the machine for more exposure to spray.
Load silverware in the individual silverware slots most dishwashers now include. If you have an open basket, mix forks, spoons and knives to prevent them from sticking together.

Also, remove baked on food and large chunks, but for the most part, pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher is not only unnecessary, it wastes thousands of gallons of water and could actually result in dirtier dishes. The soap needs something to work against to get the dishes clean. And that soap needs to be something that's not destructive to our environment, too, of course. Look for "green" products like the ones from Seventh Generation.