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The dishwasher just might be the favorite appliance of any given kitchen. It saves you a ton of time and does the dirty work for you. Literally. What’s not to love about that?

But for all the use that this washing workhorse gets, do you really know how to use it correctly? Here are the top 9 must-know dishwasher tips and tricks, so you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your favorite appliance.

Here’s our first tip:

1. Start with a clean dishwasher.

A dirty dishwasher means dirty dishes. Every few days make sure that there aren’t any debris hanging out in the bottom of the dishwasher. You can remove the screen and filter from the bottom and rinse them out; they’re easy to pop back in. It’s a good plan to place a cup of white vinegar in the top rack (facing up) and to run an otherwise empty dishwasher on a regular wash cycle every once in a while. This cleans out any gunk and deposits that might have built up with use.

Click through to the next page for our most important tip of all…

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