Consumer Reports reveals the secrets to getting your dishes sparkly clean

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Consumer Reports expert testing helps you find the best performing dishwashers, but you also want that dishwasher to last for many years. Seven On Your Side's Michael Finney tells you how Consumer Reports experts reveal the secrets to getting sparkling clean dishes for years to come.

Consumer Reports' tough tests reveal the top-performing dishwashers, but you also want that dishwasher to last. "There are many factors that can affect the life of your dishwasher but there's also a lot of things you can do to keep them running longer. The good news is these things are really easy to do," said Haniya Rae, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

First, only put items in the dishwasher that are supposed to go in the dishwasher. "You might think it's simple and want to put that glass jar with the label on into your dishwasher to clean it but the label can come off and either clog the filter or jam the pump," Rae.

Be sure to only load "dishwasher-safe" plastics on the top rack. "Some plastic pieces can melt and break off and that can clog your filter," said Rae.

RELATED: Consumer Reports recommends best dishwasher detergents

Keep strong chemicals like bleach and de-greasing agents out of the dishwasher, too.

And show your dishwasher some tender-loving care with regular cleanings. "If you have a manual filter on your dishwasher you should regularly take it out and rinse out any food or debris caught in it. You can also wipe down the space between the door and the gasket," said Rae.

Another tip? Skip the partial loads and fill the dishwasher completely before you run it. "You should run full loads because this cuts down on the number of cycles it has to run. Dishwashers have mechanical parts and the more that you run the dishwasher the faster those parts wear out," said Rae.

Finally, a performance tip that might sound weird and counter-intuitive, but stop rinsing your dishes. Just scrape. "Today's dishwashers have soil sensors. If you load your dishes and there's no detectable soil or debris your dishwasher might set itself to a lighter setting and it won't wash your dishes as well," said Rae.

If a lasting dishwasher is a top priority, Consumer Reports' latest survey asked Consumer Reports members about the nearly 75 thousand dishwashers they've purchased in the last decade. Bosch and Thermador received the highest ratings for reliability and owner satisfaction.

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