I always scrub my dishes really well before putting them in the dishwasher. I actually spend as much time cleaning them by hand as I did when I was in college and did not have a dishwasher. However, on commercials, they always show dishwashers filled like this (or worse even):
Do people actually load their dishwasher with dishes that have this much stuff still on them? Does it work? If it does, what if the food is all dry and encrusted?
Being a liberal pansy, I've often thought about this as hand-washing a load of dishes in the sink can easily cause you to tear through 20-30 gallons of water if you leave the water running for most the process, particularly if you rinse off your dishes with direct faucet water as opposed to having a "rinse pool". By comparison, a dishwasher cycle for my particular model uses 2.5 gallons of water per load.
Most Helpful Girl
I've loaded pretty dirty dishes into the dishwasher before, and they've come out clean. Every now and then, there will still be some caked-on food, but then you just scrub that off and put it away or let it run in the dishwasher another cycle.1