Whirlpool dishwashers are a common addition to many kitchens and they offer many options from pre-rinsing to scrubbing pots and pans. Read the owner's manual to learn how to run your specific model. But in the absence of instructions, there are some basic operating procedures that you should practice, according to the Whirlpool customer service website.
Give your dishes a quick rinse under hot water. This procedure will remove the excess food items and grease from the dishes before you load them into the dishwasher racks. If you have just a few dishes, there is a good chance that you will not be turning on the dishwasher immediately, and the excess food will dry and harden on the dishes over time if you don't rinse it off.
Load your dishwasher with all the dishes facing the spin arm where the water is sprayed from during the wash and rinse cycles. Typically, that means to stack your plates and bowls facing the center of the dishwasher. On the upper shelf, place the cups and glasses or small items face down so they do not collect water and so they receive an unimpeded spray of water. Place the silverware with the eating end up for the best wash exposure.
Fill the soap dispenser with the required amount of soap according to directions on the package. If you have very hard water you may have to use more soap than in areas with soft water. Check to make sure your rinse aid is at the proper level, refilling it if necessary.
Close the door firmly. Some models have a latch, but others must be closed firmly before the dishwasher will operate.
Choose the best cycle for the load of dishes. If you have loaded the dishwasher with lightly soiled dishes, there is no need to run a regular cycle if you can use a light wash. For heavily soiled dishes, use a longer running cycle. Start the dishwasher or choose a delay option for running later.