Is there really a “Right” way to load a dishwasher? The answer is…sort of. Unfortunately, we don’t have a perfect universal arrangement for you today. What we do have are a few tips to get the best wash out of your dishwasher.
Stop Pre-Washing Your Dishes
Your dishwasher and the detergent are designed to clean dirty dishes. If you pre-rinse them when you don’t need to, or go through the trouble of pre-washing your dishes, your dishwasher isn’t going to work as effectively. It needs those food particles to get your dishes clean. You should scrape large food bits into the trash and only pre-rinse or soak heavily soiled dishes and pots/pans.
Plate Placement Matters
Putting cups and dishes in wherever they fit wastes a lot of space. Instead, have a plan of action for loading. Plates should be put in the lower dishrack, if possible at a downward angle facing the center. Place more heavily soiled dishes closer to the center. Always avoid doubling up plates to try to squeeze more into your dishwasher, the water needs to be able to get between them and overloading can cause other issues.
Know What Goes on Top
Glasses, mugs, plastics, bowls, and large utensils should all go in the upper dishrack if possible. The key to loading your dishwasher is angles. Like dishes, bowls should be stacked at a downward angle for water to best reach inside. Cups should be placed at an angle between the pegs (not on them) to avoid water collecting on top of them.
Mix-up Your Utensils
There is a debate over whether utensils should go handle up or handle down. In most dishwashers it doesn’t matter, silverware baskets are designed to let water through so they will get clean either way. However, butter and steak knives should go in handle up for safety purposes. Try to mix your spoons and forks and spread them out to avoid them pressing together.
Know What NOT to Put in Your Dishwasher
Never put Wood or Cast-Iron items in the dishwasher, they will get ruined. Be especially careful with Silver, Brass, and other Fine Metals or China that may tarnish or get damaged in too heavy of a wash cycle. If you’re ever in doubt about an item, hand wash it just to be safe.
Remember, the dishwasher should do the work for you. If you need a little more help, your manual will usually have diagrams with the best arrangement for your model. If your manual is long gone don’t worry, you should be able to find it online.
Need a replacement part for your dishwasher? Check out our selection of Dishwasher Parts here. Don’t forget to like, share, or leave us a comment on this post below!