How To Load A Dishwasher Properly

Dishwashers have entirely changed the way we wash dishes, saving people time and money. But what if you are using a dishwasher wrong? We have broken down how to best use a dishwasher based on real-life tests.

The results and recommendations will depend on the dishwasher you have. The best dishwashers clean even the most problematic dishes. In comparison, some of the cheaper dishwashers struggle to spotless dishes once they go beyond a certain point. 

Even the best dishwashers struggle when misused. When using a dishwasher, you need to ensure it is packed correctly and not overfull.

You can check the specific dishwashers owner manual for particular loading instructions. That way, you can get the optimal results every single time. 

In general, however, there are best practices that work across almost all dishwashers. In this article, I will cover these best practices so that you can load your dishwasher correctly every time.

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Top Rack

The top rack is ideal for smaller objects, and dishwasher-safe plastics—your cups, glasses, small bowls, and other small items belong on the top shelf. 

Bottom Rack

The bottom rack should hold the larger dishes. All of your plates, bowls (apart from small bowls), chopping boards and other large dishes belong on this rack. Ensure that you scrape any leftover food or larger food chunks off the dishes before packing them. Your dishwasher should be able to handle the small scraps of food and grime on the dishes. Because of this, pre-rinsing isn’t necessary. 


Specific Rack Placements

Now that you know which rack to place your dishes on, where on the rack should the dishes go? 

Oversized dishes (chopping boards and platters) should be placed on the back or the side of your dishwasher. This frees up water flow inside the dishwasher. 

Difficult dishes such as dishes used for baking should be placed face down near the spray arm.

Most dishwashers have a basket for your utensils. You should place forks and spoons with the handles facing up in this basket and knives with the handles facing down. This provides the best clean without the danger of picking knives up by the blade. You should mix the knives, forks, and spoons in each divider to ensure they don’t nest within each other. That will limit the effect of the dishwasher. Good quality knives generally recommend cleaning by hand. Check your knives owners manual for specific instructions.

Unloading Instructions

When unloading a dishwasher, you should empty the bottom rack first. That way, when you pick up dishes from the top shelf, they won’t spill on the other dishes. 

What Can’t Be Placed In The Dishwasher?

You shouldn’t place any:

  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Wood
  • China
  • China with Gold Leaf
  • Plastics that don’t say dishwasher safe

The items can discolour and damage inside the dishwasher. That’s why you should hand wash any dishes made from these materials.

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