Raise your hand if you’ve ever rearranged dishes in a dishwasher that someone else loaded. Us too. Because there is one right way to do it, did you know that? And it’s found in your use & care manual. Each dishwasher comes with its own “right way” to load it for optimal performance.
If you’ve lost your use & care manual, try Googling it. Or try these dishwasher loading tips, adapted from Whirlpool.
1. Scrape, don’t rinse
Remove leftover food and hard items from the dishes, though it is not necessary to rinse the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. Repeat, rinsing your dishes is unnecessary. If you’re not going to run your dishwasher immediately, simply run a rinse cycle to keep dishes moist. It will use far, far less water than you and your faucet will.
2. Don’t mess with the rotation
Load dishes so they are not stacked or overlapping. Make sure that tall items, such as pan handles and cookie sheets, don’t get in the way of spray arm. And for best drying results, water must be able to drain from all surfaces.
3. Stay on top
Cups, glasses and plastic items should only be loaded on the top rack, otherwise they could get damaged. Only load cups and glasses in the rows between the rack tines, as putting them over the tines can lead to breakage and water spots.
Small bowls, pans and other utensils can be placed in the top rack. Load bowls in the center section for best stability. Don’t let stemware touch anything else, or else it could break.
4. What should lie beneath
Load plates and soup bowls between the rack tines; plate edges can be overlapped for large loads, but don’t nest bowls because the spray won’t reach all surfaces.
Large items like cookie sheets and cake pans should go along the sides and in the back. If you have a super dirty pan or casserole, load it face down in the rack.
5. Don’t be a basket case
Load some utensils in the silverware basket pointing up and some pointing down to avoid nesting – especially if you eat a lot of peanut butter. Sharp-edged items should always be loaded pointing down.
Small items like baby bottle caps, jar lids and corncob holders should go in sections with hinged covers.
Who loads the dishwasher the best in your house? Let us know in the comments.