How to Load the Dishwasher Properly,
and other dishwasher loading advice.
It’s the subject of many debates at home – just how do you load a dishwasher properly? Most of us think we know, other probably just don’t want to admit it… but there s a chance you’ve been loading your dishwasher incorrectly for years. Doing this can result in broken, corroded and continuously dirty dishes. In today’s Laura Report we review how to load the dishwasher properly and provide you with some other dishwasher tips so you get the most out of your dishwasher.
Some Common Mistakes:
- The #1 mistake many people make when loading the dishwasher is pre-rinsing. If you rinse your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, you are not only wasting water and energy, but your prevent the detergent from doing it’s job.Dishwasher detergents are designed to cling to food particles and separate them from the dish surfaces, if you are not providing particles for the soap to clean you can end up with soap residue on your dishes and it can give you that cloudy look to your glass ware.
- The second most common mistake is putting glassware over the tines. It’s a common misconception that glassware belongs over the tines in the top rack for the dishwasher. While cups and glasses do belong on the top rack, they should actually be placed in between the tines to prevent cracks or chips that can occur when they rattle or bump against each other during the wash cycle.
- Third is loading every plate in the same direction. Avoid loading plates in a single direction. Instead, arrange them all facing the center so they have even access to the soap and sprayer.
- Our last very common mistake is Overfilling. Just like your washing machine, a dishwasher is less effective if it’s crammed full of stuff. If water and soap cannot freely circulate, your dishes will not come out clean. Avoid overcrowding by hand-washing a few items.
What a loaded dishwasher should look like:
How to load the dishwasher top rack
Items you will find in the top rack:
- Glasses, Cups and Wine Glasses
- Odd-shaped utensils
- Soup or Cereal Bowls
If you dishwasher has a third rack you would use that for your silverware and other utensils.
When loading the dishwasher top rack it’s important to make sure that the spray arm can reach all your dishes. I know it is very tempting to put cups on the bottom rack when the top is full, but you must resist! The dishwasher top rack is specifically designed for glassware and cups. The top rack receives a gentler wash and is the place for all delicate items. Cups should also be stored face down and at an angle to allow water to run off their bottoms properly. Your smaller bowls should be placed properly between the tines to help prevent from water collecting. Also, make sure they are not overlapping at the top as this can make it difficult for the water to reach inside.
How to load the dishwasher bottom rack
Items belonging on the dishwasher lower rack include:
- Plates – all sizes
- Pots & pans
- Other large cookware
Make sure you’re considering where the detergent dispenser, spray arms and water jets are – its not the same in every dishwasher. It’s important when loading the dishwasher that the spray arms can circulate fully and the dispenser is not blocked. When you are loading up the bottom rack, everything should face towards the center. You might notice the tines are set for that already. When loading plates, alternate between large and small sizes to promote the best water flow and the deepest clean. All large items like pots, pans or casserole dishes should be loaded along the sides or towards the back of the bottom rack. If you load these items in the front it is possible that they will block the soap dispenser and prevent detergent from reaching the rest of the dishes. With large bowls make sure you don’t limit their water intake by placing them face down. When placed on their side they receive a lot more water flow.
How to load the dishwasher silverware basket:
Today’s silverware baskets are a little more advanced then older baskets. The traditional section of the baskets comes with cell covers, which spaces your forks, spoons and knives for you. You are still provided open sections of the basket for other random utensils you might have. If your silverware basket does not have cell covers you will need to make sure you are placing them in alternating directions. For safety reasons always put your knives facing down. For your forks and spoons, mix it up – have some handles facing up and others down. The key is to make sure you prevent your spoons from, well, “spooning” as this will reduce access to soap and water.
Other items to note:
- Never load Bronze, Pewter, Copper, Cast Iron or Wood in your dishwasher. These materials can not handle the heat a dishwasher can produce.
- Stainless Steel and Silver should never be loaded into the dishwasher next to each other. If the two types touch during a wash cycle a reaction may occur and your sliver could pit.
- Always check that your plastics are dishwasher safe before putting them in. If your dishwasher has an exposed heating element plastic should be placed only on the top rack to prevent from melting. If your dishwasher has a concealed heating element then you plastics can be placed anywhere within your dishwasher.
- As for detergents, powders, liquids and packets can all clean well. But the detergent has to be fresh or it won’t do the job. A good rule of thumb is to buy only what you can use up within two months, so those large Costco size detergents are a no no. They should also be stored in a cool, dry area of your home. Putting them under your sink and cause your detergent to clump or deteriorate because of moisture.
We hope with this article we were able to resolve any linger questions you might have had about how to load the dishwasher properly or at least settle a few arguments.