We’ve all been there before—cups flipped over, plastic spatulas melted, and food stuck on dishes that are supposed to be clean. If you’ve ever wondered how to keep these problems from happening in your dishwasher, you’re not alone. Check out our ultimate guide to loading your dishwasher the right way.
Handwash Only Items
The first rule of dishwasher loading is that there are things you should never, ever put in the dishwasher—unless you’re purposely trying to ruin them. Are there some things that should be hand-washed but will probably be fine in the dishwasher? Yes, but the items below are definitely in the don’t-even-think-about-it category:
- Acrylic trays and dishes
- Teflon and non-stick pans
- Wooden cutting boards
- Chef and steak knives
- Cast iron
- Fine China
- Hand-painted dishes
Loading the Top
The top rack of your dishwasher is for lightweight items like cups and bowls. Turn these upside-down so the dishwasher sprayers can get the insides. Also, if you don’t like the sound of dishes clinking in the dishwasher, place them between the rack tines instead of on them. This turns the tines into bumpers that prevent your dishes from touching.
Loading the Bottom
The bottom rack is where you put large or heavy items like pots, pans, and dinner plates. Try to place these items upright, so they don’t prevent the flow of the sprayers from reaching the other dishes.
The bottom rack is usually where you’ll find the utensil basket. Place your forks and spoons upside-down in the basket and your knife blades up for the best clean. It’s also important to spread your flatware out in the basket instead of grouping items together, like placing all forks in one spot. Flatware pieces of the same type tend to nest, making it harder for the water to get between them.
Say Hello to Cleaner Dishes
We hope this ultimate guide to loading your dishwasher provides the advice you need to obtain cleaner dishes. Also, it’s worth noting that proper loading is one of the tricks for maintaining your dishwasher and prolonging its lifespan. Say goodbye to sticky food residue and hello to sparkling dinnerware!