How to Load a Dishwasher 101

There are several essentials tips to keep in mind for the best way to load a dishwasher. Depending on the brand a dishwasher has different racks and internal workings, meaning each has a unique loading pattern. Consult your manufacturer’s instructions about how to load your dishwasher to ensure you get the most effective cleaning.

  1. Pre-rinse any dishes that will sit in the dishwasher for a while before you run a cycle.
  2. Some items — like cast iron cookware — should never go in this machine. Make sure you know what not to put in the dishwasher.
  3. Don’t stack dishes, as this prevents the sprayer from reaching everywhere.
  4. Make sure plastic items are secure, so they don’t get knocked loose. If they are unsettled and get too close to the heating element, they can melt.
  5. Avoid crowding the dishwasher, as this can lead to dishes getting broken or not being washed effectively.

Loading Silverware in a Dishwasher

Loading silverware in the dishwasher should be a no brainer, You just drop it in, right? Well, there’s a bit more to it.

  • When possible, mix forks, spoons and knives to prevent them from nesting.
  • Load some utensils — like forks and spoons — with handles facing down.
  • Knives should be loaded with the handles facing up so that you don’t cut yourself.
  • Keep silver-plated utensils and stainless steel utensils separate to prevent damage to your good silver.

How to Load Large Items

Larger dishes like plates, casserole dishes, dishwasher-safe baking sheets and mixing bowls should be loaded on the bottom rack. But there are a few things you might not be aware of.

  • Make sure the largest items are positioned towards the sides and the back of the rack. (This will allow the water to circulate more evenly.)
  • Load dishes so that the side that is dirty faces the sprayer.
  • Space out larger items to ensure they’re properly cleaned.
  • . Many non-stick pots and pans should be washed by hand, don’t assume they are dishwasher safe, it’s best to always consult the care instructions.

How to Load Smaller Items in Your Dishwasher

As it goes, the top rack is reserved for smaller items, such as coffee mugs, small bowls and glasses. Make the most of each dishwashing cycle with these tips.

  • Place items in between the tines on the rack to prevent water spots.
  • Load cups and mugs at an angle — with the inside of the cup facing the sprayer — to help limit pooling.
  • Unload the bottom rack first so that any liquid that has puddled in cups or mugs doesn’t splash on clean dishes.
  • Skip the dishwasher when it comes to cleaning wine glasses, as their delicate globes and stems can easily break.
  • Load dishwasher-safe plastic food storage containers and other plastic items on the top rack — and far away from the heating element — to help prevent warping and buckling.

Need to upgrade your current dishwasher? Consider the Cosmo Built-in Dishwasher.

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