How To: Properly Load Your Dishwasher

February 26 2018


Now, it’s one of those chores that we try to avoid at all costs. It beats washing up, but when it comes to loading those dirty dishes we’ve stockpiled all week – or maybe you’re one of those cooks that uses every utensil in the kitchen for every meal – we’re all guilty of throwing our dirty dishes in the dishwasher, launching in a tablet and worrying about the results later on. But did you know there’s a correct way to load your dishwasher? One that’ll reduce the risk of dishwasher faults, broken pots and ensure all its contents are free from dirt, grime and bacteria.

1. Stack plates vertically

Firstly, load the plates in the slots at the bottom of the dishwasher. I know the feeling when you’re in a rush and you just throw them in any way you can – even if they’re lying face down – but it’s really important they sit in the slots vertically, as this will ensure the tubes, jets and rotating devices can reach the entire surface of each plate. 

2. Place cups and bowls face down

Bowls and cups should be placed face down on the top tray so the water from below can reach them all. Any plates lying flat will block the water from reaching the rest of your dishes. So, unless you really want to see the remains of your Sunday roast when you empty the dishwasher, make sure everything is stacked correctly. 

It’s worth noting that bowls should be stacked at an angle on the top rack, too. Not only will this ensure they reach water, it prevents them from taking up too much room. That way, you can get more in, which means no manual washing of anything you can’t quite fit in. 

3. Put tupperware on the top rack 

If you’re a tupperware user, make sure these go on the top rack as well. The heating source in the dishwasher is located on the bottom, so by placing them on the top rack, you’re preventing any risk of them melting or becoming damaged. 

4. Place oversized dishes on the bottom rack 

Place oversized dishes on the bottom rack only – and make sure there’s room to fit them in open-side down. Any overcrowding will stop the water from cleaning the rest of the dishes. It may even be necessary to wash larger pots and pans by hand. 

5. Stick cutlery in the basket handle down

Stick all of your cutlery handle down in the cutlery basket. Try and separate them as best you can to ensure they all get the water they need. Ideally, sharp knives and wooden-handled utensils should be washed by hand.

6. Put fragile items on the safety rack

Finally, if you’re a wine fan and are running out of glasses for your next bottle, remember to put all of your wine glasses on the plastic safety rack at the top. This will keep fragile pieces from getting scratched or cracked.

Once you’ve followed all these handy tips, your dishwasher is ready to be put on. Then, it’s time to sit back and wait for the dishwasher to work its magic. That's until it's time to empty it, of course.
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