How to Load a Dishwasher Correctly

Find out how to load a dishwasher for maximum results and spotless, residue-free glasses, dishes and cutlery. Also discover how not to damage utensils.

How to Load a Dishwasher Correctly
When it comes to dish issues, how you put dirty dishes into your dishwasher can have a big impact on how they look when you take them out. Here are some helpful hints on how to maximize the magic in the dishwasher and make sure your dishes always come out sparkling.

A lot of dishwasher owners are convinced they need to prerinse their dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, but with a good detergent like Fairy Platinum capsules there is no need to prerinse.

First and foremost, always make sure you load your dishwasher following the manufacturer guidelines.. After all, every dishwasher is made slightly differently. It’s a good idea to always load dishes so that their messy sides are facing away from the walls of the dishwasher, towards the sprayer. If you have plastic dishes, check to make sure that they’re dishwasher-safe. Place plastics on the top rack away from your dishwasher’s heating mechanism in the bottom which could melt plastic.

When loading cutlery into your utensil basket, try alternating between head-first and feet-first. Loading cutlery all feet-first can cause utensils to nest together, which prevents a thorough cleaning. Also, if you have sharp knives, load them tips-down to prevent any accidental injuries—especially if you have children or pets. If you have oversized utensils, like ladles that won’t fit in the utensil basket, consider threading them through coffee mug handles on the top rack. The coffee mug handles will keep the utensils secure while the wash cycle is on.

More fragile items like glasses should typically be reserved for the top rack of any dishwasher. This keeps them away from the powerful sprayer on the bottom of the machine. If possible, angle cups and glasses to prevent water from collecting on top after the washing cycle is complete. With wine glasses and other delicate items, try stacking them a finger-width apart from each other so they don’t touch each other during the wash. To ensure your glasses come out looking great, try stacking them between the top-rack tines, not over them. Otherwise wet contact points can leave behind spots when they dry.

Tall Plates and Pans
So long as your oversized items are dishwasher-safe, load them in! Be sure to place them in the rear or sides of your dishwasher to ensure they don’t block the detergent chamber on your dishwasher’s dispenser door. Ensure the wash tower or spray arm (hanging below the top rack) are not blocked by large items. If the cleaning water doesn’t hit the dirty parts of the dishes, they will NOT get clean. To double check your placement you can always try spinning the spray arm to make sure it doesn’t hit anything. Always position large plates and pans with messy surfaces facing inwards towards the dishwasher’s water jets. If your utensil basket is removable, it may be helpful to relocate it in order to accommodate larger items.

Unloading the Dishwasher
When unloading, begin with the bottom rack first. The top rack can sometimes drip when being pulled out, and an empty bottom rack ensures those clean dishes won’t have anything to rain on their parade.