How to Load Your Dishwasher
There’s nothing worse than finding dirty items after your dishwasher has finished a cycle. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as overloading or putting crockery in the wrong places.
Not sure if you’ve been loading your dishwasher correctly? Read our handy guide to learn exactly where to place your dishes, so you can get sparkling results every time!
Check for Dishwasher-Safe Items
Firstly, you need to make sure your items are dishwasher-safe. Although you can clean most dinnerware in the dishwasher, some items should only be washed by hand – otherwise, you risk damaging them, and even your machine. Delicate items include:
- Sharp knives
- Crystal glass
- Wooden utensils
- Copper pans
- Gold-plated dishware
- Cast iron
- Non-stick pots and pans
If you’re unsure about whether something is dishwasher-safe, check your machine’s manual or look for a symbol on the item.
Load the Bottom of Your Dishwasher
It may not seem like it, but the way you load your dishwasher makes a big difference to its efficiency. It’s important that water can circulate properly, or some items may not get a thorough clean. We recommend starting with the bottom rack:
- Plates and dishes: Load into the slots facing inwards, with the dirty side facing the water.
- Pots, pans and casserole dishes: Face downwards and avoid overcrowding or stacking.
- Roasting tins and baking trays: Place along the sides and back of the rack.
Load Your Dishwasher’s Cutlery Basket
Most dishwashers have a separate cutlery basket in the bottom rack, but some larger models have a dedicated cutlery drawer.
If your model has a cutlery basket, here are some points to bear in mind:
- Make sure the forks and spoons don’t nest together – place some with handles up and others down.
- Face knife blades downwards so that sharp edges are out of harm’s way.
- Lay down utensils with long, thin handles on the top rack.
- Keep stainless steel and silverware separate, to prevent the silver from tarnishing.
Or, if your dishwasher has a cutlery drawer:
- Lay down all utensils and make sure there’s enough space between them.
- Face spoons downwards so that water doesn’t pool up.
Load the Top of Your Dishwasher
As a general rule, any cups or glasses should go into the dishwasher’s top drawer. We also recommend placing small bowls on the top shelf for better cleaning. Here’s how to place these items:
- Cups and bowls: Angle on a tilt so that the water can drain properly.
- Glasses: Place along the drawer’s side for a more gentle wash from water jets.
- All drinkware: Avoid placing on the prongs, as this can lead to water spots. Ensure that wine glasses aren’t touching to prevent them from shattering.
All dishwasher-safe plastic items should also go on the top shelf. The machine’s heating element is normally at the bottom, so the plastic is less likely to melt at the top.
Get the Best Results from Your Dishwasher
Now you know how to load your dishwasher correctly, we have some more advice to help you get the best cleaning results:
- Scrape off leftovers: Any remaining food should be scraped from dinnerware before placing in the machine. If you aren’t running a wash immediately, give it a quick rinse.
- Avoid overfilling: It’s tempting to overfill or stack items in your dishwasher for faster results. But, this doesn’t produce the best results. It’s better to load fewer items for a thorough clean – and it’s more energy efficient!
- Check the spinning arms: These should be able to move freely before starting a wash.
- Empty the bottom rack first: When a cycle has finished, emptying the bottom rack first prevents water dripping down from the top layer.
- Read the dishwasher’s manual: This should offer additional usage instructions.
So, follow the tips in our guide, and you can say goodbye to lingering leftovers and dirty dinnerware! Loading a machine properly produces better results, increases your dishes’ lifespan, and even saves water and energy. Get rid of that need for a second clean and achieve spotless dishwashing results, every time.