Experts Share the Best Way to Load a Dishwasher
Today I want to talk about loading the dishwasher – specifically the best way to load a dishwasher. Whilst it may be tempting to just throw things in your dishwasher, this will never get the best results. You think how you load a dishwasher doesn’t matter? Think again.
Depending on how old you are, your youthful experience with dishwashers may have been a different one. You may have grown up in a household where you were the dishwasher or the dish dryer (whinging that your family didn’t buy a dishwasher).
Alternatively, you may have lived in a house with a dishwasher and seen your parents stack it every night. Your parents may have made it one of your chores, and you may have had some practice before you had to move out and fend for yourself.
If your first experience stacking a dishwasher was immediately after you moved out from home, chances are that you have made every mistake in the book – blunt knives, warped chopping boards and plastics, broken crockery and dishes not cleaned properly. If you are still making these mistakes when loading your dishwasher, this article may be just what you need.
With this article we have sourced tips from the experts on the best way to load a dishwasher. If you follow these tips your dishes will be clean and sparkling:
The Best Way to Load a Dishwasher
Place the dirty side of your dishes towards the centre of the dishwasher
You need to make sure you place all of your dishes with the dirty sides towards the centre. Staking your dishes this way means that they will be angled correctly towards the rotating washer jets that spray upwards (and sometimes also downwards) to wash and rinse your dishes. It also means that they will dry correctly.
Don’t overpack your dishwasher
It may be tempting to try and sneak in “just one more plate” or “just one more cup.” Doing so means that the jets will not be able to do their job properly. Your dishes won’t clean as well as they could. You may even have to end up having to wash dishes again if you overpack your dishwasher and nobody wants to do that.
Make sure items are dishwasher safe before you put them in there
Not everything belongs in the dishwasher. Some items – for example non-stick pans, knives, fine china, and crystal – could be damaged if you choose to put them in the dishwasher. Even if it says it’s “microwave safe”, you still need to think about it. Unfortunately, there are some things that you should just wash by hand.
Put plastic on the top shelf
Plastic containers should be placed on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Plastic containers can be warped by the extremely hot water of a dishwasher jet. The water in from the top jets is generally not as hot as the jets from the bottom shelf.
Start with the top rack first
Your job will be made simpler if you start with stacking the top shelf first. Here is what the experts generally suggest stacking on the top shelf – cups, mugs, drinking glasses, stemware, plastic items and containers, small bowls, small plates and large utensils. Stack your mugs and cups along the edges. Stack your small bowls and plates in between the slots, with the dirty side angled down towards the top shelf jets.
Follow up with the bottom rack
The best way to load the bottom shelf of a dishwasher means limiting the bottom shelf to these items – large bowls, dinner and lunch plates, serving platters, silverware, dishwasher-safe baking dishes and stainless steel pots and pans. Make sure your plates and bowls are placed in the appropriate slots with the dirty side facing inwards towards the jets. Place your large bowls, pots and pans at the back, face down.
Make sure that you aren’t stacking dishes on top of each other otherwise the jets will not be able to do their job and your dishes will not clean properly. The bottom shelf of your dishwasher also likely has a basket for all your cutlery – a basket with a number of slots. When packing this basket it’s important to not overpack each slot. It’s recommended that you pack knives with the blade face down (so you don’t’ cut yourself unpacking) but your forks and spoons will clean better if you place them handle down.
The above few paragraphs have shown you basics of the best way to load a dishwasher. Now it’s time to look at some of these points in a little more detail. These tips will ensure that you are consistently getting the best results.
Expert Tips on Loading Dishwashers
You shouldn’t have to worry about pre-rinsing your dishes
Did you always think that you needed to pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? It’s simply not true. Yes, if there is excess gunk in any of your dishes you should scrape it off but you don’t need to rinse your dishes. If they are not coming out clean after a full cycle you may need to get your dishwasher serviced. (If your dishwasher is old you may need to rinse some dishes as your may not be working as well as it used to).
Dishwashers are actually designed to clean dishes better if they are not pre-rinsed. However, not pre-rising does mean you need to stay on top of keeping your dishwasher clean. If you want to read up on this, then take a look at our post on How to Clean Dishwashers.
There are some things that you should always handwash
If you want your sharp knives to stay sharp, you need to make sure that you wash them by hand. Butter knives are okay as they don’t have a sharp blade but sharp kitchen knives will be blunted by the hot water jets in a dishwasher. If you put your chopping boards and other plastic or wooden items in the dishwasher, you risk them warping or cracking. Dishwashers can also do damage to non-stick pans. These items don’t belong in the dishwasher, you should wash them by hand. Last but not least, if there’s anything that you wouldn’t want to risk breaking – fine china etc – you should probably wash this by hand too after you use it.
There are better ways to pack and unpack your dishwasher
There is a better way to pack a dishwasher. If you start from the back of each shelf and work your way forward you will fit more in when you are packing your dishwasher – without overpacking your dishwasher. When you are unloading your dishwasher you should unload the bottom shelf first – otherwise you risk dripping water on dry dishes.
Don’t run your dishwasher unless it is full
Dishwashers can be quite water-efficient, but only if they are run full. If you only have a half full dishwasher, wait until it is full or wash your dishes by hand. If you have scraped any excess food from your dishes, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to leave them sitting there for a while until you have a full load.
With this article we wanted to share with you some tips from the experts on the best way to load a dishwasher. These tips and tricks can help you in many ways – they can help ensure that your dishes are sparkling clean each time, whilst also ensuring a minimal risk of damage to anything that you place in the dishwasher. Everything matters – from where you place particular dishes, to which shelf you pack first and in what order. Hopefully this article has helped you.
We understand the best way to load a dishwasher, we’ve had years of experience doing so. We can run a load of dishes for you as part of one of our regular cleaning services. If y
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