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Dishwasher Loading Tips - How to Load Your Dishwasher

How to Load Your Dishwasher for a Successful Wash

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A few simple dishwasher loading tips can mean the difference between baked-on dirt, broken or chipped dishes and a safe clean load of dishes. Your investment in dinnerware and glassware warrants also training your family in how best to load the dishwasher for a successful wash.

We also have a tendency to 'load to the brim' with the assumption that as long as we can get it in, the dishwasher can handle it. Unfortunately, as hard as it may try, overloading just usually results in a partial cleaning with baked-on dirt that will need to be soaked before they can be re-washed. Here are a few tips to help you get a good safe and clean wash from your dishwasher:
  • Allow enough sufficient space between breakables so they will not touch during the vibration of the washing cycle.
  • Ensure that breakable items are not sitting or laying on metal cutlery which could chip your dishes.
  • Plastics should be on the top rack only, and use the economy or no heat drying cycle to prevent warping or melting.
  • Ensure dishes are separated and not doubled together in one space to allow water and detergent to reach those surfaces.
  • Clean off the larger food particles before loading. You may also need to scrape dishes if your dishwasher does not have a built-in garbage or hard food disposal unit (not all do).
  • Ensure that glasses and stemware are secure and well-balanced.
  • Bowls should be slanted downward or laid face down on the rack.
  • Restrain small, loose items like baby bottle lids in a specially designed dishwashing basket to prevent them from becoming trapped in the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Ensure that bottles are secure and standing straight (opening down) to effect a good wash.
  • Never place sharp knives with blade pointed up, but down with the point of the knife secured in the cutlery basket.
  • Refrain from overloading the cutlery basket, and place cutlery handle down for best results.
  • Mixing the regular cutlery (mixing spoons, forks, and knives, rather than all spoons in one section) instead of grouping together will prevent nesting, and allow more space and a better washing.
  • Remove paper labels from jars; they can come off during the cycle and become trapped in the washer drain.
  • Place cookware face down on the bottom rack for best pressure washing.
  • Ensure that large or tall items do not hinder the washing arm from rotating freely when the dishwasher tray is pushed in.
  • For best spot-free rinsing of glassware, use rinse agents, like Jet-Dry or Finish.
  • Use recommended amount of dishwasher detergent, and not more (as that may cause dishes to still have soap residue, even after a rise cycle).
Also read Dishwasher Pitfalls - How Not to Load Your Dishwasher for tips on what to avoid, and Dishwasher FAQs & Tips for more helpful tips on dishwasher uses and abuses.

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