How to Properly Load a Dishwasher

Have you ever opened the dishwasher to put the clean dishes away, only to realize the dishes aren’t clean at all? You are quite certain that you turned the dishwasher on because the proof is in the dirty water that filled the little plastic cup that flipped over during the wash cycle. How do you load a dishwasher to get your dishes clean?

There are a few steps you take before beginning to load a dishwasher. You should first scrape any uneaten food into the trash. The dishwasher is not a garbage disposal, and the water will throw leftover bits of food onto all of your dishes.

Some dishwashers and detergents don’t require a pre-rinse, and you can save yourself some time and water. If you do need to pre-rinse, do it soon after you have finished eating because food hasn’t had the opportunity to dry onto your dishes.

If you have any food stuck to your dishes, soak them in warm soapy water. This makes it easier for the dishwasher to clean the dishes. If you use dish soap to soak your dishes, be sure to rinse all of the soap off. If you put them directly into the dishwasher without rinsing, the dish soap will create a massive bubbly mess on your kitchen floor.

Now you’re ready to start loading your dishwasher. On the bottom rack of the dishwasher, set the plates and cutting boards into the slots facing the center. Pots and pans also go onto the bottom rack facing downward.

Be sure to put your utensils mixed up in the utensil baskets with the handle pointing down. This keeps them from nesting and allows the water to reach all areas of the utensils.

To wash knives, put them in the utensil baskets with the handles facing up. This will help prevent anyone from accidentally getting hurt when emptying the dishwasher. It isn’t recommended to put good knives in the dishwasher because they become dull as they rub against other items.

Large utensils should lay flat across the top rack of the dishwasher. Make sure that serving spoons are facing downward, so they don’t fill with water.

Cups and glasses should be washed on the top rack facing downward. Bowls should be placed in a neat line on the top rack at an incline. Plastic items should also be placed on the top rack to keep the heating element from melting the plastic.

Fill the main soap dispenser with detergent to the line. The other soap holder may not need to be filled with detergent. If you get satisfactory results without filling it, then you can save some detergent.

If your dishwasher has a space for a rinse aid, and you have hard water, fill it to the line. This will not need to be filled each time you use the dishwasher, but check the levels every few weeks.

Finally, close and lock the dishwasher door. You can now select a cycle, and start your dishwasher.