Dishwasher Series - Loading Your Dishwasher

Simple solutions for loading the dishwasher

I wasn't going to write this blog because I thought loading the dishwasher was such an easy thing to do and quite obvious how to do it...

That was until I noticed my colleagues at work loading the dishwasher so that dishes were facing upwards, plates were packed in really tightly and spoons and forks in the cutlery basket were nesting against each other.

Water needs to circulate around every item, otherwise it's not going to come out clean; it would be like washing two plates at a time without separating them.  So what is the best way to load?  Most dishwashers come with instructions but here are a few tips:

1.     Always load cups and glasses so they are at a slight angle to allow water to drain off the tops.

2.     The same applies to dishes and deeper bowls, ensure they are at an angle where water can drain off and not get collected inside or on top.

3.     Larger dishwashers accommodate pans and cooking pots.  Stack them so they are at an angle so both top and bottom get cleaned.  If you put these items completely face down they could block the water coming up and so not cleaning the rest of the loaded items.

4.     Baking trays, roasting tins, chopping boards and platters can often be placed on the side of the rack.

5.     Depending on the design, it can be better to load large plates at the back and smaller plates and dishes at the front because it's sometimes difficult to put things at the back once the front is all full up of large items.

6.     If your dishwasher has an exposed heating element then always put plastic items on the top, if your heating element is covered then they may be able to go on the bottom but I'd probably always play safe.  Always ensure plastics are dishwasher safe.

7.     Be careful to load your cutlery so that the spoons and forks are not nesting against each other.  Sharp knives or other sharp utensils should be loaded downward facing.  (See my earlier blog about loading cutlery.)

8.     Check if items are dishwasher safe, for example, wooden items can get damaged in the dishwasher.

9.     I personally prefer to rinse very soiled items.  (You can read my earlier blog in the dishwasher series as to why I prefer to do this.)

10. Manually spin the spray arm to make sure there's nothing in its path.

There are loads of really interesting videos on YouTube showing you the best way to load and there's advice on detergents and rinse aids and what to use if you live in an area with hard water.

Jane Fern