Appliances, Cleaning

How to Load the Dishwasher {so all of the dishes come out clean}


I pride myself in maximum efficiency when it comes to loading dishwashers, so much so that I’m sure I could beat the records in those dishwasher commercials where the see how many dishes they can fit. With most new models, they can handle being jammed packed full and still be able to clean all of the dishes well, but for those of you with lower end and older models, that’s not quite true. After living with an older, less expensive model dishwasher, I’ve learned a few tricks to load the dishwasher so all of the dishes come out clean, on the first wash.

  1. Do not overload the dishwasher
    Unfortunately, older and lower end dishwashers cannot handle every single dish you own in one load. The dishwasher really does need the space between each dish to clean effectively.
  2. Leave a 1-2 inch gap between dishes
    For a long time I figured I just needed to rinse my bowls really well to get them clean in the dishwasher. False, I just needed to provide more space in between each one to allow water and the dish detergent to do their magic.

    There’s about a one inch space between each bowl since I put them in every other tine.
  3. Cups go between the tines, not over
    In the top rack of the dishwasher, the tines are space so that most cups, even wide-mouthed ones, will fit between the tines so you can have two rows next to each other.
  4. Dishes should face toward the middle
    Typically in older and lower end models, the sprayer is in the middle and the water sprays out towards the walls of the dishwasher. With all of the dishes facing the middle, the water is able to hit the eating surface of the dish better, washing away the food you’re trying to get off.

    The tines are designed to encourage placing the placement of the dishes towards the middle.
  5. Mix the silverware and place handle up
    If you’re trying to be efficient by putting all of the spoons in one spot, forks in another and knives all by themselves, then your silverware might not get clean on the first try. Why? As these like items like to stack nicely in the drawer, the same thing will happen in the dishwasher. Mix the silverware together and they won’t stack so water can flow around them freely. And placing them handle up will allow you to grab them by the handle so you don’t grab and immediately dirty up the eating end.
  6. Wash regular dishes and large dishes separately
    This means washing your mixing bowls, casserole dishes and large pans in their own wash. This way you can get the dishes you eat off clean first, removing the majority of the dish clutter. Plus, this allows for your big dishes to get the most amount of space and water flow around them. Potentially this can also allow you to do two loads instead of three mixed loads.

    Taking out the rack and placing large pots in by them selves allows for better water flow. P.S. Some pots and pans are not dishwasher safe, like mine. Don’t tell my husband, I might sometimes put them in when I don’t want to hand wash them.
  7. Take the silverware bucket out
    If you’re just washing big dishes and no silverware, take that bucket out of the dishwasher to allow you to stick another dish in or to allow the existing dishes a little extra room.

These tips took me a while to assemble as I became frustrated with the state of my dishes, but now they come out sparkling clean every time. A few other tips to make you dishes come out clean on the first try is to clean your dishwasher periodically, food and grime build up can stop your dishwasher from cleaning efficiently. I would also make sure you are using the right kind of detergent for your dishwasher, some liquid detergents can clog certain machines and others require the tablets only. Check your user manual for your machines specific soap requirements.

How do you load your dishwasher?


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