When loading dishes into a dishwasher, it is best to place plates, bowls, cookware, pots, pans and other large items on the bottom rack. Glasses, cups, dishwasher-safe plastics, wineglasses, mixing bowls and odd-shaped or large utensils are best placed on the dishwasher's top rack. Silverware should be placed in the silverware basket. It is important to ensure that each item can be reached by the spray arm or water jets.
Scraping off large pieces of food on dishes is recommended prior to placing them in the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing is not advised unless the dishes are going to sit in the dishwasher for an extended time. It is important to secure all lightweight plastic items to ensure that they do not flip over or fall onto the heating element and melt. Dishes should not be stacked or overlapped in the dishwasher, as this makes it difficult for water to reach them and prevents proper cleaning.
If the dishwasher's silverware basket does not have a cover to separate silverware, it is best to mix forks, knives and spoons in each section of the basket so that the silverware does not nest together, which prevents water from reaching each piece. If stainless steel and silver or silver-plated utensils are washed together, separating them is advised to prevent damage to the silver.