What Is the Proper Way to Load a Dishwasher?


Quick Answer

To properly load a dishwasher, load bowls, plates and dishwasher-safe cookware in the lower rack, and place glasses, mugs and cooking utensils on the top rack. Position large plastic containers on the bottom rack and small plastic containers on the top rack. Place large items such as cookie sheets and baking on the lowest rack. Use the dishwasher’s flatware basket to hold flatware.

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Full Answer

When loading plates, stagger smaller plates with larger ones for more thorough cleaning. Tilt bowls side by side with the dirty part of the bowls facing down. Load flatware into the flatware basket, but mix forks, spoons and steak knives together instead of sorting into one basket, since this prevents the flatware from nesting against each other, ensuring thorough cleaning of the items by the dishwasher’s spray.

Place mugs and glasses on the top rack of the dishwasher, and position any utensils such as spatulas perpendicular to the supports provided for glassware. Place any top-rack bowls or small plastic containers over the utensils.

Prior to loading the dishwasher, scrape pots, pans, bowls and plates to remove food residue. Pre-rinse dishes if the dishwasher is an older model. Be sure to sort items before loading the dishwasher to ensure the items loaded are all dishwasher safe.

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