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How to Load the Dishwasher Like a Pro

How to load the dishwasher like a pro

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To make sure that your dishes and cutlery are properly cleaned, you need to know how to properly load the dishwasher. By following a few basic rules and tips on loading the dishwasher, you’ll make clearing it out even easier. It’s time to become a dishwasher pro! 

Loading the dishwasher correctly: why it matters

Have you ever stacked your used dishes and cutlery in the dishwasher, and run the machine only to discover the dishes are still dirty? Then you probably aren’t using your dishwasher to its full potential. If you load dishes into the machine incorrectly, you’re not using the machine as efficiently and economically as possible.

Knowing how to load a dishwasher properly will not only make it easier to clean the dishes, but it can also save you money, energy and water. It’s best to discuss a system with your family members or roommates to ensure the dishwasher is loaded properly every time, and everyone adheres to these important basic rules.

Loading the dishwasher—instructions for clean dishes

Dishwashers differ depending on the model series. So, it’s best to pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions when loading it. You can check the manual that came with the appliance or check the manufacturer's website. This is the first step in properly loading the dishwasher.

The following basic rules apply to all dishwashers:

  1. Large below, small on top: First, sort the large, heavily soiled dishes into the lower washing basket. Then small, easy-to-break items such as glasses and cups should be placed into the top basket or in between the remaining spaces.
  2. Cutlery is stacked with the heads up: If you want to put the cutlery basket in the dishwasher, put the cutlery with the dirty ends up. If possible, you should put sharp, long knives or large kitchen cutlery in the dishwasher's cutlery drawer. Sharp knife ends should point toward the back.(Be careful not to cut yourself when emptying the machine).
  3. As full as necessary: ​​Use every bit of free space, but don’t overload the machine. If it’s too full, you run the risk of things not being properly cleaned. If it’s too empty, you may end up wasting water.
  4. Avoid blockages: Check whether the rotating spray arms are blocked by dishes and make sure that nothing is blocking the detergent compartment in the lower wash basket.
  5. Don't forget to clean the dishwasher: Remember to clean the dishwasher regularly, because a dirty machine also won't clean properly. Machine cleaners and special salt to treat limescale are useful. Regular maintenance of the machine is also important.

Loading the dishwasher and cutlery drawer—tips for correct loading

The basics for loading a dishwasher are almost always the same, regardless of the model. Here are some extra tips for loading your dishwasher correctly:

  1. From back to front: Start loading your appliance from back to front. This way, you’ll use the space optimally and can immediately see when the baskets are full.
  2. Bottom up: Always start emptying the dishwasher from the bottom. This will prevent water from dripping onto clean dishes.
  3. Fragile items on top: Place plastic cups, plastic bowls and more fragile items in the upper wash basket. The water won’t be as hot as for the lower part of the dishwasher.
  4. Openings facing down: When loading pots, cups or bowls, turn the open side down so that no water collects inside the items.
  5. Don’t overload the cutlery basket: If the cutlery basket is loaded too full, not everything will be cleaned. So, make sure that the cutlery in the basket isn’t stacked too closely.
  6. Test whether everything is tightly in place: Before you press the start button, gently shake the upper rack. This allows you to check whether all items are securely placed and ensure that glasses won’t fall over.

Put bulky items in the dishwasher

Bulky kitchen utensils are often left out of instruction manuals. But you can load them in a dishwasher with a few clever tricks:

  1. Place large, flat cutting boards and platters on the side edges of the dishwasher.
  2. Put any plastic items between glasses in the upper wash basket. This also prevents glasses from colliding when being washed.
  3. If the height of the dishwasher's upper basket is adjustable, you may be able to add larger items up top, too.