The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher

How you load your dishwasher will have an effect on how clean your dishes and cutlery are.

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Rather than just throwing all your dishes in there and hoping for the best, these tips will ensure your dishes are clean every time.

Before Washing

Scrape off any food off the plates and dishes before loading into the dishwasher. There is no need to rinse the plates, as this can actually confuse the dishwasher’s sensors, meaning your dinnerware won’t get as clean.

To ensure you use your dishwasher to its full potential, use it to clean a variety of household items.

Plates and Bowls

Ensure you place plates at the bottom rack of the dishwasher with a little space in between. Any touching can block water jets and even create chips on the plates.

Bowls should be placed it the top rack, tilted down to avoid gathering water. Cups should also be placed upside down and, if possible, in between the tines. Tilt cups and bowls to avoid water pooling in the indentations at the bottom.

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For commercial dishwashers you can get advice on websites such as


Make sure to use the specific utensil cup in your dishwasher for all your utensils. Throwing cutlery and utensils in the top rack will not make them as clean, and if any drop into the dishwasher they can block the sprayer arm.

Be sure to keep stainless steel utensils away from silverware. If both materials touch during the dishwasher cycle, it can cause a chemical reaction which can create pitting on the surface of the metal.

Make sure that any knives point downwards in the cutlery cups with the handles upwards for easy and safe unloading after the wash.

Spatulas and serving spoons should be placed it the top rack to stop them from falling and blocking the dishwasher spraying arms. Thread a tine through the holes in the handles to ensure the utensil stays in place.

Pots and Dishes

Put larger pots and cooking dishes in a load of their own, as these can block the water jets and leave plates and other utensils unwashed on the top rack. Also make sure they are not loaded too close to the dishwasher door, as this can block deployment of the detergent.