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Have you ever really thought about how you pack your dishwasher? You should

Most people probably don’t give a lot of thought to how they load things in the dishwasher. But how you load it up could mean the difference between pristine dishes and chipped glasses and dirty plates. So say goodbye to filthy plates and stand by for the proper way to load a dishwasher.

What not to do

First, there are some things you just shouldn’t put in the dishwasher – wooden utensils and non-dishwasher safe tools can warp from the heat, and reactive metals like bronze can tarnish or corrode. You should handwash your sharp knives so the blades don’t get dull rubbing against other silverware in the dishwasher. It’s probably a good idea to handwash your delicate glassware too.

Now for the things you can put in the dishwasher – don’t worry about pre-rinsing, just scrape off any large food scraps. One golden rule – never overcrowd the dishwasher – all your dishes need to have a clear path to the water jets.

Lower Rack

So your plates go in the lower rack, all facing the centre with the large and small plates staggered. Extra-large items like baking sheets or frying pans should be loaded around the outer edge of the lower rack. Your pots and pans go down here as well.

Top Rack

Cups and glasses are reserved for the top rack, but make sure to place them between the guides, never over them. Also make sure they’re not touching so they don’t vibrate against each other and chip or break. Smaller bowls go in the top rack too at a slight incline with the bowls facing down so they don’t fill with water. You can also place your extra tall utensils in the top rack. Simply lay them on their sides, with the spoons facing down. And finally, your dishwasher-safe plastic can be placed at the top too – to keep it away from the heating coil, which might melt them.


For your cutlery, make sure you place the knives blade-down for safety. For the rest of the silverware, feel free to mix it up. Forks and knives can be together, some handles up, some handles down – the more varied the better. Simply spread everything out throughout the baskets and make sure they aren’t nesting against one another.

Now that you’ve loaded the dishwasher, you’re ready for soap. Never use regular dish soap, unless you’d like to have a foam party in your kitchen. Now that you know how to load your dishwasher, you should get sparkly dishes, every time.


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