This is a quick guide on how to load a dishwasher that will simplify your life. Properly loading your dishwasher will provide you with clean dishes time after time.
One of my daily chores is to load and unload the dishwasher. Nothing pains me more than to find a dirty dish, or a cup that flipped over filled with water because it wasn’t properly loaded. After sitting in a mom group and finding out most of our husbands did not know how to load a dishwasher, I thought it was a good opportunity to share with you how to load a dishwasher with my bonus tips!
Each washer is different, so if you still happen to have the manual that comes with your dishwasher, it gives you the proper way to load. The way I am showing you includes the random items like sippy cups, pots, & plastic cups.
My favorite supplies for clean dishes:
My How to Load a Dishwasher would not be complete without the following things to consider:
- To rinse or not to rinse
- Proper Placement of dishes
- Detergents & Rinse Aids
- Cycle Settings
To rinse or not to rinse. If you are like me, you most likely are loading dishes all day long as they are used. If that is the case, you probably want to rinse those dishes. Not to mention, the food doesn’t just disappear. It stays in the trap of your dishwasher until you clean it. Which leads to a smelly dishwasher. In my opinion, rinse those dishes every time!
Proper placement of dishes. This is the main point of our post. I mean, it is called how to clean a dishwasher.
- First of all, I always place cups on top outer edges at an angle. This allows the water to drain off the tops. Also, position them snuggly together to prevent flipping. This goes for all glasses, mugs, sippy cups, and wine glasses.*
- Next, place the bowls in the next row, by the cups, facing down. Do not place them on their side. It will not clean them properly. They can be at a slight angle, but make sure they are secured so the water jets don’t flip them over (especially plastic bowls).
- Line plates up by their size. Always place the plates in the same direction by size. It also makes it easier for unloading!
- Load silverware in the cutlery basket knives facing down and forks & spoons up. Separate spoons so they are not touching. Spoons are bad to stick together and not get clean at all. Always pre-soak your silverware. I usually place mine in a cup full of water soaking a few minutes while I load the rest of the dishes.
*Don’t load lead wine glasses. They are not meant for the dishwasher. I have my cheap glasses since I drop a glass about once a week.
Detergents and Rinse aids. I never thought this was all that important, but I could not have been more wrong. Dishwashers do not require a ton of soap. I recommend using what the manufacturer of the dishwasher recommends. We have a Bosch (obsessed) that recommends Finish detergent and Jet Dry. Jet dry is SUPER important with European dishwashers like Bosch because they rely on condensation to dry the dishes. If you have a Bosch and your plastic dishes are always wet at the end, make sure you have added jet dry. Use the extra shine feature and keep your rinse aid filled for dryer dishes. I also open my dishwasher after the cycle is done to allow them to get extra air. For American models, crank up the heat on them.
Cycle Settings. Auto is usually my go to for my Bosch. It senses your load an adjusts for it. If it is a light load, it washes a little faster. Kind of cool. Speed Perfect it the more efficient mode. It uses less water and energy. Delicate is great for after dinner parties where you use the fancy dishes and wine glasses. I like Extra shine for dryer dishes, especially all my plastic cups and bowls. When kids are sick, I throw in the Sanitize. Never can be too safe! My favorite combo is definitely Auto + Speed Perfect + Extra Shine.
Dos and Do NOTS of dishwasher
- Do fill the dishwasher to capacity
- Don’t overcrowd dishes, spoons & forks
- Do pre-rinse dishes
- Don’t put your nonstick pans, cutting boards or wooden spoons in the dishwasher. Hand wash these items.
- Do read clean your dishwasher monthly
Also check out our natural stainless steel cleaner! It is such a great way to keep your dishwasher beautiful from the outside.