How to load your dishwasher the right way and the common mistakes to avoid

Bye bye, dirty dishes
How to load your dishwasher the right way and the common mistakes to avoid

Lots of us load the dishwasher the wrong way. Picture:istock

Have you been loading your dishwasher the wrong way? It's time to find out.

Maximise space

Load from back to front to make sure that you are using every bit of space available to you. Do not nest items. It may look like you are fitting more, but all you are doing is creating unnecessary barriers to clean dishes. 

Bottom-up

Chopping boards, platters, and serving plates should be stacked on the bottom towards the back so they don't interfere with the spray. Place anything that needs a big clean on the bottom rack, facing towards a spray arm so that it gets as much action as possible. Stack plates facing towards the middle of the machine for the same reason. Cookware should always be stacked at the bottom because the temperature is hotter down there. 

Top shelf 

On the top rack, place cups, glasses and dishwasher-safe plastic containers. You can also stack small bowls here. It's good to know that most dishwashers have an adjustable top shelf, which can move up or down depending on the height of your glassware. Large utensils should be placed flat on the bottom of the top shelf with space around them to ensure a proper clean. Thin plastic lids should be stacked on top because it is hotter at the bottom and they might melt. 

Silverware 

Your silverware should be stored in the basket, handles down, except for knives which should face down to avoid injury. The basket should be full, but it is important to mix them up to avoid like nesting into like. 

Rinse, but gently

Your dishwasher should be able to remove even the most crusted on grime. However, if your dishwasher will not be going on that day, then it is wise to rinse your cookware and plates before you stack them to avoid mould and other nasties taking over. 

Filter it

Once a week, put out your filter and rinse it under running water, removing anything that may have become caught in it. This is a good practice to get into and should avoid major clogging down the line. If your dishwasher is dirty, then your dishes will be too. 

Beware of sharp objects

Some items don't need to be placed in the dishwasher and sharp knives are at the top of this list. Dishwashers can blunt your knives, so it is always better to wash them carefully by hand. 

Wait until it is full

Be good to yourself and the planet. Do not run a dishwasher until it is full — it is a huge waste of water and resources. 

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