If you're like most people, you probably just throw all your dishes into the dishwasher and hit "start." But did you know that you're not supposed to do that? If you want your dishes to come out clean, you need to load them properly. In this post, we'll show you how to load a dishwasher properly so that your dishes come out clean every time.
How to load a dishwasher to fit the most in
If you have a large household and need to run the dishwasher frequently, it can be tempting to cram as much in as possible. However, loading the dishwasher incorrectly can lead to decreased efficiency and can even damage your dishes. You also need to make sure that nothing is blocking the spray arms, which need to rotate freely – keep an eye out for pan handles or long spoons protruding below the rack. Start by placing in the largest items, such as dishwasher-safe pans and plastic cutting boards, at the back of the bottom rack. Then work your way up, filling in all of the gaps with smaller items. Make sure that you do not overload the dishwasher, as this will prevent it from cleaning your dishes properly.
How to stack glasses in the dishwasher so they don’t topple
When loading your dishwasher, always think about the glasses. They’re the easiest things to knock over and make a mess, so you want to stack them in a way that they’re least likely to topple. Most modern dishwashers have wine glass holders, which flip down when not in use. Place long-stemmed glasses so they are held securely in these special racks. If you have more wine glasses than space, resist the temptation to stack them elsewhere as they will probably fall over – just leave them for the next cycle. Shorter glasses like tumblers should be placed over the tines of the top rack so they are securely held in place.
Why you shouldn’t over-organize your cutlery drawer
Cutlery drawers tend to be magnets for organization-obsessed people. We're guilty of it, too! But have you ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, you're taking it a little too far? Yes, being organized is great, but over-organizing your cutlery drawer can actually have the opposite effect. When everything is the same size, shape and facing the same way, it becomes difficult for the dishwasher jets to reach in and clean between all the pieces. Not to mention, it can be frustrating when you're in a hurry and can't find what you're looking for. Mix up your cutlery by placing some pieces horizontally and some vertically. This will create a variety of shapes and sizes which will make it easier to find what you need. And don't forget: some pieces should always be facing up so that they can get a good clean!
Which way should your plates and bowls face in the dishwasher?
Finally, a question with a simple answer! The spray jets are located in the middle of the dishwasher, and you want the area to be cleaned to be facing the sprays. Plates and bowls should therefore face inwards, towards the middle. This way, they'll get cleaned more effectively and you'll use less water and energy. Make sure your dishwasher is full before you start it up—that's the best way to ensure that everything gets properly clean.
Where should you place bowls in the dishwasher?
Bowls can be one of the trickiest things to fit into a dishwasher, as their concave shape makes them difficult to stack. That's why it's important to know where to place them for the best results. Large items, such as serving or pasta bowls, should be placed at the back of the bottom rack. Positioning them at an angle will help detergent reach the insides. Small bowls, such as those used for nibbles and tapas, should be placed upside down on the top rack. This will ensure that they come into contact with the hot water and detergent spray, making them easier to clean.
Which detergent should you use in your dishwasher?
If you're running low on dishwasher detergent, it's tempting to use a little dish soap to tide you over. But this is a bad idea – using dish soap in your dishwasher can create a lot of suds which can't escape, and will end up all over your floor. If you do accidentally get your soaps mixed up, scoop out as much of the suds as you can by hand, wipe it all out with a damp cloth, and then run the machine empty on a hot cycle.
Looking after your dishwasher
Just as you take care of your dishes by hand to make sure they come out clean, you also need to take care of your dishwasher if you want it to perform at its best. After cleaning all your dirty dishes month after month, your machine will be grateful for a little care and attention to keep it running smoothly. Every so often treat your dishwasher to a hot cycle and a pack of dishwasher cleaner, which will help to remove any buildup of fat or acid. If you take care of your machine and stack it correctly, it will continue to deliver a sparkling performance time after time.
If your dishwasher is constantly overflowing, or if your dishes are coming out dirty or wet, it might be time to re-evaluate your dishwashing technique. With just a few simple changes, you can make sure your dishes come out clean (and dry!) every time. Follow our guide to proper dishwasher loading, and you'll be able to fit more dishes in, keep your glasses from toppling, and save yourself some time and hassle in the dishwashing process.
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