Load Your Dishwasher Like An Expert

If you’re a typical homeowner, you probably spend hours a day cleaning your kitchen and doing the dishes. These chores can be a pain, but the dishwasher can cut the time you spend washing dishes in half.

We’re dedicating this post of dishwasher loading tips to the people who slave away in the kitchen every day. We want you to make the most of your time, so that you can move on to bigger and better tasks around the house.

Tip #1: Follow the Loading Instructions

So, maybe you bought your house with a dishwasher pre-installed, or maybe you bought a house and had the dishwasher installed after the fact. Either way, there’s a good chance you didn’t read the directions that came with your dishwasher. People rarely do.

If you had read the directions that came with your dishwasher, you would have likely noticed something miraculous and beautiful, a time-saver that would forever change the way that you clean your dishes and interact with your dishwasher.

That’s right. Loading instructions.

Every dishwasher has a good, better and best way to load the dishes. You may have noticed that some parts of your dishwasher are best for holding bowls, others that are best for holding plates. That’s a conscious decision that was made by your dishwasher’s manufacturer, for the specific purpose of maximizing the space efficiency of your dishwasher.

So, if you’re trying to load your dishwasher in the most sensible way possible, follow the loading instructions included in the owner’s manual. Here’s a typical configuration recommended by many dishwasher manufacturers:

How To Load Your Dishwasher

  1. Big plates and bowls go on the bottom. Line up your big plates down the middle of the rack, and line the sides of the rack with larger bowls. (reference “lower rack” pictures from this website: http://kottke.org/15/01/how-to-load-the-dishwasher)
  2. Smaller plates, glasses and coffee cups go on the upper rack. Line up the smaller plates in the center of the rack, and circle the outside of the rack with the cups and mugs. (reference “upper rack” pictures from this website: http://kottke.org/15/01/how-to-load-the-dishwasher)

You’ll find that different dishwashers have different recommended dishes configurations. For more specific instructions, look at the instructions that came with your dishwasher.

Tip #2: Don’t Waste Time Washing Dishes Before Putting Them In the Dishwasher

Before you place the dishes in the dishwasher, you’ll need to toss away large chunks of food and hard pieces like bones or chips. Leaving these items on the dishes can result in clogs and damage to your dishwasher.

Some people actually wash their dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, which is redundant and somewhat wasteful. If you’re worried about the dishes getting sufficiently cleaned, try scraping the food off of the dishes into a small garbage using a rubber food scraper.

If this makes you nervous (maybe you’ve clogged your dishwasher in the past), try cleaning the dishwasher periodically. Run the unit without dishes, using vinegar and baking soda instead of soap. This will help you clean out the dishwasher and flush away old bits of food.

Hopefully these tips will cut back the time you spend loading and unloading the dishwasher. If you have your own dishwasher loading tips to share, leave them in the comments box below. We’d love to hear from you!

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