How To Load Your Dishwasher Correctly

Loading your dishwasher correctly can help to prolong the operating life of your machine.

Dishwasher Loading Guidelines
  • Before loading dishes, remove any remaining food debris from plates, and soak saucepans with burnt on food. While a new dishwasher will do a lot better job of removing debris than older models, it's still best to scrape chunks of food off before putting them into your dishwasher. Also, proteins such as eggs; cooked- or baked-on foods; and starches that have dried onto the dish often require extra attention. Fill these items with warm, soapy water and let them soak before placing them in the dishwasher.


  • Larger or heavier items should be placed in the lower basket; smaller and more delicate items in the upper basket.


  • Cups and glasses should be inverted in the machine.


  • Dishes and cutlery should be arranged so that they do not cover each other. Load glasses so that they do not touch each other.


  • Place small objects in the cutlery basket.


  • Make sure nothing protrudes from the racks. Any items that can stop the sprayer arms from turning will prevent the machine from washing properly.


  • Place knives, forks and spoons in the cutlery basket. Distribute the cutlery loosely, and position the soiled surfaces of the spoons and forks apart so that the water can reach them. Mix up different kinds of utensils in the cutlery baskets to prevent several of the same item from nesting in one another and blocking the water.


  • If your dishwasher doesn't seem to get the inside of your glasses and other items on the top rack clean, see if large items in the lower rack are blocking most the water from the arm under the bottom rack.


Once all of the dishes are in place, fill both dishwasher cups with detergent. Granules seem to work better for getting rid of tough stains and leaving your glassware free from streaks or spots. Filling the second soap container may not be necessary. You might try filling the second cup only if the dishes are very dirty.

When the dishwasher is done, you could air dry the dishes by opening the door. Air drying saves energy, but may cause spotting.


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