Project Guide

How to Load a Dishwasher

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1
Load the Bottom Rack
an open dishwasher showing the bottom rack full of dishes

For ease and convenience, load the bottom rack first. There are a few main items that always belong on this rack:

  • Pots, pans and large serving bowls should be placed with the serving side down along the outer perimeter of the bottom rack, where there’s typically extra space to accommodate their size.
  • Cutting boards also go on the outside so they don’t block the spray arm.
  • Plates should go in the designated slots so they don’t hit against each other and have enough space for adequate airflow during the drying cycle.

Tip: wooden cutting boards and serving bowls should not be placed in the dishwasher. Wash those by hand to preserve their lifespan.

2
Load the Top Rack
a person loading glasses into the top rack of a dishwasher

After loading the bottom rack, move to the top rack:

  • Cups, mugs, and glass drinkware should be placed along the sides in the prongs or dividers. Angle them slightly so water doesn’t pool in the concaved areas.
  • Small bowls, storage containers and lids should be placed in the center with the serving side down.

Tip: to prevent cracks and chipping, don’t stack glass items on top of each other. Space them far enough apart so they don’t tap against each other during the wash cycle.

3
Load the Utensil Basket
the utensil basket in a dishwasher
  • Cutlery and serving utensils should be placed in the designated divider basket.
  • Position them with the handle down and the serving side up for a thorough clean.

Tip: lay longer utensils flat on the top rack instead of placing them in the basket. Otherwise, they may obstruct the spray arm during the wash cycle.

4
Dishwasher Loading Tips
an open dishwasher full of clean dishes
  • Keep stainless steel and silverware separate.
  • When placing larger spoons on the top rack, position the bowl of the spoon downward so water doesn’t pool in the center.
  • Put smaller plates in between larger ones on the bottom rack to help promote airflow.
  • The following items do not belong in the dishwasher:
  • Carving knives
  • Cast iron skillets
  • Delicate china
  • Brass or bronze utensils