How To Properly Load A Dishwasher

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Is your dishwasher not running correctly? Are the dishes not getting entirely clean? You may be loading your dishwasher wrong. The way it’s loaded can affect the cleaning cycle probably more than you realize.

The first thing to think about is: do you load your dishwasher with food still caked on or do you rinse the dishes before putting them in? Some dishwashers aren’t able to get all that food off. The best bet to get clean dished is to rinse that dried food off before you even think about loading the washer.

Top rack

Cups, glasses and small bowls belong in this rack. If you have Tupperware or other plastics that are dishwasher safe, they should go up top as well. They are further from the heat and are less likely to deform. Don’t overcrowd the dishes because it can affect the flow of water and prevent detergent from getting into every dish.

Bottom shelf

Lager items such as plates, serving bowls, etc. will have the most room on the bottom shelf. Cutting boards and other oversized items shouldn’t go in the middle of the bottom shelf. Place them along the sides, so they don’t block the flow of water and detergent.

If you didn’t rinse off the baked-on food, place those items face down so they will get more of the spray.

Most pots and pans can go in the dishwasher too. Make sure to check for a dishwasher-safe label on the bottom.


Utensils should be loaded with the handles facing down so the water can reach the parts that need the most cleaning. Put knives in face down, so you don’t cut yourself when you’re unloading everything. Mix different silverware to make sure they don’t get stuck to each other.

Things to not put in the dishwasher

Some things should always be hand washed. Putting them in the dishwasher could damage all of these objects.

  • Cast-iron skillet
  • Wooden utensils
  • Insulated mugs
  • Fancy knives
  • Copper mugs, pots or pans
  • Crystal
  • Any aluminum cookware
  • Wooden cutting boards
  • Vintage plates or china
  • Any bottle with a label still on it. (It can get stuck in the filter and lead to more serious problems.
  • Cheese grater

The hot water, rinse cycle and detergent can break, chip, discolor or dull the majority of these everyday kitchen items. If you have older pieces that aren’t of any sentimental value, it might not bother you to place some of these things in the dishwasher. But, if you want things to look new for as long as possible, hand washing is the best way to go.

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If your dishwasher, or any other appliance, has stopped working for any reason, give us a call. We are professionals and can get your home back in working order!

August 2018




Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia & North Virginia including: Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Bristow, Clifton, Dulles, Dumfries, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lorton, Manassas, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Vienna, Woodbridge

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