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How to Load a Dishwasher Properly

Loading dishwasher

Today’s hi-tech dishwashers are more advanced than ever before. They’re capable of cleaning anything if you know how to use them properly, and that starts with learning how to load a dishwasher the right way. It may seem unimportant, but using the correct strategy is the key to avoiding pre-rinsing, second washes, and ruining your cookware and cutlery.

Tips for How to Load a Dishwasher

Learning how to load a Maytag dishwasher or any other brand comes down to knowing what goes where, and why. The upper and lower racks of your dishwasher are designed specifically for certain items, and utilizing them correctly will leave your dishes sparkling clean.

Loading the Bottom Rack

The bottom rack of your dishwasher is mainly intended for plates, but can also be used for:

  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Cutting boards
  • Trays

Arrange plates in the slots on the bottom rack facing the same direction, preferably toward the center leaning in. Work your way out from the middle so you’ll have room for any long, thin items like trays, cookie sheets, or cutting boards.

And if you need to know how to load pots and pans in a dishwasher, simply place them open-side down. Be careful not to overcrowd though!

how to load an LG dishwasher
Image from NRDC

Loading the Top Rack

Just like the bottom rack, the upper dishwasher rack is designed to accommodate certain items:

  • Glasses
  • Bowls
  • Tupperware
  • Plastic cups or other items

Arrange cups, glasses, and bowls facing down and leaning at a slight angle. Make sure the openings face inward so the water can reach the inside and then drain.

Make sure all plastic containers, cups, and other utensils are also on the top rack facing down to avoid being melted by the heating element.

how to load a maytag dishwasher
Image from Martha Stewart

How to Load Cutlery

It’s extremely important to know what to put, and what not to put in your cutlery rack:

Ok to Add

  • Forks
  • Spoons
  • Butter knives
  • Other non-sharp utensils

NOT Ok to Add

  • Wooden spoons or utensils
  • Items with wooden handles
  • Sharp, high-quality knives

Place forks and spoons into the silverware tray with the handles down. Butter knives can go in handle-up, and there’s no need to arrange your items by type. In fact, dishwashers are designed to clean better with the silverware all mixed up, as long as it’s not overcrowded.

High-quality knives or other potentially dangerous objects should never be cleaned in the dishwasher to avoid dulling. Instead, clean them by hand the old-fashioned way to keep them sharp.

how to load pots and pans in dishwasher
Image from NBC News

Exceptions to These Dishwasher Loading Tips

As is the case with most rules, there are a few exceptions when it comes to how to load a dishwasher correctly.

While most cups and bowls should always go on the top rack, bigger, sturdier glasses like mugs or even heavy-duty mixing bowls can be placed face-down on the bottom rack. Use the dish tines to hold them in place if possible.

Conversely, while most utensils belong in the cutlery rack, longer items like ladles, mixing spoons, and spatulas can be laid flat in the top rack. Just be sure they’re not covering the opening of any cups or bowls.

how to load a dishwasher
Image from The Telegraph

Following these instructions should explain how to load an LG dishwasher or any other major brand. If you find yourself in need of professional dishwasher repair service though, call the experts at Action Appliance Repair today, and learn how to improve your dishwasher’s performance with our blog!

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