Not many people can say they have had formal training on how to load a dishwasher. Usually people learn from other people or from trial and error and just figure out what works for them. I was fortunate to have that too, as well as training from a seasoned dishwasher installer on how to properly load a dishwasher. I am passing the torch down, now, to my own children as they do dishes. Here are some of the main things we consider when loading the dishwasher.
- Load the cups first, securely. Cups in our house get used frequently. They gum up the sink, hide other dishes, and usually need to be used again very soon. It’s best to get those out of the way and work around them fitting other dishes in. We make sure they are secure and not going to get flipped upside down. Also make sure the cups aren’t so tall they block the spinning arm up top.
- Load the plates second, facing toward the middle. Cups, plates and silverware are the most used dishes. These are the ones that have a high turnover rate, so we load plates second. You have to look at how the dishwasher works. There are usually 3 spinners- one at the top, one at the bottom, and one in the middle under the top rack. You do not want to obstruct any of these otherwise water jets will not clean your dishes properly. Dishes facing any wall but the back will not get cleaned well considering jets do not come out of those walls.
- The silver wear people are taking showers. Yes- you heard that right. This is a great way to help teach kids how to load the silver wear tray. Forks, spoons, un-sharp knives and the sort should always be loaded with the head part up. When the soapy water sprays gravity pulls it down, depositing what’s left at the bottom. You don’t want that to be on the part you put your mouth. Sharp knives are the exception (but I wont let my young kids load those anyway). Make sure that there isn’t anything obstructing the water arm spinner, once again. Those goofy cooking spoons and spatulas sure do give us a hard time.
- Load anything else that needs to go into the dishwasher around the staples.
- Last, but most importantly- run your hot water in the sink before starting the dishwasher. Dishes not getting all that clean? Perhaps it’s not getting hot enough? Your dishwasher is most probably hooked to the same water pipes as your kitchen sink. You know that when you turn on the water it isn’t immediately hot or cold (well for most of us it isn’t). The same goes for your washer. Running the hot water insures that it is getting lots of the hot water it needs to disintegrate the soaps, release the foods, and melt the greases on your dirty dishes.
There is a science to washing dishes, and the list is much more extensive than mine, but these are the main rules we follow.