How to load your dishwasher like a pro

April 03, 2017

How to load your dishwasher like a pro

When you buy a dishwasher, you are buying something that is designed to make your life easier. After all, who has time to wash dishes by hand? There are so many more important things to do.

Of course, with convenience comes controversy. What is the best way to load a dishwasher? How many of us have had this debate with our significant other or family member? Rinse or no? Pans on the top or the bottom? Silverware pointed up or down? The controversy can cause even the most placid of families some angst.

Never fear, we’ve got the pro tips for the best way to load a dishwasher right here. Don’t gloat if these tips follow what your argument has been all along!

Know the basics

There are some simple things that every dishwasher owner should know.

  •      You don’t always have to pre-rinse but it’s best to do it when you will not turn on the dishwasher immediately.  In other words, if the dirty dishes will sit in for a day or more before washing, you should rinse them. If you are washing right away, there’s no need.
  •      Make sure that any plastic containers are secured in the rack. If you don’t do this, the water pressure may dislodge these lighter items. They could fall into the heating element, which could melt them.
  •      Never stack dishes on top of each other. The water jets won’t be able to reach the top dish and could leave food and debris behind.
  •      When using powdered detergent, try to use fresh soap. Buy only as much as you would need for about two months. Otherwise, you could have detergent that won’t work and is clumpy.

Loading the bottom rack

The bottom rack is ideal for plates, bowls, pots and pans. Always load plates with the dirty side facing the water spray. Pots and pans should be angled downwards so that they can catch the water spray inside.  

Be careful with long utensils that have thin handles.  They can easily slip down through the rack and may stop the spray arm from spinning.

When loading silverware, don’t nest forks and spoons together, all facing the same way. Instead, load some facing up and some facing down so that water and soap can get between each piece.

Loading the top rack

The top rack of a dishwasher is for glasses and mugs. These items should be placed between each tine of the rack, never on the top of them.

It is best to angle all cups as best you can, so that water doesn’t pool in the base of the cup. If you still end up with these pools, it is usually a good idea to unload the bottom rack before the top rack to minimize the risk of the bottom rack being dripped on.

If you wash your wine glasses in the dishwasher, it is important to load these items carefully in the top rack. Leave plenty of space between each glass so that they can’t knock together and shatter.

So there you have it, we’ve provided you the definitive answers to the age-old kitchen question about how to best load a dishwasher. No matter if you’ve won the family argument or not, all that matters in the end is that your dishes are clean and sanitized.

But how do you know those dishes are clean? It’s another daily kitchen dilemma we all deal with. Are the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty? Never fear, Glide Signs makes it easy to know whether or not the dishes inside your dishwasher are clean or dirty. Go to  and see how a simple magnet can solve one more of life’s little mysteries.