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The Appliance Care Company Blog

Tuesday, Jun. 5th 2018

Settling the Debate: How to Load a Dishwasher

A few days ago, one of our staff members told us about a long running debate between him and his dad over the proper way to load a dishwasher: Dad claims you can put any item on any rack. Son contends you keep the light stuff and glasses on the top rack and the heavy dishes on the bottom. To keep families at peace, here are our recommendations for loading a dishwasher.

Generally, there is more pressure from the lower spray arm than the upper spray arm because the motor operating the spray arms is at the bottom of the dishwasher. It takes more energy for the motor to push the water to the upper spray arm so the pressure isn’t as strong as the lower spray arm.

Therefore, lighter items (weight) should be should be placed on the top rack and dirtier and heavier items should be placed on the lower rack. Exposed surfaces of dishes and cookware should be facing spray arms.

Cutlery should be loaded with the end that touches food pointing up. This allows better water circulation than placing the business end down. For safety reasons, sharp utensils should face down when loading the dishwasher.

Knives and other cutlery with wooden handles are best washed by hand because, over time, detergent can cause wood to become brittle and crack.

If you’re not sure if an item can be washed in the dishwasher, check for a dishwasher safe emblem. If you’re not sure if a plastic container is dishwasher safe, place it on the top rack or wash by hand. Plastic containers could melt if they contact the heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Where to load:

Upper RackLower Rack
Plastic,GlasswarePlates
Mugs, CupsPots
Long Utensils/KnivesCutting Boards

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