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How to Load Your Dishwasher and What Never to Put in the Dishwasher

Hi, Wayne here with ifixappliance.ca. We’re going to talk about how to load your dishwasher. If your dishes come out of the dishwasher dirty, you might be tempted to rinse them before loading.

But that’s actually completely unnecessary with most modern dishwashers. If your dishes are dirty, the problem could be that you’re overloading the dishwasher or loading it incorrectly. The key is to allow room for water to flow around the dishes and to avoid blocking the streams of water coming from the dishwasher’s spray arms.

In this article, I’ll explain you how to load dishes so they get clean and aren’t damaged.

And I’ll tell you what never to put in the dishwasher, and why. When loading your dishwasher, make sure the dirtiest part of the dish faces down so it gets direct spray from the spray arms. Place dishes with concave surfaces—like the bottoms of coffee mugs—at an angle on the dishrack.

That will allow water to drain easier and improve drying.

on the upper rack

Always check that your spray arms spin freely before you start the dishwasher cycle. Remove labels from jars and bottles or hand wash these items. Labels can fall off during washing and clog the screens and pumps inside the dishwasher. Let’s talk about loading the different dishracks.

The top rack is best for cups, glasses and lightweight plastic items.

Place cups and glasses in the rows between tines –not over them– to keep them from breaking. Put all your plastic dishes and storage containers on the upper rack—some plastics can melt if they’re too close to the heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher tub. Wedge the lids of storage containers between the tines and a glass to prevent them from coming loose and falling to the bottom of the tub.

Or, use no-flip clips to hold lids or larger plastic items such as cups, bowls or storage containers, in place during washing. These clips fit the tines on most dishwasher models, regardless of brand. Order plenty of clips and use them to keep your plastic items in place.

Larger cooking utensils also should go on the upper rack, with spoons facing down so they don’t collect water. The bottom dishrack is best for plates, pots, pans and casserole dishes. Load plates with the dirty side facing the center, with enough room between each plate to let water reach both sides.

Angle pots, pans and casserole dishes with the dirty surface facing down. If your dishwasher is a Kenmore withTurboZone spray jets, face heavily soiled dishes toward the TurboZone jets at the back of the dishwasher and select the TurboZone option for the cycle. You can load bowls in either rack but you’ll usually need to load larger mixing or serving bowls in the bottom rack if they’re too big for the top.

using the buttons or

Load taller items like cookie sheets on the outer edges of the bottom rack, making sure not to block the soap dispenser. If a cookie sheet or other item is too tall, see if you can raise the upper rack using the buttons or knobs on the side of the rack. If all else fails, you can release the rail clips and pull the upper dishrack completely out to wash multiple tall items in the lower dishrack.

The silverware basket often fits in or on the bottom dishrack but it may be in the top rack on some models. For the best cleaning results, use the slots in the covers to keep your silverware separated. Load knives and sharp utensils such as skewers into the slots with the points facing down and all other items facing up.

If your silverware doesn’t fit into the slots, flip the covers up and mix silverware types to keep them separated. Alternate the direction of spoon handles up and down so that spoons don’t nest together with other spoons. The same goes for forks.

what never to

Here’s a few items you should never put in your dishwasher. Disposable aluminum rusts, leaving black residue on the item you’re washing and possibly the surrounding items. Hand wash these items instead.

Anodized aluminum and cast iron cookware don’t fare well in the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent erodes the seasoned coatings on these items.

Grandma will kill you if you ruin her cast iron skillet! Dishwashers can harm certain china or stoneware not marked dishwasher-safe. Check the label before placing decorative dishes in the dishwasher.

cookie sheet or other item

Leaded crystal can also etch quickly when you wash it in the dishwasher.

Certain flatware shouldn’t go in the dishwasher either. If you want to keep that nice shiny finish on your gold flatware, wash it by hand to avoid permanent damage from dishwasher detergent. Knives that use adhesive to attach the handle to the blade also shouldn’t go into the dishwasher.

The detergent and high water temperatures can erode the glue. Many people have high-quality knives they prefer to wash by hand. That way the blade won’t get dull by bumping into other utensils.

It’s best to wash pewter, brass, bronze, copper and tin items by hand because dishwasher detergent can oxidize or permanently change the color of their finishes.

Check the label on unusual items to make sure they’re dishwasher safe. Finally, don’t put wooden cookware or utensils in the dishwasher because high heat, water and steam can cause wood to warp and split. Follow these loading tips to help your dishwasher get your dishes as clean keep them damage-free.

I hope this article helped you out. Check out our other articles here on the ifixappliance.ca website website. Subscribe and I’ll let you know when we post new ones.