How to Effectively Load a Dishwasher (Part 4)

Knowing how to effectively loading a dishwasher is not difficult, but loading it properly can help your dishes come out cleaner! It can also save energy and time.

Scrape the large food items off of dishes and into the trash or garbage disposal. Definitely remove things like bones, corncobs, seeds, and peelings, etc.

  • The fork or paper napkin used when eating should be enough to get the large particles off, but if you have a lot to do, a brush or rubber spatula can help, too.

Smaller particles, like grains of rice, may or may not come off in your dishwasher. If your clean dishes come out with the occasional grain of rice stuck to them, you can remove it after the fact and make a point to do a better job of scraping next time.

Pre-rinse, but only if it is necessary. Not all dishwashers require that dishes be rinsed before loading. Do not wash them. Most dishwashers and dishwasher detergents actually do a better job if they have something to remove. If your dishes aren’t coming out clean, though, try doing a better job of pre-rinsing. If the dishes are going to sit in dishwasher for a while before starting the cycle, it is best to rinse them. Again, do not wash them.

  • It’s easiest to pre-rinse immediately after you’ve used a dish, before food dries on and hardens.

Use warm, soapy water and a scrub brush when necessary to remove stuck on food if pre-rinsing. Again, do not wash them and pre-rinse only if your dishwasher seems to need it. Dishwashers really do wash dishes.

Learn what generally comes off and what does not as you use your dishwasher. Proteins such as eggs and cheese; cooked- or baked-on foods; and starches that have dried onto the dish often require extra attention. Fill these items with warm, soapy water and let them soak before placing them in the dishwasher.

The dishwasher detergent can make as much difference as to how much pre-rinsing you have to do as the dishwasher, and it’s the easier thing to replace. Read reviews or simply try other brands when you run out to find one that works best for you.

Insert the plates into the slots in the bottom section of the dishwasher.

  • Face them toward the center and, if they lean at all, lean them inwards and downwards. This is because the tubes, jets and rotating devices spray water outward from the center; down and outward from the top; and, up and outward from the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Try to keep all surfaces separated and accessible to the stream of water from the sprayers.

Place the cups, glasses, and bowls in the top section of the dishwasher. Stack the bowls neatly on an incline, so that the washing solution can reach inside the bowl and so that they will drain.

Place Tupperware and other plastic items on the top rack.Because the heating element in most dishwashers is on the bottom, placing plastic items in the bottom rack could cause them to melt or warp.