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How To Load a Dishwasher

If your dishes aren't clean enough after running them through the dishwasher, you might get better results by changing the way you load the dishes. Here is how to get your dishes their cleanest by optimizing dishwasher loading.

While poor cleaning can be the result of problems with the dishwasher itself, loading the dishwasher improperly can also lead to dishes not being clean enough. To get the cleanest dishes, follow these tips.

  • Load dishes with dirty side toward the center
  • Do not nest dishes, make sure there is space between each dish for water to spray the entire surface
  • Place large objects toward the back to avoid blocking soap and spray
  • Load silverware handles down, except knives load handles up for safety
  • Spread spoons and forks around the silverware holder to prevent nesting
  • Load glassware and delicate items on upper shelf
  • Place large utensils lying on the upper tray, place them on their edge if possible
  • Don't over load the dishwasher, do two loads instead if there isn't plenty of space for the water to reach everything

The key is that the spray of water should be able to reach the surface of ever dish. When too many items are washed, or items are packed too closely together, the spray can be blocked which prevents thorough cleaning.

Another factor affecting how clean your dishes turn out is the water temperature. Hot water is important for scrubbing dishes clean. Some dishwashers will heat the water first, while other models just use your home's hot water. In the latter case, the first few seconds of water are usually not hot at all. If your dishwasher doesn't preheat the water, you should turn on the hot water at your sink and wait until it is fully hot before starting the dishwasher. That way the water entering the dishwasher will already be hot enough for cleaning the dishes.

The detergent used can affect your results too. Some detergents don't dissolve well, especially if the water isn't hot enough. Some gels and tablets don't dissolve fully, making them less effective. If you open your dishwasher mid-wash and find undissolved detergent, consider trying another brand of dishwasher detergent.

Finally, most dishwashers have a filter to capture glass and large particles. Regularly remove and rinse the filter to allow the rinse water to quickly flow out of the dishwasher. If the filter is partly blocked, food particles will also begin to build up which will cloud the rinse water and reduce the cleaning effectiveness of your dishwasher.

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