Dishwashers save you time, energy, and effort by automatically cleaning and drying your dishes, taking the hard work out of manually having to clean your dirty dishes. While it’s true that dishwashers make washing the dishes a breeze, it’s important to mention that not all dishes should be loaded the same way.

Whether you have a built-in, portable, or drawer dishwasher, In order to get the best results, you should know how to properly load it. Otherwise, you will end up with dishes that are not thoroughly cleaned and covered with unsanitary leftover food particles or bacteria. Keep reading to explore the best ways to load a dishwasher, and why it matters.

Man opening dishwasher

Why Is Important to Load a Dishwasher the Right Way?

Loading a dishwasher the right way is crucial for those looking to get the best results out of their washers. If you don't load your dishes properly, you may end up with dirty dishes after your wash cycle is complete, or even worse, dishes that are broken or damaged. Here are some of the top three reasons why it is important to load a dishwasher the right way:

  1. Efficient Use of Space: By loading your dishes properly, you can fit more dishes in your dishwasher, which means you can wash more dishes in fewer loads. This will save you both time and energy!
  2. Clean Dishes: When dishes are loaded properly, they are fully exposed to water and detergent allowing them to receive a more thorough clean.
  3. Protecting Your Dishes: properly loaded dishware is less likely to break or chip during the wash cycle.
  4. Avoid Hand Washing: By having your dishes placed the right way, they can receive proper cleaning and there will be no need for you to hand wash any leftover gunk afterward.

What Is The Best Way To Load a Dishwasher?

Now that we have covered why it's important to properly load your dishes, let's dive into the best way to load a dishwasher. Follow these steps for crystal clean dishes after every wash cycle:

  • Scrape Off Excess Food: Before loading your dishes in the dishwasher, scrape off any excess food particles. This will help prevent clogs in the dishwasher and help ensure that your dishes are properly cleaned.
  • Load Larger Items First: Start by loading larger items such as pots and pans, bowls, and serving dishes. Place them in the bottom rack of the dishwasher, facing down towards the spray arm.
  • Load Utensils: Next, load your utensils. Place forks and knives in the utensil or silverware basket with the handles facing up, and spoons with the handles facing down. This will help prevent the utensils from nesting and ensure they are cleaned properly.
  • Load Glasses and Cups: Place glasses and cups in the top rack of the dishwasher, facing down towards the spray arm. Make sure they are spaced out to prevent them from hitting one another during the wash cycle.
  • Load Small Items Last: Finally, load small items such as lids, small bowls, and other kitchen gadgets. These can be placed in the top or bottom rack, depending on their size and shape.
  • Use The Right Detergent: To ensure your dishes are cleaned properly, use the right detergent for your dishwasher. Read the manufacturer's instructions to determine the appropriate amount of detergent to use.
  • Pick Your Wash Cycle: Close the dishwasher and start the wash cycle. Depending on the type of dishwasher you have, it may have various wash cycle options to browse from. Choose the appropriate cycle for the load you are washing.
Monogram open dishwasher filled

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Load a Dishwasher

Should I pre-rinse my dishes before loading them in the dishwasher?

No, you don't need to pre-rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. In fact, pre-rinsing can actually be counterproductive, as most modern dishwashers are equipped with sensors and features that detect food particles to clean your dishes more intuitively.

Should I place dishes facing up or down in the dishwasher?

It’s generally best to place dishes facing down in the dishwasher. This allows the water and detergent to reach the dirty side of the dishes and clean them more effectively.

How to load glasses in a dishwasher?

Fragile items such as glasses should be loaded on the top rack facing downwards and not touching. Taller glasses should be placed along the side and shorter glasses can be placed more in the center of the rack.

How to load silverware in a dishwasher?

Place forks and knives with the handles facing up and spoons with the handles facing down in the silverware basket.

The Best Dishwashers Near You

At Mountain High Appliance, the best kitchen appliance store in Colorado, we offer a wide selection of powerful-performing dishwashers. Find top dishwasher brands like Cafe Appliances, Fisher & Paykel, GE, Whirlpool, Bosch, and more to browse from, you are sure to find what you are looking for. Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect dishwasher to match your budget, lifestyle, and design preferences.

When you shop with us, you can rest easy knowing our helpful staff is here to help you build your dream kitchen every step of the way and always strives to provide the best customer service in all of Colorado. Stop by our store locations in Denver, Louisville, Littleton, Colorado Springs, or Glenwood Springs to upgrade your kitchen with the perfect dishwasher today!