Holiday Builders


Photo of someone loading a dishwasher

How to Load a Dishwasher Correctly

Last week was Thanksgiving. We hope you made it through dinner without any squabbles over politics. We also hope you didn’t squabble over how to load your dishwasher. Dinner guests want to pitch in following a holiday meal. Many will offer to help clean up which is a treat for the host or hostess. But the question is, do they load the dishwasher the way you do? Furthermore, what is the correct way to load a dishwasher? We consulted with the experts at Whirlpool Appliances to get the following recommendations.

  1. Scrap but do not rinse your dishes. Dishwashing detergent is designed to interact with food particles.
  2. Angle dishes downward. This is the optimal position for washing and drying.
  3. Place dishes so that the dirty side faces toward the center of the dishwasher.
  4. Place large items like mixing bowls or pans, on the back side or sides of the bottom rack facing the center of the dishwasher. You can place smaller plates around these larger items.
  5. Don’t overcrowd items and load between the tines. Tines are the protrusions on the racks that separate your dishes.
  6. Place mugs and glasses on the top rack facing down. You can add small plates separated by the tines, facing downward and toward the center of the dishwasher.
  7. If you have an upper rack (above the top rack) it’s the perfect place for utensils or plastic items. You don’t want plastic items anywhere near heating elements.
  8. When it comes to silverware, place knives with handles up to avoid cuts when loading and unloading. Spoons and forks should be placed with handles down.
  9. Lastly, be sure you’re not blocking the sprayer arms with any dishes. Just reach in and give it a spin to make sure it is not blocked.

Photo of someone loading a dishwasher
(Photo courtesy of The Spruce)

Using your dishwasher uses far less water and energy than hand-washing dishes. Proper loading of your dishwasher ensures the best performance. With the holiday season upon us, hopefully, you won’t find yourself re-loading your dishwasher after your well-intentioned, but dishwasher-loading ignorant guests depart. For every little detail on loading your dishwasher, visit 


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