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How to Load Your Dishwasher

Tips for how to best load your dishwasher

What’s the best way to load a dishwasher? Maximize your dishwasher’s space and ensure your dishware and utensils are clean with this expert advice.

Is there really a right way to load your dishwasher? In short, yes.

A well-organized dishwasher can make life easier in a number of ways, from having cleaner dishes to saving energy with fewer loads. Make the most of all your dishwasher has to offer by ensuring everything is in its proper place before you hit start on the control panel.

how to load your dishwasher


  • Angle the dirtiest dishes downward, and allow space for water to flow up between each rack.

  • Don’t pack dishes too tightly.

  • Make sure fragile dishes or glassware aren’t touching.

(Text Version)

How to Properly Load Your Dishwasher

Top Rack

Cups, glasses, bowls, Tupperware, serving spoons, spatulas, long pieces of cutlery

  • Place small items facing downward on the top rack.
  • Fit cups in between tines – not over them
  • Place Tupperware here, as the heat coming from the bottom of the dishwasher can melt the plastic
  • Place spatulas and cutlery horizontally on the top rack in between tines

Tip: Angle the dirtiest dishes downward, and allow space for water to flow up between each rack.

Bottom Rack

Plates, pans, cookie sheets, and other large items

  • Face pots, pans, and large bowls open-side down to ensure they don’t fill up with water.
  • Align the dishes along the tines to maximize space.
  • Place larger pans at the edges outside of the tines.
  • Avoid placing tall items in front fo the detergent dispenser so it can open.

Tip: Don’t pack dishes too tightly.

Cutlery Basket


  • Distribute silverware evenly among compartments.
  • Avoid putting the same type of utensil in the same compartments, which can cause them to nest and prevent a proper cleaning.
  • Alternate upward- and downward-facing silverware in the basket.

Tip: Make sure fragile dishes or glassware aren’t touching

Hand-Wash Only

  • Sharp knives
  • Cast iron
  • Crystal
  • Copper pans
  • Wooden spoons
  • Non-dishwasher-safe plastic
  • Wooden spatulas

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