July 29, 2014

How to Load a Dishwasher

The proper way to load the dishwasher. Husbands and wives have been debating technique for years, roommates have had thoughts of moving out because of it. Some procedures, like careful placement, do guarantee that dishes are cleaned properly and emerge unscathed, dishwasher intact. We’ll let Consumer Reports step in with their official stance -

Here is the proper way to load your dishwasher:
* Skip pre-rinsing, a real water waster, but do scrape off food.
* Load large items at the side and back. Otherwise they’ll block water and detergent.
* Place the dirtier side of dish toward the center of machine, allowing for more exposure to the spray. Dishes shouldn’t rest against each other, or water won’t reach all surfaces.
* Put dishwasher-safe plastic and delicate items on the top rack.
* Rest glasses on prongs to prevent breakage and water from accumulating in them.
* Load forks and spoons with handles down, but place knives handles up. If your dishwasher has an open basket, mix flatware to prevent pieces from sticking together.
* Place items with baked-on food facedown and toward the sprayer in bottom rack.
* Avoid putting brass, bronze, cast-iron, wood, or gold leaf china in the machine.

 
To keep china from chipping, don’t allow dishes to touch other items, especially pots and pans. If you decide to hand wash your fine china and porcelain, line your sink with an old towel to prevent chipping and use a mild dish detergent.

Get Cleaner Dishes Out of Your Dishwasher

We’re always scouring the web for the best appliance tips. Recently The New York Times offered this advice:

    Simply scrape your dishes, don’t pre-wash. The detergent goes after the food.

    Use just enough detergent. This is determined by how dirty they are, not how many dishes are in the load.

    Powdered detergent works better than liquid or tablets.

    Load properly, glasses on top, pots and pans on the bottom and don’t let items nest together. You can check your manual for the best way to load your particular dishwasher. Also, don’t impede the free movement of the sprayer arm.

    Streaks and spots are caused by water droplets and are not permanent. A rinse aid will help prevent them.

My favorite tip: Open the dishwasher immediately after the cycle ends. The dishes are at their hottest and will dry very quickly, leaving shiny dishes with no spots.

Quick Dishwasher Loading Tips

Today’s dishwashers really will do most of the work for you.  No more scrubbing before loading.  If you are the type of person who cleans the house before the housekeeper comes, this might be a hard habit to kick, but hey – think of all the other tasks you can do with the time you’ll save.  You can alphabetize your spices!

The tips:

* Soiled surfaces should always face the interior of the machine, where the spray is most likely to reach them. 

* Don’t put glasses over the prongs, because that impedes the water’s flow. Use the prongs to prop them up from the outside.

* Never overlap pans. Let the whole cooking surface lie face-down on the rack.

* Knife edges should point downward, forks should point upward, and spoons can go either way. (Just check that they aren’t nesting)

I have found that not rinsing the dishes works best if the dishwasher is being run right away, but your results may vary.