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Wash like a pro – how to load a dishwasher for best results

The right way to load a dishwasher is a frequent talking point in shared living arrangements. Everyone has their own preferences and pet peeves. However, there really is a right way to load a  dishwasher and some basic rules simply aren't up for discussion. Read on for our dishwasher loading tips, some cool dishwasher loading hacks and a fun Somat video on the topic.

Why loading the dishwasher matters

Loading your dishwasher right is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your dishes come out clean and to guarantee your machine runs as efficiently and economically as possible.

  1. Loading dishes in the right part of the dishwasher lets them get the ideal amount of heat and water.
  2. A well-loaded dishwasher can save energy and water.
  3. Agreeing on a system can save you and everyone in your household time when loading and unloading the dishwasher.

The basics of how to load the dishwasher for optimal cleaning results are as follows:

  1. Large dishes at the bottom
  2. Glasses on top
  3. Load the cutlery basket right (dirty ends up)
  4. Check the spray arm can move

Now let's take a closer look at how to load a dishwasher ...

Dishwasher loading instructions

Dishwasher models vary, so consult the manual or the manufacturer website to get the best advice on how to load your dishwasher. However, some basics are the same for all dishwashers.

  1. Scrape food off your dishes, but don't rinse them before loading the dishwasher.
  2. Larger items go on the bottom shelf. These are usually also the more robust and dirtier items and include heavy-duty cookware like pots and pans.
  3. Smaller, more fragile pieces – including glasses and cups – belong on the top shelf.
  4. Cutlery goes in the designated shelf or in a basket, with the dirty end up.
  5. Fill the dishwasher to the max, but don't overload it.
  6. Ensure that there is nothing blocking the rotating spray arms.
  7. Don't put high items at the front of the bottom shelf, as these may block the soap drawer and prevent the dishwasher detergent from being dispensed.

Dishwasher loading tips

Those are the basics, but we have some more dishwasher loading tips that may not be in your manufacturer's instructions:

  1. Start loading from the back of each shelf. This makes it easier to see how full your dishwasher is.
  2. Start unloading the dishwasher at the bottom, to prevent water dripping down.
  3. Put plastic on the top shelf, where the heat is less intense than at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  4. Prevent cutlery from spooning, i.e. snuggling up together in the baskets.
  5. Make sure everyone in your household is aware of sharp knives if you load them blade-up.
  6. Give the top rack a gentle shake to allow items to settle into place and avoid glass breakage.

Dishwasher loading hacks

There are a few unwieldy items that aren't always mentioned in dishwasher manuals. We have collected a few smart dishwasher loading hacks that can come in handy:

  1. Place large, flat cutting boards and platters around the edge of the dishwasher, which usually remains empty.
  2. Alternate glass with plastic items on the top shelf to prevent glass-on-glass damage.
  3. Find out if your top dishwasher shelf is height-adjustable, to accommodate larger items when needed.