- Load the dishes so they do not nest or overlap. This causes food to become trapped and prevents water from being able to reach the food and remove it.
- Glasses go on the top rack placed between the tines to keep them from rattling or overturning during wash.
- Plates should face the center for better wash reach instead of all in one direction.
- Bowls go on the top or bottom rack. Those in the rear should face forward, those in front should face the back, so water can get in.
- Knives are safest blade-side down.
- Spoons and forks should be varied, some placed handle up, some down to keep them from nesting.
- Cookie sheets and platters go along the outer edges of the bottom rack facing in so they don’t block water and detergent from other pieces.
- Long-handled utensils that are too tall for the silverware basket can lay horizontally across the top rack.
- Casseroles, serving bowls and large pots should be placed on the bottom rack at a slight angle, rather than upside down, so they don’t block the flow of water.
- Plastic items should go on the top rack to keep them from falling to the bottom of the dishwasher and melting to the heating element.
*Plastics marked “7” or “PC,” like some flimsy takeout containers, can’t be used for food after going through a dishwasher. They contain the chemical BPA, which may leach out when heated.
- Items not typically dishwasher safe: wooden items like mixing spoons, bowls and rolling pins, hand painted dishes, sharp cooking knives, delicate glassware and silver, aluminum. Check labels on all dishes and items to be sure they can be washed in the dishwasher.
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