Loading a Dishwasher Correctly
How to Load a Dishwasher



Dear Readers,

Loading a dishwasher is not rocket science but loading it correctly can save your time and consumption of water, as well as result in cleaner dishes. Here are a few things I have experienced and learned over time about loading the dishwasher.

loading a dishwasher
  1. Make sure to arrange all the pans in a way such that soap and water can pass easily and water access is not blocked.
  2. One can put stainless steel dishes or bowls or pans in the bottom or the top shelf depending on the size.
  3. Since the lower rack has more space load, try to load all the plates in the lower rack. One can load small plates in the top shelf
loading a dishwasher
  1. Load all the glasses, mugs, cups and bowls in the top shelf.
  2. Make sure that all the glasses and cups etc. are on a support – they should not be able to move much because of the water pressure while machine is running.
  3. Make sure to put all the bowls, glasses etc. upside down so that water doesn’t stay inside.
loading a dishwasher
  1. Load anything made with plastic “(e.g., containers, lids) in the top shelf to protect from heat as most of the dishwashers have heating coils at the bottom.
  2. You can place a layer of plastic containers across the top of the bowls in the top shelf to utilize more space in the dishwasher. Make sure that that there is nothing blocking the way of soap or water in between any two layers.
loading a dishwasher
  1. Put all the silverware, ladles, serving spoons etc. in the slots designed for them in the dishwasher or in a basket that comes with the dishwasher.
  2. Make sure there are no loose dishes or lids that can fall through the shelves when the machine is running. These can reach the bottom of the dishwasher and get burned if they come in contact with the coil.
  3. After loading the dishes, check the shelves from all sides making sure that the dishwasher fans are not blocked.

What Not to put in dishwashers-

A few things I have experienced over the years which the dishwasher manuals don’t talk about-

  1. Wooden stuff doesn’t go well with the dishwasher: For example rolling pins (belan) or mathani (wooden masher) or spatula etc. They do get cleaned well in dishwasher, but the wood loses its shine with time and may also crack because of the heat.
  2. Don’t put any thermoware or insulated containers, lunch boxes, coffee mugs etc. in the dishwasher. The water gets in between the plastic and insulated layer.
  3. Don’t put any non-stick pans in the dishwasher: the non-stick coating wears off much faster.
  4. Don’t put any aluminum dishes in the dishwasher unless the dish specifically says dishwasher safe. Aluminum gets faded and lose its shine This includes Pressure cooker!
  5. Don’t put cast iron cookware in the dishwasher as they may rust and will also lose their shine.

Taking Care of your Dishwasher-

Like any other machine, it is important to take care of your dishwasher. It increases the life and the performance of the dishwasher.

  1. After removing the clean dishes, see if there is anything stuck at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Do not overload the dishwasher.
  3. Once or twice a month, clean your dishwasher. You can use commercial dishwasher cleansers. For a quick homemade cleaning choice, put some distilled vinegar and baking soda at the bottom of dishwasher and run it without loading any dishes.
loading a dishwasher

How often one should run a dishwasher?

It completely depends on your family size, and your requirements.

We are a family of 4. I usually run the dishwasher once a day. I usually clean the big cookware such as pressure cooker and wok by hand. I cook in the morning for lunchbox and then dinner. No one is home for lunch so no cooking. Everyday, I empty out the clean dishes in the morning. Then I keep loading the dishwasher from the morning tea and breakfast to later in the evening with dinner dishes. I run the dishwasher in the late evening after dinner when I am done with all the kitchen work. Thereafter I immediately clean the sink and kitchen. This way the kitchen is clean when I enter in the morning.

That said, I have also run the dishwasher 3 times (after, breakfast, lunch and dinner) a day during holidays and when we have guests.

Following pic shows the top shelf of the dishwasher after a 5 families get-together.

loading a dishwasher

Following pic shows the bottom shelf of the dishwasher with all the plates and silverware after a 5 families get-together.

loading a dishwasher

Handcare and some other suggestions-

  1. I always keep a nice thick pair of gloves in the kitchen. I wear the gloves while rinsing the dishes and cleaning the remaining big cookware or delicate crockery.
  2. I also keep a long cleaning brush to clean the blender jars, bottles, jugs etc.
  3. I clean the big bowls (e.g., parat /परात) after making the dough, blender jar, wok etc. by hand immediately after using them and keep loading the plates and bowls in the dishwasher so that the sink remains clean all day long.

Hope this article helps you with your dish loading, dishwasher maintenance and keeping your kitchen clean. Please do share your thoughts about the article.

With best wishes,