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Video:How to Properly Load a Dishwasher

with Sabrina Veroczi

Want to get sparkling-clean dishes? Check out these tips on how to properly load a dishwasher.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Properly Load a Dishwasher

Hi, I'm Sabrina Veroczi for About.com Home. Dishwashers are amazing at cutting down kitchen clean-up time and providing dishes, cookware, and cutlery that are spotless and free of germs.

Although the machine does do most of the work for you, using it properly will ensure that you get the best results. Today I'm going to show you how to properly load a dishwasher.

Load These Items in the Dishwasher

Before starting, it's important to know which items are safe to load in the dishwasher and which items require hand washing.

For most newer glasses, stainless-steel pans, Pyrex dishes, and other dishware, these items are generally dishwasher-safe. However, as a general rule, you should always double check with the manufacturer of your dishware to ensure that all pieces are dishwasher-safe before washing.

Hand Wash These Items

When sorting the dishwasher-safe items from the hand-wash items, it's important to note that wooden utensils and pans with wooden handles should not be put in the dishwasher, as the heat may warp the wood.

Other items, such as sharp knives, hand-painted dishes, lead crystal, silver pieces, certain plastic pieces, and some glassware are not recommended for machine washing and may need to be cleaned by hand.

Prepare the Dishes

Once you've determined what needs to be left out of the dishwasher, you are ready to begin. First, scrape off any large particles or caked-on food clumps from the dishes you want to load in the dishwasher.

Although some pre-washing may be required, it isn't necessary to thoroughly pre-wash most dishes, as most dishwashers are designed to handle some food particles. And believe it or not, a little grime actually can help because it gives the soap something to cling to.

Load the Bottom Tray

Once the dishes are prepped, start by loading the bottom tray. It's important to note here that when loading the dishwasher, be careful not overload the trays or have dishes touching. This is so the water can move around freely and get to every surface easily. It also prevents dishes from becoming chipped or broken during the cycle.

First, place cookie sheets, pans, and large platters along the outside of the bottom tray so that they do not block the rotation of the washing arm or the spray of the water.

Next, place plates, saucers, larger bowls, pots and pans onto the rest of the bottom tray. If possible, stagger the smaller plates and larger plates to provide greater space between them.

Face bowls, pots and pans, and any dishes with baked-on food facing down towards the sprayer arm so that the stream gets them completely clean.

Load the Cutlery Basket

Next, load the flatware into the cutlery baskets. If your silver is dishwasher-safe, separate stainless steel from silver to avoid damaging your silver. Place all silverware with the handles down, except for knives, which should always be placed with their handles up for safety.

Load the Upper Tray

Next, load mugs, glasses, smaller bowls, and lids on the upper tray. If your plastics are dishwasher-safe, this is where they belong. Again, make sure the inside of the bowls are facing the bottom of the machine. Place glasses and mugs upside-down in the rows between the prongs.

Add the Detergent

Once all of the dishes are in place, fill both dishwasher cups with detergent. Although you may chose between a liquid cleaner or cleaner granules, the granules are preferable for getting rid of tough stains and leaving your glassware free from streaks or spots.

Next, fill the rinse agent dispenser with rinse agent and replace the cap. Close and lock the door so that it is securely in place and choose the appropriate washing and drying cycle.

You've done your part. Now it's time to enjoy your free time and let the machine take care of the rest!

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