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How to Load a Dishwasher

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Loading your dishwasher properly and using the correct detergent and rinse aid can prolong the life of your appliance. If you've ever had a squabble with a spouse or flatmate about who's loading the washer correctly, let this article be your guide.

Incorrectly loaded

Incorrectly loaded

Correctly Loaded

Correctly loaded

Do You Pass the Test?

  • Ditch debris
    Before loading dishes, remove any remaining food debris from plates. Soak saucepans with burnt-on food as you would when washing by hand.
  • Heavy lifting
    Place large or heavy items on the lower basket, and small or more delicate items on the upper basket. This helps your dishwasher basket wheels last longer.
  • Mind your mugs
    Invert cups and glasses, and make sure that no water can collect in the bottom of any items.
  • Don't touch
    Arrange dishes and cutlery so that they don't stick together or block each other. Load glasses so that they don't touch to prevent stains and cracks.
  • Bits and bobs
    Small objects, such as bottle caps, should go in the cutlery basket. Consider washing sharp knives by hand as these can cause damage to your dishwasher baskets.
  • Give your spray arms space
    Make sure nothing protrudes from racks - items that stop the spray arms turning will prevent the machine from washing properly. Be careful that the soap dispenser has enough space to open once the door closes.

Loading a Dishwasher Cutlery Basket Properly:

  • Handles down
    Place knives, forks and spoons in the cutlery basket, handle down. Long pieces of cutlery can block the spray arm. These should be laid down in the upper basket.
  • Sharp knives
    Sharp knives placed upright in the cutlery basket can be a hazard. If you wash your sharp knives in the dishwasher, consider laying these items down on the upper basket.
  • Cutlery clash
    Distribute the cutlery loosely, and position the soiled surfaces of the spoons and forks apart so that the water can reach them. Teaspoons should be put into a special spoon compartment if available.

Protect Your Dishwasher From Limescale Build-Up:

  1. Keep your washer topped up - ensuring that salt and rinse aid levels are always topped up will help the internal parts of your dishwasher stay spotless.
  2. Be choosy about detergents - powders, gels and tablets may provide different results in hard and soft water areas, or with different appliances.
  3. Limescale is not your friend - run a limescale treatment through your washer once a month. Limescale build-up makes your machine less effective and shortens its lifespan.
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