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How to Load Your Dishwasher (Video)

There's more of a craft to loading dishes than you think.

Credit: / Johnny Yu

A weak wash cycle is not necessarily your dishwasher's fault; it may mean that you're simply loading the dishwasher the wrong way. Sure, you may be thinking, "What hapless sap can't figure out how to load a dishwasher?" But you'd be surprised by some of the mistakes people make. There's more of a craft to loading dishes than you may think. Here are some pointers, summarized from the video above:

Dirty surfaces need to face downward and toward the center of the wash tub Don't place dishes horizontally across the rack. Rather, angle them so that the jets have a clear trajectory and the water can drain properly.

Avoid loading identical utensils into the same sections of the basket Forks and especially spoons tend to pancake together, making it difficult to clean all but the top layer. To prevent this from happening, distribute your utensils across as many sections as possible. And if you need to put more than one into each compartment, flip one of them over—except for knives, of course.

Don't block the wash arms or detergent tray A spinning wash arm that gets stuck in place is not likely to provide a complete clean—let alone a thorough one. And if the detergent dispenser isn't able to open, then you've got nothing more than a hollow box with some wet dishes in it.

Run two small loads instead of one big load You'll use more water and more soap, but the wash performance will be better. Sometimes dirty dishes need to be washed twice anyway, so it's no less efficient to be patient and opt for a smaller load.

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