Before You Begin
As a beautiful painting begins with a sketch, the art of dishwasher loading requires preparation. Give your dishes a bit of hands-on cleaning before you load them. Scrape loose bits of food into the garbage, being careful not to cause scratches.
Time is of the essence. The longer food sits on your dishes, the harder it is to wash off.
You can leave some food behind but remember – the bits you leave behind don’t just vanish. Any food stuck on your dishes falls into the dishwasher’s drain, where it can build up and cause repugnant odors.
The art of dishwasher loading
With preparations in place, it is time to begin your work.
In the art of dishwasher loading, less is more. If you stack your dishes, the water won’t reach the ones on top. If you place them too close together, they won’t all get enough soap and water. Leave enough space between dishes and don’t overload your dishwasher. You remove the flatware basket to make more room.
Every dish has its place. Plates and bowls belong on the bottom rack, with the dirty side facing inward. Stagger large and small plates to ensure the best coverage. Pots, pans, and casserole dishes also go on the lower level, angled downward. Place cups upside down on the top rack, angled downward to keep water from pooling on the bottom. Large pans and platters should be tucked along the sides and back of the bottom rack where they won’t block the others from getting covered.
Plastic pieces, like Tupperware and children’s dishes, take special care. Place them on the top rack with your cups, far from the heating element below. Small plastic utensils can be kept together in a mesh bag to keep them from falling through the rack.
What not to wash
Dishwashing is an intimate affair – not everyone’s invited. Gold and silver-plated utensils should never go in the dishwasher, as detergent can damage them. Hot water and detergent can also compromise the coating of non-stick pans. Cleaning cast iron cookware needs special care, and wooden utensils can crack, split, and warp in the dishwasher.
Remove sticky labels from new dishes before they go in for the first time. Labels can peel and break up in the dishwasher, clogging the drain and spreading residue on your glassware. Once you’ve mastered the art of dishwasher loading, you can sit back and admire your work – sparkling clean dishes with every wash. Great art starts with a great canvas.
Danby offers a variety of compact, utility-driven dishwaters for every home. From small countertop models to built-in options, there’s one to suit your unique needs. Shop Danby at TA Appliances and Barbecues
This post originally appeared on the Danby blog.