Dishes Done Right

How to properly load the dishwasher has long been a matter of discord in many a household. Cutlery handle-up or down? Cram the dishwasher full or let each plate and bowl have its space? These questions and more are answered in our definitive dishwasher guide!

After you learn the basics of using a dishwasher, such as not putting regular dish detergent in the dispenser, it is time to move on to the more nuanced techniques of loading up. Make sure to angle your cups and mugs so that water doesn’t pool on top of them, and place large items like plates and cutting boards on the bottom rack, away from the spray arm so that it has room to rotate. Consider which items do and don’t belong in the dishwasher. Stainless steel, non-stick bakeware, and wooden items are all best washed by hand.

A dishwasher may seem like a luxurious indulgence, particularly if you have access to one for the first time. But improvements to the efficiency of this appliance have made it so that using a dishwasher is actually more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand! Dishwashers with an Energy Star rating use a maximum of 5.8 gallons of water per cycle.

Not many people know this, but dishwasher detergent actually has a fairly short shelf-life. Resist the temptation to buy more than you can use in two months. Also, check out our life hacks to see which foods and household items can be cleaned in there. After reading this guide, you’ll be a full-fledged advanced dishwasher. Have fun lording your new-found knowledge over family members!