Dishwashers are a life-saving (or, at least, time-saving) modern convenience. They free us from the most thankless household task (scrubbing dishes) and leave time for the important things (watching more Netflix). But as it turns out, there’s a right way and a wrong way to load a dishwasher, and you can optimize your strategy to ensure your dishes stay chip-free and clean forever.
Like many other cleaning hacks, these tips will save you time and energy. The first rule is to place bowls and cups upside down–because otherwise, they’ll fill up with dirty water. Leaving space between items will also ensure they get properly clean since water and steam need to make contact with every surface. Small and fragile items should go in the top rack, where they’ll be more protected, and avoid placing cups over anything as it can weaken and damage them over time. You should also angle them to prevent water pooling on top of them.
Large items, however, fit perfectly on the bottom rack. Large plates, pots, and other durable items should be positioned nearer the jet spray because they can withstand the increased pressure. Butter knives should go in handle up, while all other knives need to be washed by hand, to avoid damage and weakening. With these simple tricks, your dishwasher can work even harder for you.