Loading your dishwasher properly and treating it well can make a really big difference. Believe it or not, your neat freak mom might just have gotten this one right. Follow these tips, and you will soon find that your dishwasher is working better and getting your plates, cups and silverware a lot cleaner.

The Preliminaries

If you plan on running your dishwasher later instead of right after loading, give your dishes a nice pre-rinse. Doing so will keep everything from smelling and bacteria from growing during the time when the machine is filled with dirty dishes and isn’t running.

Protect Your Plastics

Make sure any plastic items, including utensils and plates, are securely locked into their positions before starting your dishwasher. If left to run wild, these items can fall on the heating element, causing them to melt and leave a huge mess.

Stacking is a No-No

It is important to give each dish and plate its own space. Stacking them might look more efficient, but the end result is that the items on the top never get as clean because the water spray can’t reach them.

Strategic Dish Placement Techniques

When you are loading plates and bowls, place the dirty side facing toward the water spray. Also angle casserole dishes, pots and pans downward for maximum cleanliness. As for flat pans and trays, place them on the sides of the rack, never in front by the door. In that position, they prevent the detergent from getting to all your dishes.

Concerning silverware, take steps to keep spoons and forks from nesting into each other; they will not get thoroughly cleaned. For maximum effectiveness, place spoons next to forks, and always be sure the handles are facing down. This allows for a more sanitary drainage, from clean to dirty, much like a surgeon holding up his hands after washing.

Make the Most of the Top Shelf

Mugs, cups and glasses belong in the machine’s upper rack. Place cups and mugs between, not on top of the tines to prevent water spots from the tip of the prong. Angle your cups to keep water from collecting on the cups’ bases. Keep wine glasses away from each other to prevent breakage.


Did you know that powder detergents don’t last longer than two months? Use liquid, tablets or packets instead as they don’t expire. The most recommended product by washer repair Brooklyn and washer repair Staten Island is Finish Quantum tablets, which contain all of the bleach and enzymes you need to thoroughly clean your dishes. Enzyme detergents are great for stuck on, soiled food and chlorine bleach will get out stubborn coffee and tea stains. Melaleuca has one of the best enzyme detergents on the market. You won’t even need to pre-rinse anymore. That being said, remember that your dishwasher is not a garbage disposal, and it doesn’t function well if its drain is clogged with sticky or smelly leftovers.

Installation Tips

Careful installation of your dishwasher can also enhance its efficiency. Be sure there is a high loop that routes the drainage hose higher than the bottom of the sink to keep water from flowing from the sink into the dishwasher. Also, you need to be sure your dishwasher is perfectly level. If it is off balance, water can pool in one corner and damage the door gaskets. Over time, water will start leaking out onto your kitchen floor. Furthermore, an off-balance appliance leads to improper drainage and standing water in the machine that can become smelly and unsanitary.

Hard Water

If your water is particularly high in minerals, it is called “hard.” Over time, it can do damage to your dishwasher. At first, you will just notice a cloudy white residue on your dishes. This is a visible manifestation of mineral salts, which also accumulate on every part of your dishwasher. Over time, they can cause rust and damage parts such as heating elements.

Sources: Idaho Falls Melaleuca, Good Housekeeping