Loading a dishwasher is about more than filling the racks. A properly loaded dishwasher also ensures more efficiency and better cleaning so you can save time and energy. Learn more about the best way to load a dishwasher, and get tips on how to properly load a dishwasher for clean dishware and cookware every time.

The best way to load specific dishes in a dishwasher

When loading a dishwasher, make sure that items are loaded at an angle to assist with draining. Cups and mugs with concave bottoms may collect water during the wash cycle. Dry these mugs with a dish towel before unloading the dishwasher.

Plastic items can be washed in the dishwasher, provided that they are dishwasher safe. These items should be placed in the top rack. Plastic has a porous surface that can make it difficult to dry. It may be necessary to dry plastic items with a towel before putting them away.

Dishwasher racks are configured differently depending on which model you have. The picture below offers two different examples of dishwasher loading techniques.

Learn the best way to load a dishwasher from Whirlpool.

Tips for loading a dishwasher

There’s no best way to load a dishwasher, but there are plenty of ways that you can make sure your dishwasher performs. The tips below will help you get clean dishes with every load.

  • Don’t stack dishes on top of each other. This causes nesting and prevents dishes from being cleaned evenly.
  • Ensure plastic items fit securely in your dishwasher racks and are not small enough to fit through gaps. Plastic items that fall through can block one of the washer arms or land on your dishwasher’s heating element.
  • Make sure that dishes are loaded so that the dirty sides face the washer jets.
  • Long utensils that cannot fit in the silverware basket should be laid on dishwasher racks. Make sure these utensils cannot slip through the rack or otherwise block the spray arms.
  • Larger cookware items like pots, pans and baking dishes should be angled down to ensure better cleaning and drainage. Flat pans or platters should be placed in racks away from the door – placing them near the door can block detergent from reaching other dishes.
  • Take care when loading the silverware. Nesting can cause these items to clean inefficiently or not at all.


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