black and white cat peaking into an open dishwasher

Are you tired of emptying the dishwasher only to find that half of the dishes are still dirty?  Well, before you check out Consumer Reports on new dishwashers, let’s do some self-checks to see if the problem lies in the dishwasher or in the dishwasher’s loader.

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photo credit: nicola.albertini via photopincc

Family Meeting

The dishwasher has one job and that’s to get your dishes clean.  However, the dishwasher loader also has one job and that job is the most important one…to understand and apply the loading process.  If you have many people in the house and don’t want to shine the light directly on who you think may be the one doing a bad loading job, try this handy tip. 

Tip:  Print out the “How to” portion of this blog and place it in an obvious reading place in your bathroom.  Since everyone that uses the dishwasher also uses the bathroom, the message will get delivered to everyone before the next rinse cycle.


I know most “new” dishwashers state that you don’t have to rinse dishes; however, if you have had fish, or some other strongly fragrant food, I highly recommend rinsing the dishes first. This helps keep odors and germs under control.

Tip:  Before dinner is served, fill one side of the sink with hot soapy water.  Then, allow your dinner guests to simply place their utensils and plates in the water.  This step saves water and saves you time in rinsing each plate off individually.  The hot water will help remove any hard or stuck on debris or film without your personal scrubbing attention needed on every item.

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photo credit: David Locke via photopincc


Yes!  There is a method to loading a dishwasher and if you don’t do it right you are wasting your time and the dishwasher’s time as well!  So, what is the correct way to load a dishwasher?

  • Plastic ware and glasses should always go in the top drawer. If you have delicate glasses, place them between the tines so they don’t crack while the water is being sprayed.  If you have mostly non-delicate cups and plastic cups, you can load them between the tines and not over so you have more room to fit more rows.
  • Bowls should be loaded in every other tine format so there is a gap between each for the water to spray each one effectively.
  • Dishes should face forward to the middle of the dishwasher as most spray nozzles in dishwashers are designed for this method of dish placement.
  • Mix the silverware in each compartment so they don’t stack on top of each other (like they do in the utensil drawer).

Tip:  Don’t wash your pots and large pans in the dishwasher.  It’s best to soak and handwash these yourself.
CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US FOR CLEANING SERVICES!Final Tip:  Buy a magnet that states “Clean/Dirty” so that everyone in the house knows what’s in the dishwasher before they open it.

Hopefully, by encouraging all of your dishwasher helpers to use these simple loading techniques you will find that your dishes come out sparkling every time.  Your dishwasher can only do part of the job.  The person loading has to do their part as well – by knowing how to load a dishwasher.  Now they do! 

Now, what’s for dinner?  I’m hungry.  If you cook…I’ll do the dishes!