Skip to Content

How to Load a Dishwasher

I received compensation and samples as a Finish Power & Free Alliance of Moms ambassador. All opinions are my own.

I have a problem. I’ll admit it. I am obsessed with an organized and full dishwasher.

Whenever someone else [husband, kids, mother, babysitter, etc] loads my dishwasher, I struggle to finish the job. I completely understand that they are trying to help and finish a job that is never fun. I don’t mind so much if I just have to unload the dishwasher after their help. But, oh, if I ever have to finish loading the dishwasher that is halfway filled with dishes in all the wrong spot it is such a challenge for me.

With such a full household, I know I need to get a lot of dishes into my dishwasher in each load and so an organized dishwasher is essentials! Here are my 5 Tips on How to Load a Dishwasher.

How to Load a Dishwasher

How to Load a Dishwasher pinit fg en rect red 28

1. Create “Zones” – My husband is slowly learning the right way to load a dishwasher. The only way he has started to grasp this concept is because my dishes absolutely always go in the same spots. For example, plates go neatly in rows following one behind the other, not skipping any rack lines. I also have specific rows for cups, bowls, and a “misc” section specifically for all the strange pieces that aren’t consistently in my load.

2. Direction Matters – You might not think that which way you place your plates matters, but if you’re trying to get a full dish load, it does. Place all your curved plates facing inward towards where you stand to load the dishwasher. This makes them really easy to place one behind the next and since they’re all facing in a row, the water should be much more effective at hitting all the surfaces equally.

3. Let’s Talk Bowls – Bowls can take up so much space in a dishwasher. Most people place them flat down on a row, which isn’t really necessary. You might be able to notice above, I use a row two prongs wide to hold all my bowls. Each next line of prongs is most of the time enough spacing to place the next bowl. If you have really deep bowls, skip one row and place the next bowl on the next line. By stacking your bowls against each other and in a leaning-upright position you’ll have a lot more room in your dishwasher and they will still be clean!

4. Pots, Pans, Knives, Spatulas & More – There are some items you really just need to hand wash. You might be saying no way, I don’t have time. But adding just one mixing bowl or one pot to your dishwasher will take the place of a good 6 or so plates (enough dishes for all your dinner plates!). Pots and pans as well as knives will also last much longer if hand washed. It is gentler on their finish and will keep your knives sharp longer.

Handwash Dishes

How to Load a Dishwasher pinit fg en rect red 28
Spatulas can be awkward to place in your dishwasher, especially if you don’t have a lot of height between your two racks. I place all my spatulas right on top of my miscellaneous items. Having a section for these small, awkward dishes gives the dishwasher organization because they actually do have a place to fit. I use this area for sippy cup lids, ramekins, measure cups, freezer jam jars, etc. It’s also works perfectly as an overflow area for bowls and cups.

5. Fill Empty Spaces – After you’ve filled up the natural rows, be sure to look for extra spaces you can use to fit in those last few dishes. I almost always have room between my two rows of plates, for example. Toss in those extra plates between the rows going the opposite direction and you’ve just fit in an extra four plates. Don’t forget to use the last row all the way against the silverware tray. I also wash my cutting boards once or twice a month and they fit perfectly at the very edge of my bottom dishwasher rack (closest to the closed dishwasher door). Here’s a picture you can pin that can help you remember organization is key!

Oranized Dishwasher #Tips

How to Load a Dishwasher pinit fg en rect red 28

 Getting the Dishes Clean!

Dirty Dishes Sink

How to Load a Dishwasher pinit fg en rect red 28
Now the real question comes – do you scrub your dishes clean before they head to the dishwasher, or do you let your dishwasher detergent do the dirty work? It’s all about getting your dirty sink full of dishes to your dishwasher as painless as possible. I’ve used some really ineffective dish detergent in the past, which forced me into the scrub and rinse everything first camp. I’m excited to announce that I am a Finish Power & Free Alliance of Moms brand ambassador! This year, I will be putting Finish to the test. I am going to try to back off the scrubbing and give Finish a shot at those dirty dishes!

Finish Power & Free

How to Load a Dishwasher pinit fg en rect red 28
Finish Power & Free uses Hydrogen Peroxide to tackle the food messes on your dishes combined with detergents (Quantum or Powerball) that work without chlorine bleach and contain less fragrance and dyes than other Finish products. That means — you get a great clean with less harsh chemicals! The Powerball formula is made to tackle dishes with food stuck on 24-hours by gently scrubbing dishes clean.

If you have hard water, a rinse agent is a must. Finish Jet-Dry Power & Free works during the rinse cycle to protect against spots, film, and residue with less chemicals than the regular formula! I love that the new Power & Free formula uses less chemicals but still does it’s job! Not only is Finish saving you time, they are saving you money too. Head over and print a coupon good for $.75 off any Finish detergent or Jet-Dry rinse agent!

How do you organize your dishwasher?

Jesselyn A/Jesstinger

Saturday 21st of June 2014

O' boy, do I ever know how you feel! Why my Honey/Hubby tries to "help" with the dishes ... and while I used to try to explain/describe to him the best (to my mind ONLY) way to load a dishwasher! But it always turned into minor ~ well, let's just just say it was best to say nothing and wait until he's busy doing something else and then I take it all out and do it all over again ~ NOT as brilliantly as YOU do it ~ but I'm a quick study and I'm going to follow your lead. Thanks Janel!

O' and too good not to share ~ so I already pinned it:

Comments are closed.