Loading your dishwasher may seem straightforward. But there are actually some hard rules you have to follow if you want to avoid dishwasher disasters.

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Have you ever experienced warped plastics or remaining soapy residue after a wash cycle? These could have been easily avoided by simply knowing where and how things should go — a small solution to a big problem. Properly loading your dishwasher can also boost its cleaning performance and maintain its quality in the long run.

In this article, AEG will show you a step-by-step guide on how to use a dishwasher properly if you use it for the first time.

General dishwasher loading guide for beginner

1. Do not rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher

Did you know that dishwashing detergent is designed to interact with food residue, such as sauces? In fact, it cleans more effectively when there is residue on dishware. So, forget pre-rinsing, simply scrape your plates, and load, for a better clean while saving time, effort, and water.

2. Load dishes the dirty side down

This allows water to reach every part of your dishes, facilitates better draining, and prevents wastewater pooling, especially with curved items, such as bowls and glasses. Angle plates and other slim items inwards, facing the centre of the dishwasher towards the spray arm, not the sides.

3. Leave space between items when loading your dishwasher

Avoid overcrowding or overlapping when loading your dishwasher, and always allow space between items so water flows and drains freely. This prevents residue becoming trapped to ensure a thorough clean.

Alternate small and large plates, as well as spoons and forks. Position items between dishwasher tines, not over them. This firmly fixes them in place, preventing breakage when sprayed with water.

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4. Don’t block spray arms and the detergent dispenser

Give them space to work effectively. Place trays or large items on the side of the dishwasher, instead of the front or centre. Before closing the door, gently spin the spray arm to ensure it is not obstructed.

5. What not to put in dishwasher?

Ask yourself this question before placing every item in the dishwasher. Typically, these items should be handwashed:

  • Nonstick cookware (may remove the coating)
  • Cast iron, aluminium and ceramic pots and pans
  • Sharp knives
  • Sharp attachments (from blenders, food processors)
  • Wooden items
  • Fine china
  • Delicate glassware         

Why? Because pans may lose their nonstick coating, wooden spoons or cutting boards can warp, and knives can lose sharpness when placed in a dishwasher.

While handwashing is usually recommended for wine glasses, AEG dishwashers with GlassCare gently and firmly hold their stems and bodies in place with their unique SoftGrip and SoftSpikes, protecting them from vibration, cracks, and breakage.

Discover AEG Dishwashing technology here.

How to load a dishwasher top rack

1. How to load glasses and mugs in dishwasher

Place cups, glasses, and mugs upside down along the sides of the top rack. To avoid dripping and pooling at the base of the glasses, position them at an angle to let water easily roll down. When loading, don’t let glasses touch to prevent water spots.

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2. How to load small bowls and saucers in dishwasher

Position them downwards, between the dishwasher tines, not over them, to secure bowls and saucers in place during the cycle. If possible, adjust the tines, folding them up or down, to adapt the layout to your load.

3. Washing plastic containers in dishwasher

If your dishwasher has an exposed heating element at the bottom, place plastic containers on the top rack to avoid warping. Always check if your plastic containers are dishwasher safe.

4. Long utensils

Lay spatulas, tongs, or ladles flat on the top rack to prevent obstructing the spray arm.

Read more: How to choose the most suitable dishwasher

How to load a dishwasher bottom rack

1. How to wash large plates and bowls in dishwasher

Place them sideways between the dishwasher tines, facing inward towards the spray arms. To optimise space between each plate, alternate large and small plates.

2. How to place and load large cookware

Since pots and pans tend to occupy more rack real estate, place them along the sides or at the back. Angle them downwards for more effective cleaning and drainage. If pots or pans have caked-on food, position them upside down facing the spray arm.

Some dishwasher models have top racks with adjustable heights, allowing you to fit large saucepans and tall pots on the bottom rack.

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3. Washing trays and platters in dishwasher

Position sheet pans or serving platters on the side or at the back of the bottom rack. Avoid placing them in the front so they don’t block the detergent dispenser. Otherwise, it won’t fully open to release the detergent.

4. Cleaner cutlery

If your dishwasher has a cutlery basket, position your spoons and forks upright (handles down), and your knives downward (handles up). This rule of thumb ensures maximum cleaning and safety. Alternate spoons and forks to let water reach every nook and cranny and prevent food residue remaining on the cutlery.

Tips for getting the best results from your dishwasher

1. How often should I clean my dishwasher?

A monthly dishwasher clean
will prevent build up of food residue and other grime in the crevices of your dishwasher. It’s easy – simply scrub the strainer clean then run it on a hot water cycle with a bowl of vinegar inside.

For a deeper clean once or twice a year, scrub parts, such as spray arms and detergent dispenser, with soapy water to clear any blockages.

It is best to test if you have hard water as this may cause discoloration and mineral film on the surface of your machine. If confirmed, use a citric-acid-based dishwasher cleaner to remove deposits.

Read more:

2. Unload the bottom rack first

A simple unloading strategy can change your dishwashing game. Since water may collect in the items of the top rack, unloading them first may pour wastewater on your freshly cleaned dishware below. So, unload from the bottom rack towards the top to prevent this.

3. How much dishwasher detergent to use?

If you use single-dose dishwasher packs or tablets, use only one at a time. Too much detergent can leave a soapy residue on your dishware. For gel and powder varieties, refer to your dishwasher manual for the correct detergent dosage. As a general rule, hard water requires more detergent and soft water needs less.

4. Don’t deter detergents

Most detergents dissolve at 48.9°C, so for best results faster, use hot water at the start of the cycle by turning on the hot water tap at your kitchen sink. Use a fresh batch of detergent with every load, as residual detergent will not fully dissolve. Shake liquid and powder detergents before use to prevent clumping.

Why not make dishwashing easier with AEG dishwashers

We’ve got your back

As convenient as dishwashers are, loading and unloading can still be tricky and time consuming for busy homeowners. Why can’t your dishwasher take the load off your shoulders— and your back? AEG dishwashers with ComfortLift let you smoothly and gently lift the lower basket upwards so you can comfortably and efficiently load and unload, without having to kneel or bend

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Now, cutlery is within reach, sheet pans can be easily slotted to the side, and heavy serving platters can be comfortably positioned at the back. This is dishwashing elevated to a whole new level.

Now, cutlery is within reach, baking sheets can be easily slotted to the side, and heavy serving platters can be positioned at the back of the dishwasher with ease. This is dishwashing elevated to a whole new level.

A place for every utensil

Just finished your weekly meal prep, or your guests have just left? Having extra cutlery or irregular-shaped utensils to load can be a challenge – but not for AEG dishwashers with MaxiFlex drawer. This dedicated top rack is designed to fit cutlery and utensils of all shapes and sizes. Items such as whisks and tongs fit neatly in its increased depth, while smaller cutlery and measuring spoons are separated with customisable dividers. MaxiFlex also helps free up space in the bottom rack when you need to wash large cookware. With AEG dishwashers, there’s a place for every kitchen utensil.

Dishwasher performance should be effortless, eco-friendly, and provide thorough cleaning results. AEG dishwashers are designed to anticipate all your needs, while exceeding your expectations. Discover how here.

60cm 7000 Series freestanding dishwasher with 15 place settings
4,7 (70 reviews)
  • FlexZone for washing smaller loads when needed.
  • SmartSensors optimise the cycle for each load.
  • FastWash cleans your dishes in 30 minutes.
60cm Freestanding dishwasher with 14 place settings and 8 programs
4,6 (255 reviews)
  • 14 Place Setting
  • InnoWash spray arm
  • Adjustable Third-Layer Cutlery Tray
60cm Freestanding dishwasher with 13 place settings and ComfortLift
4,8 (37 reviews)
  • 13 place setting with ComfortLift Technology
  • Satellite and ceiling spray arm
  • Removable Third-Layer Cutlery Tray

Don’t just get it done, get it done brilliantly

Now that you know how to load a dishwasher, why say no to a better, easier way to maximise your appliance? Your dishwasher saves you a significant amount of time and effort every day. By properly using it, you get to enjoy these advantages for longer.

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