How to Load the Dishwasher

There are some things that Luc and I will never agree on. Most times we can agree to disagree. But when it comes to loading the dishwasher, I’m not even graciously admitting that maybe there’s more than one way to do it or that maybe his way is just as good as mine. Because it isn’t.

Why am I taking such a stand on this? Because he comes along behind me and reloads the dishes I’ve already loaded. It irks me. Because I know my way is fine. In fact, I know my way is best. (I’ll admit I’ve been known to do the same to him. But that’s only because he does it wrong.)

Here are my rules for loading the dishwasher:

Plates: Bottom, facing the middle.

Bowls: Bottom, also facing the middle.

Glasses: Top, wherever they’ll fit.

Pretty straightforward, right? (I think even Luc and I can agree on those three basics.) But here’s where the differences in dishwasher loading techniques really start to show…

Tupperware: Always on top–manufacturer’s instructions. Unless it doesn’t fit because the top is already jammed to overflowing with 48 individual pieces of Tupperware (damn those litterless lunches!) or because it’s too big to fit on the top. Then on the bottom. I’ll take my chances with it melting and leaving behind a sludgy plastic mess rather than taking the time to wash that blasted plastic by hand.

Note (clarification: Note to Luc): Do not jam all of the lids together in a row. The water will not get between them and get them clean. Ditto on piggy backing all of the containers one on top of the other. I repeat: The water will not get between them and get them clean.

Coffee mugs: Used to be the top. Now, because the top is perpetually jammed to overflowing with 48 individual pieces of Tupperware (see previous curse re: litterless lunches), the bottom. Added bonus: because they dangle precariously from the lower spikes instead of sitting snugly between them on the upper ones, the water doesn’t pool on the bottoms of the mugs and need to be sopped up with a tea towel every time you unload the dishwasher. (Stay tuned for a future blog on “How to Unload the Dishwasher”. Oh wait: just UNLOAD it.)

Cutlery: No spoons should be spooning. No fork tines should be intertwined. No peanut butter knives should be pressed up blade-to-blade with jam knives. I’ve heard both arguments: all down (so you can grab the clean handles when you unload–ooh, there’s that UNLOADING idea again) vs. all up (so the water sprays them better and they get cleaner). But really, alternating is the key: some up, some down.

Other: DO NOT EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES put ANYTHING that has come into contact with raw egg into the dishwasher (yes, Luc, I’m talking to YOU). Not the bowl you nuked it in. Not the frying pan you fried it in. Not the whisk that whisked it, the fork that poked it or the spatula that flipped it. All that will happen is that the egg will cook into a rock-hard substance that can only be removed with a chisel. No, even if you put it back into the dishwasher a second (or a third) time (trust me, or even a fourth) it will not come clean.

p.s. The dishwasher is done. It needs to be unloaded.

See what Luc has to say!

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8 thoughts on “How to Load the Dishwasher

  1. Luc says:

    Ouch! I’m feeling targeted here.

  2. Kelly Fruhauf says:

    I think that neither of you has the right idea. I never put tupperware, pots, pans, or large implements in the dishwasher. These are done by hand. On the top rack of my dishwasher, mugs have their row, glasses go in another, and plastic cups go in another. Kids’ plastic plates and bowls also go on top. Only plates and bowls go on the bottom and cutlery is handle up to avoid germs on the part that comes into contact with food. Don’t even get me started on the water-saving and back-saving method for doing dishes by hand…Don’t we all have our quirks?

    • Jen says:

      You must spend hours washing by hand! I shove anything I can in that machine (according to the system, of course!) Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Suzi says:

    I am sorry Luc, I agree with Jen on this one! Nothing should be on top of each other either or the water won’t clean! We have the exact same disagreement at our house, plates do not belong on the top!

  4. Luc says:

    I tell you, my way works better!!!!

  5. Christina says:

    Dishwasher loading can be such a pain…I hear you with regards to the many different ways it can be loaded. I would like to preface this with – I am so happy when the dishes get into the dishwasher as opposed to hanging out on the counter above the dishwasher! Come in people the dishwasher is not a locked appliance that you don’t have the key to – if the dishwasher is full of dirty dishes and you have another one to add – feel free. Steve and I load differently and at times it pisses me off but by and large I say nothing (at times I rearrange the mess he had made) and thank my lucky stars he is loading it in the first place 🙂

  6. True it’s nice to have help…even if it’s not the way I’d do it! But how many times do the kids put their dirty dishes on the counter instead of in the dishwasher? Aargh! Just open the door and look!

  7. […] the rinse agent dispenser in the dishwasher: Luc and I may have different dishwasher loading techniques (and I still say mine is better) but there is one dishwasher-related chore that he does […]

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