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How to Load the Dishwasher

I am a member of the Cascade Kitchen Dish Council. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Up until recently, I didn’t know there was a right way to load the dishwasher. I had my right way, my husband had his right way, and then there is the real right way. Believe it or not, the way you load dishes into the dishwasher has a tremendous impact on how well the dishwasher cleans the dishes.

After visiting with the folks at Cascade and putting everything they told me to use at home, I’m a believer that proper placement plays a huge role in how effective the dishwasher is at cleaning the dishes.

The key to clean dishes straight from your dishwasher is a detergent with superior cleaning action and strategically placing dishes the proper way to allow the water and detergent to reach the soiled surfaces of the dishes. If your bowls are stacked on top of each other, how is the detergent going to dissolve the food so that the water can wash it away?

Do You Know How to Load the Dishwasher?

Learn how to load the dishwasher to ensure you are getting the best possible clean each and every time you run the dishwasher.

I was leary that simply placing dishes into my dishwasher in a different manner would change anything, but it really does. My dishes are coming out cleaner, and that makes me one happy momma.

How to Load the Dishwasher (for the best possible clean)

Learn how to load the dishwasher to ensure you are getting the best possible clean each and every time you run the dishwasher.

Now that I know the right way to load dishes into the dishwasher, I want to shout it from the rooftops! I know how busy life gets and there simply isn’t time to waste on doing the dishes. So I made a short little video showing you how to load the dishwasher.

Recently, Cascade teamed up with a very popular magazine [click for the results: Should You Pre-Wash Dishes] and conducted a survey of 976 readers. The results were actually quite shocking and I can’t wait to share them with you next month when the issue hits stands nationwide. I’ll just give you a little tease and say that most of us are doing this whole dishes thing totally wrong. Stay tuned for the results of the survey.

To meet my fellow Cascade Kitchen Dish Council members, I encourage you to visit them and see what they have to say about what they learned during their time with Cascade.

How much time do you think you spend doing dishes each week?

About Crystal

Crystal Reagan, the owner and founder of SimplyBeingMommy.com lives in Small Town, Texas with her husband and 3 children. Crystal and her website have been featured on local and national news stations including Channel 2 Houston and ABC News. She has also appeared on BetterTV as a Mommy Expert for VTech.


  1. 1

    Huh, I can’t even begin to tell you home much I’ve been doing wrong!

  2. 2

    I have never had dishwasher but I did not know that there was a right way to load a dishwasher/

  3. 3

    I rarely use my dishwasher (that’s what my kids are for lol), but I never knew there was a right (or wrong) way to load them. Very interesting!

  4. 4
    Paula Schuck says:

    Well I did know this actually! Doesn’t mean I remember to do it. My husband is the authority on this. He always always is cautious about placing the silver wear in properly and the chamber is kept I obstructed etc. he’s very religious about this.

  5. 5

    I hate when my kids forgot to load the dishwasher properly and my dishes come out dirty or dingy. Great tips!

  6. 6

    No, the RIGHT way is to make the kids do it so you don’t have to!

  7. 7

    I seriously think there needs to be a class for teens on how to do this. It is one of those vital life skills that mine have yet to master!

  8. 8

    I’m so OCD on how I load my dishwasher… people think I’m crazy over it!

  9. 9

    I am a bit OCD about loading the dishwasher. I have been known to empty it and rearrange after the kids or my husband loads it LOL They think I’m nuts, but… it totally makes a big difference! Great tips!

  10. 10

    Thankfully I don’t load the dishwasher but I’m sending this to the hubby to look at. He needs tome help in the loading arena I think.

  11. 11

    I love the tip to put the spoon through the handles of the coffee cups. I am guilty of putting big pans over the sprayer and blocking the water!

  12. 12

    I never knew there was a right/wrong way to load dishes in the dishwasher. 🙂 Now I know. 🙂

  13. 13

    We don’t have a dishwasher, but I never thought about there being a right way to load it. It makes sense though!

  14. 14

    I’m glad to see I (mostly) load my dishwasher correctly! And I use Cascade, so I am doubly right!! 🙂

  15. 15

    I’ve got most of those down, but I should try not putting my glasses on the tines. I do that sometimes. Makes sense about not blocking the soap dispenser. I never thought of that though.

  16. 16

    I find my silverware washes better when loaded a certain way. I hate it when hubby drops shoves silverware in there any old way.

  17. 17

    I never get this right. My sister always laughs at me.

  18. 18

    I’m just going to go ahead and bookmark this for my husband. He is the type that just throws everything in expects it to get clean. DRIVES ME NUTS!

  19. 19

    OMG, I cannot believe I never thought of the coffee mug thing and the utensils. Great idea!!

  20. 20

    It never, in a million years, would have occurred to me to thread long handled utensils through mug handles! That’s brilliant!

  21. 21

    I wish I had a dishwasher–unfortunately I AM the dishwasher! LOL… no machines here.

  22. 22

    Oh I love that tip about threading the long handled utensils. Overall I’m a loading PRO but didn’t know that one.

  23. 23

    Okay, I’ve been doing it all wrong. Thanks for the tutorial, this explains a lot.

  24. 24

    Clearly, I’ve been doing it wrong. Thanks for the advice!

  25. 25

    Not much time at all 😉 Everything goes in the dishwasher here (if I can’t put it in the dishwasher, it doesn’t get used, lol!) – stacking takes me a few minutes a day since I try and do it after each meal and then when it’s full I put it on. Unloading maybe takes me 20 minutes tops. I have a good routine going thankfully, or I imagine it could take a lot longer.

  26. 26

    I am so insanely jealous of anyone who has a dishwasher. I spent 33 years living with one and the past year without one has been MISERABLE especially with teens who don’t wash properly.

  27. 27

    These are some really good tips. I didn’t know there was a right way or a wrong way either.

  28. 28

    I like that tip about threading long handled utensils through mug handles. I’ll try that!

  29. 29

    These are great tips! I didn’t know about the long spoons, we’ll have to try that!

  30. 30

    Ok, can you come and do mines for me…lol

  31. 31

    Who knew there was a right way to load the dishwasher. I am going to have to tell the boys about this.

  32. 32

    These are some great tips for loading the dishwasher for the best clean. I usually just hand wash dishes unless we have company and there are lots of dishes.

  33. 33

    I read the manual for my dishwasher when we bought so I knew I was loading it correctly. I’m a nerd like that. But my husband clearly has no idea how to load it just like he still doesn’t know how to sort recyclables and compost. It drives me crazy. I will definitely have to share your video with him. Placing longer utensils through coffee mug handles is such a great idea!

    It was great meeting you in Cincinnati!

  34. 34

    These are awesome tips! Even after so many years together my husband and I prefer to load the dishwasher different ways. My method is closer to the recommendations featured above!

  35. 35

    Thanks Crystal!

    These tips are super helpful; will be using them this week!

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