The Right Way to Load Utensils in the Dishwasher, According to Appliance Repair Pros

published Oct 16, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Loading the dishwasher may seem like a relatively straightforward task, but the truth is that it’s full of complexities. Did you know, for example, that you should never prewash your dishes or put plastic on the bottom rack? (Now you do!) It’s also important to avoid overloading and blocking the spray arm. But how much do you think about the way your silverware is positioned in the basket? 

Turns out, there is a “best way” to load your utensils in the dishwasher — and following it can make for a cleaner and safer dishwashing experience. Here’s what to know the next time you’re washing spoons, forks, and knives, according to repair pros.

The Best Way to Load Utensils in the Dishwasher

Gary Rima, a master appliance repair technician at Ducks Appliance, recommends facing your forks and spoons up for optimal cleaning. When you face them down, the water jets might not be able to fully spray the dirty part. If they’re facing up, the tops will be exposed to more soapy water, which means cleaner utensils. 

As for knives, Rima says those are best facing down, primarily to avoid cutting yourself when you go to grab them from the utensil basket. And while it’s totally fine to put your butter knives in the dishwasher, Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance, a Neighborly company, says no sharp carving or steak knives should go in — the handles could loosen and create a space for bacteria. 

No matter which way you face your utensils, you should also be strategic about how you load them side-by-side in the basket. Robert Johnson, marketing director at Coast Appliances, recommends spreading the utensils evenly to avoid crowding the space. And always avoid loading two of the same item right next to each other back to back — Rima says they’ll nest too close to each other and not get fully clean.