How Do You Stack Your Dishwasher?

The effectiveness of your dishwasher often depends on how well you stack it. Do you throw your dishes in and hope for the best, or carefully build a delicate tower of plates, cups and dirty forks?


As part of a four year study and research into dishwasher testing, CHOICE has released limited data suggesting that everybody packs dishwashers slightly differently. Amongst the issues that CHOICE highlights are "shadowing" — that's putting one object directly over another, which will limit the amount of cleaning both items receive in a regular wash — as well as changes in the size of dishes we're putting into dishwashers, a factor that CHOICE's Matthew Steen puts down to the influence of Asian cooking on Australian culture.

The CHOICE survey also revealed a family that cleans its LEGO in the dishwasher. Probably not a bad idea if you've got lots of Duplo, but surely a recipe for disaster and dishwasher jams if you're more on the Technics side of things, and a terrible idea for the Mindstorms crowd.

Dishwasher packing is something that I'm quite meticulous about, if only because I hate taking out a dirty cup or plate from a dishwasher after it's done, but then I split roughly 50/50 between running the dishwasher and just washing the dishes myself. What's your dishwasher packing routine?



    I have some systems - this kind of bowl can go three slots apart on the top shelf or two slots on the bottom, plates on the right, interspersed big and small plates to avoid 'spooning', stuff like that :)

    The link to Choice does not work

    You learn how to stack your dishwasher based off the way your dishwasher washes and the dishes you own.

    In my dishwasher, some things don't get cleaned in some locations, other things don't fit in other locations. You learn and adapt your stacking technique to meet these restrictions.

    Not really rocket surgery - plastics and heat sensitive stuff up top, along with tumblers and mugs; crockery and cookware in the bottom; and cutlery in the provided cage.

    One thing I have definitely learnt though is not to share the job of loading the dishwasher with my wife. She stacks it differently to me, and a half and half effort always seems to result in about a quarter of the normal amount of dishes fitting in.

    Everytime i stack the dishwasher, i play the Tetris theme song... I pack it better that way.

    I found myself leaving a space between each plate to avoid overcrowding, but my girlfriend doesn't do this and it seems fine. Though I think it's a habit I picked up in our old house whereas the new place has a Miele dishwasher as opposed to whatever the other one was...

    Wash lego in colanders dipping and shaking them in buckets of soapy water. To dry, put them in a salad spinner.

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