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?