The Best Way To Put Utensils In The Dishwasher For Thorough Cleaning

The Best Way To Put Utensils In The Dishwasher For Thorough Cleaning
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Utensils up? or utensils down? Let’s put an end to this common little argument once and for all. The best way to load silverware in the dishwasher to make sure they get clean is so they’re as separated as possible.

Picture: Jim Bauer/Flickr

This means some forks and spoons should be pointing up and some pointing down, according to Electrolux Major Appliances’ product-line manager David Coll speaking to This Old House. Also perhaps controversial:

If your washer doesn’t allow for this arrangement, make sure you don’t put all your forks together — mix them up with the spoons. Separating silverware allows the water to pass through each utensil more easily, meaning cleaner tines and spoon surfaces.

Not everyone will agree with this dishwasher loading advice. GE, for example, recommends placing forks and knives with their handles up — but that’s to protect your hands. The appliance manufacturer does agree with the advice to make sure the silverware is mixed and evenly distributed rather than nested together. Unfortunately, it’s less convenient to quickly put away the utensils if they’re not grouped together. Choices!

4 Dishwasher Loading Hacks [This Old House]


  • I put knives down to avoid stabbing myself. My forks go up, because if they are pointing down they fall through the holes in the basket and stop the water arm from spinning. I have no order to how they go in; they just go wherever I happen to drop them. My mother seems to rage when utensils aren’t grouped together in her dishwasher. I should send her this article.

  • Keep them separated as above – then put them handles up, so that when you take them out you don’t get your grubby hands on the parts you’ll later put in your mouth. And keep your dishwasher clean. So many complaints of “my dishwasher doesn’t clean anything” come from a filter clogged with food scraps and jar labels.

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