Dishwasher stacking: 10 definitive dos and don'ts

Maybe I should have pre-rinsed after all

Want to settle the debate once and for all? Here are the definitive dishwasher dos and don'ts, according to the experts at Finish Dishwasher Tablets:

1. Check items can actually go in: Be sure what you put in is 'dishwasher safe'. Some non-stick surfaces can become less effective after a spin in the dishwasher; hand wash lead crystal glasses

2. No need to pre-wash: Just scrape leftover food off dishes, though anything thick and caked on should be removed and proteins such as eggs and cheese, and starches that have dried on often require extra attention.

3. Stack from the back: This way you don't have to keep rearranging dishes every time you want to slot another one in.

4. Size matters: Larger plates at the back; load in size order. Put pots and pans open-side down in the bottom section.

5. Take care with glasses: Touching glasses can bang against each other and break.

6. Put plastic on top: The heating element in most dishwashers is on the bottom so they could melt there. Secure them so they don't flip and fill with water.

7. Lean dishes: Stack things slightly on their side so the detergent reaches everything and water drains away effectively.

8. Don't overcrowd: Make sure the dishwasher's full, so you're getting value for money (and being energy-efficient) but overcrowding leads to items not being properly cleaned.


9. Don't stack things on top of each other: They won't be entirely secure and could be dislodged by water pressure, leading to breakages.

10. Safety first: Either wash sharp knives by hand, or put them face down in the cutlery rack to avoid accidents. Put other cutlery handle-down.

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