What's the Best Way to Load the Dishwasher?
Loading a dishwasher properly is a skill that’s easy to take for granted. Our lives are so busy with juggling careers, family, and self care that loading the dishwasher often becomes an in-the-moment, see-where-it-fits task without a lot of thought behind it. However, learning some tips for effective dish placement, as well as the right products to get them squeaky clean using renewable, plant-based ingredients, can help improve your routine.
Here are some sustainable tips, dishwasher loading tricks, and healthy product suggestions that will take your dishwashing to the next level.
- Turn off the hot water and run your dishwasher with only cold water to help save on your energy bill.
- Only run your dishwasher when it’s good and full so that you run fewer cycles and make the most out of each run. Be careful not to make it too packed. This can restrict water flow and make cleaning less efficient.
- To help save water, scrape off lightly-soiled dishes before loading instead of rinsing each.
- If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, choose one that’s Energy Star certified, which will help ensure that it’s more efficient and less wasteful.
- Skip the drying cycle. Much of your dishwasher’s energy use comes from heating and drying. To save energy, simply open up the dishwasher after the wash cycle and leave the door open so your dishes to dry overnight.
- Consider handwashing larger items like pots, pans, and mixing bowls. They take up a lot of space in your dishwasher and will lead to washing fewer items per cycle.
- Since your dishwasher’s hoses and jets spray from the center out, line up plates in the bottom half of the dishwasher so that they’re facing in toward the center, making sure there’s space between each.
- Place cups and glasses on the top rack at a slight angle so the water from below can reach and clean them.
- Always place plastic items such as storage containers and water bottles on the top shelf where it’s not as hot. This will help protect the plastic’s integrity. Always check with manufacturer on whether the item is dishwasher safe first.
- Place cutlery in baskets with handles-up (sharp ends down) to help prevent any potential injuries. This helps prevent pets, toddlers, or anyone who slips from potentially injuring themselves on cutlery with sharp ends facing up while the dishwasher is open. Safety is key, which is why we recommend loading knives, forks, and other utensils with the handles facing up.
- Consider hand-wash cutting boards as they can warp in the dishwasher.
The Right Products for the Job:
Trying to make every minute count on a busy day?
Pre-measured powdered detergent packs are very convenient for washing your dishes. Just insert one pack into the soap container and you’re finished! Choose packs that power away stuck-on food without the use of synthetic fragrances, dyes, or chlorine bleach.
Dealing with some seriously dirty dishes?
When pre-washing heavily-soiled items, choose a dish liquid that fights grease with the power of plant-based ingredients and has invigorating scents made from 100% essential oils and botanical ingredients that bring a little bit of nature into your home.
Did you just host a party or wine tasting?
Our rinse aid works wonders—especially if you’re washing a lot of glasses—and can help reduce spots and film so that your glasses and stemware come out shinier. Seventh Generation’s rinse aid is a USDA Certified Biobased Product 62%.
Curious for even more household cleaning tips? We’ve got you covered on everything from a full guide to eliminating dishwasher odors, tips for cleaning up after holiday dinners, and embracing the healing, deep-cleaning power of plants.
If you’ve got some great tips on how to load your dishwasher of your own to share, our online community, Generation Good, is a fun and supportive place to connect with other families who are making healthy choices and looking out for the good of the next generation.