Now that we've covered the question of what is dishwasher-safe, I thought I'd move on to an equally important subject: how to load your dishwasher. The task may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised by how many people earn a capital F in Dishwashing 101— I'm talking to you, roommate. It also may seem like a trivial matter to some of you; as long as you can fit all the dirty plates in, it's OK, right? Err — no. The way you arrange your pots and spoons not only affects how well they're cleaned, but can be a deciding factor in whether they become tarnished, chipped, or even broken. So here's the lowdown on loading:
- Arrange your dishes by height, placing the larger ones on the outside. Turn all of your plates and bowls to face the middle of machine/dish drawer.
- Put wine glasses and other delicate glassware and dishes on the top rack. Face glassware downward if they fit, and leaning diagonally across two rows if not.
- Place small, round cereal bowls face-down on the top rack.
- Put pots, pans, and other heavy-duty dishes (like serving platters) on the bottom rack, where the water pressure and temperature are higher.
- Separate stainless steel and pure silver; if they touch, a chemical reaction can cause pitting and tarnishing.