10. Keep Glasses and Mugs on the Top Rack
You may be tempted to place dishes in your dishwasher willy-nilly, sticking items wherever you find room. However, your dishwasher is designed to treat items on the top rack differently from those on the bottom rack. Avoid placing glasses and mugs in the bottom section of your dishwasher. Instead, load them on the top rack. Some dishwashers provide deeper sections and dividers on one side of the rack for placing wine glasses. Cascade advises placing cups and glasses on the top rack at an angle, so water does not pool on them after the rinse cycle.
9. Arrange Serving Utensils on the Top Shelf
Place dishwasher-safe utensils such as serving spoons, spatulas, and tongs on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Avoid cramming them into the utensil basket on the lower rack, as they may block silverware and other dishes from the flow of water. Some dishwashers come equipped with special compartments or racks for these tools. Place them in these compartments, making sure they are not nested together and will receive the full benefit of the water cycle. Place small items such as undersized container lids, baby bottle accessories, and bottle tops in the lidded sections of your silverware basket.
8. Situate Plates and Bowls on the Bottom Rack
Place plates and bowls in the bottom section of your dishwasher. The bottom rack contains tines situated to hold your plates and bowls where they will not nest against each other. When separated, the dishes can receive the full benefit of the wash cycle. The one exception to this rule is dishwasher-safe plastic items. Place dishwasher-safe bowls and plates in the top section of the dishwasher, where they will be further away from the heating element of the appliance. Keeping them further from the heat source will help prevent overheating them, which can alter their composition.