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The Best Way to Load a Dishwasher

A properly loaded lower rack of a Samsung dishwasher

Loading a dishwasher can be tricky, but doing it right will improve cleaning and drying performance. Each Samsung dishwasher includes loading recommendations in the user manual. However, the general recommendations below can be applied to any dishwasher. Let us show you the best way to load a dishwasher.

General loading recommendations

  1. Plan ahead. The number and size of the dishes will determine the optimal load pattern, so have a good idea before putting the first dish in. For the suggested load patterns for your model, see the user manual.

  2. Use all of your dishwasher's features and configure it to what will work best for each load. Each dishwasher has foldable, adjustable, or removable parts to provide a variety of options. The user's manual has a description of your model's features.

  3. Remove food debris (such as bones or seeds) and any other kind of waste (such as toothpicks or paper). These things could damage the dishes, create noise, or even cause a product malfunction.

  4. Face the dirtiest side of each dish toward the center of the dishwasher. Anything that's open, like a pot or a cup, face down so water can spray up into it. And make sure there's enough space between the dishes.

  5. Spin the spray nozzles by hand after loading is complete. If any of your dishes are sticking out (like pot handles) and blocking the nozzles from spinning freely, rearrange them.

  6. Make sure the cycle type, soil level, and other settings match the dishes that have been loaded. Also, use the proper (manufacturer's recommended) amount of detergent and rinse aid.

Loading the lower rack

  • Place larger items such as pots and pans on the bottom rack. 

  • If you're only washing smaller items, place them on the upper rack and leave the bottom rack empty.

  • Some models should not put plastic items on the lower rack, even if they are dishwasher-safe. To check if this applies to your model, refer to your user manual.

Dishwasher lower rack loaded with plates, serving bowls, and utensils

Loading the upper rack

  • Place smaller items such as glasses, cups, saucers, mugs, and dishwasher-safe plastic items on the upper rack.

  • If your model has a glass support rack, use it for stemware, or fold it back when not in use.

Dishwasher upper rack loaded with small bowls, mugs, and drinking glasses

Loading cutlery

  • Make sure items such as forks and spoons do not nest together. 

    Note: Some cutlery baskets have individual slots for each utensil. See the user manual for loading recommendations for each slot.

Dishwasher cutlery basket loaded with forks, knives, and spoons
  • Load knives with their handles up, and spoons and forks with their handles down.

  • Any small, lightweight items should be secured so they do not come loose during the cycle.

  • Some models have a cutlery section for the upper rack, or an entire third rack just for cutlery. See your user manual for the features available on your model.

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