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​Did you know that the way you load your dishwasher can make it less efficient? It’s true! It can also impact how often you need to rewash dishes that haven’t come out squeaky clean the first time. Here’s how to strategically load your dishwasher to keep it working at its best.

Know when to rinse

If you pre-rinse dishes before putting them in your dishwasher, you could be wasting valuable time and water. Chances are you know what kinds of food your dishwasher struggles to scrub off (ketchup, anyone?), but a good rule of thumb is to only pre-rinse if the dishes are going to sit in the machine all day. If you'll be running it right away, just scrape off and load!

Position plates and dishes properly

While some people pride themselves on their ability to jam-pack a dishwasher with Tetris-like skill, it's likely that they're making the machine work harder to get things clean.

When loading plates, place them between the tines on the bottom rack so that they're facing inward and downward. Don't try to squish more than one plate into each slot or stack dishes on top of each other; this prevents the water from dispersing evenly and reaching the dirty surface of each plate.

You'll also want to avoid placing large bowls, pots and pans in front of plates for optimal cleaning.

Put large items along the sides

Always tuck flat pans and platters along the sides and back of your dishwasher, never in the front by the door. Placing large items at the front can block the detergent from reaching the dishes. If you need more space alongside the sides of your machine, try removing the cutlery basket.

Keep cutlery from nesting

When loading cutlery into your dishwasher, place some of the forks and spoons pointing down and some pointing up. This will help prevent them from nesting and will allow the water to pass through more easily, which means no more residue!

Only wash full loads

Like many appliances in your home, your dishwasher is most efficient when it's full. Make sure to only run your dishwasher when you have enough dishes inside to make it worth the energy and water required to clean them.

SOURCES: Lifehacker, Good Housekeeping, Whirlpool

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