I vaguely remember a discussion on either NPW's blog or possibly at Malfeasance or even The Daily Tannenbaum about how utensils should be placed in the dishwasher: head up or down? And the responses were pretty much split 50/50.
Despite long been a heads-down utensil loader, I've still been baffled by which direction was more beneficial (though not quite baffled enough to do any research). But lo and behold, Real Simple answered that very question deep within the November 2009 issue, which I just recently made my way through. And because we had such an intense debate about the dishwasher at whichever blog it was, I figured I'd share Real Simple's answer and its other dishwasher-loading tips here in hopes of some of you finding them as interesting as I did. (It's a slow news week here at The MG).
Drum roll please ...
Real Simple says spoons and forks should be varied. (So in a way we were all right). Placing some business-end up and some down keeps the utensils from nesting and allows the water and suds to better do their jobs.
Other loading tips:
-- Glasses should always go on the top rack between the tines and not over them so they don't rattle or come out with marks.
-- Plates get cleanest when they face the center rather than the same direction (because the water comes from the center)
-- Bowls should go on the top rack, again facing the center so water can get in.
-- Cookie sheets and platters should go along the outer edges of the bottom rack so they don't block water and detergent from everything else.
-- Long-handed utensils should lay horizontally across the top rack. Serving spoons go face down so they don't collect watter.
-- Casseroles, serving bowls and large pots go on the bottom rack at a slight angle rather than upside down so they don't block the flow of watter.
-- Plastic containers belong on the top rack, but if they're marked '7' or 'PC' like many takeout containers, they shouldn't be used after going through a dishwasher because they may have leached the dangerous BPA chemical.
So there you go. I know you're all way more excited about those tips than you're letting on.
(Cheers to Real Simple)