To Sort or Not to Sort

Your dishwasher that is. 

I didn’t grow up using a dishwasher.  The dishwasher was my brother and me calling while at the dinner table either “I dry” or “you wash”. No one ever called “I’m washing”!  ha! My Mom cooked most every night, we hardly ate out and we didn’t have enough plates to eat multiple meals so handwashing all the dishes was how it happened at our house.  Thankfully as our family has grown so has Mom’s plate collection and we use the dishwasher regularly.   

Recently I had one of the funniest conversations with my Mom, Aunt (Mom’s sister) and cousin about our dishwashers.  Ask someone how they load theirs and you will get all kinds of answers and some pretty strong opinions about how it’s done in “MY” house. 

I am pretty organized in most areas of my life, so it’s not surprise I approach the dishwasher the same.  I believe in loading from the back, stacking similar things in a row, hand washing **gasp** pots, pans and bakeware, sorting silverware and generally tying to maximize the space as best as possible.  Turns out all 4 of us in the family have similar “rules” and ways we manage our dishwasher.  Some, no names here Mom, might take things out and re-arrange when not sorted or stacked as per their own rules.  🙂 

Here’s my dishwasher rules theory …

  • Stack your plates in the back, like sizes together and all in a row
  • Stack smaller plates in the front of that plate
  • Load cups, mugs and glasses in the top rack
  • Load bowls in the center of the top rack
  • Sort your silverware in the holder by knives, forks, spoons, serving and other.  You either sort it when you put it in or have to sort it when you unload.  So, why not sort it when you load?  If you have children in your house, let them help.  That part of the dishwasher is easily accessible to small children and it’s great practice for matching like items and separating plus helping with chores. They can’t see into the drawers for a while and are usually interested anyway when you have the dishwasher open and are loading it up.
  • Handwash pots, pans and Pyrex type dishes.  I know this is WAY old fashioned and all those items are now “dishwasher safe”.  However, the non-stick spray you bake on doesn’t come off in the dishwasher, you fill up your dishwasher with one meal’s pans before really putting in your dishes and if you’re like me and clean as you go those pans can all be cleaned and put away mostly before your meal is served.  Since I used to have to handwash all the dishes, only pots and pans isn’t that bad! 

For example …

I won’t go into the debate of rinsing before you load your dishes or loading straight from the table …

And, my dishwasher the other day just before adding soap, I laughed, it looks like this every time… 🙂

Sound off in the comments …how does your dishwasher function!? 


Leave a Comment