Bon Appetit cleaning experts reveal how you’ve been loading your dishwasher wrong your entire life

There is no need to rinse plates and cutlery before loading them into a dishwasher, according to cleaning experts from lifestyle website Bon Appetit.

Contrary to popular belief, they say there’s no benefit to pre-rinsing crockery which only wastes time and water.

Experts say dishwashers should always be filled from back to front to maximise space with cutlery pointing downwards to reduce risk of injury and the chance of smudging freshly cleaned stainless steel. 

Sharp kitchen knives, wooden boards and pans should never be machine washed, according to experts who say it will damage the finish of the items as well as the inside of the dishwasher.

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Cleaning experts from lifestyle website Bon Appetit say dishwashers should always be loaded from back to front to maximise space (stock image)

Cleaning experts from lifestyle website Bon Appetit say dishwashers should always be loaded from back to front to maximise space (stock image)

1. Never pre-rinse

The need to rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher is ‘an urban myth’, according to Bon Appetit experts.

‘If you’ve got a full load ready to go, scrape off the serious gunk and bits of food, hit start and don’t look back,’ they say.

Skipping the pre-rinse saves valuable time and precious water, so load up straight from the table next time.

2. Load from back to front

Dishwashers should be filled from back to front to utilise as much space as possible, Bon Appetit experts say.

They recommend placing bowls and cups face down or at an angle to prevent water from accumulating.

Plates should be stacked on the bottom shelf where the spray from the jets is strongest to remove tough food stains. 

Wrong way round: Contrary to popular belief, cutlery should be washed facing downwards to reduce the risk of injury and smudging the blade when unloading (stock image)

Wrong way round: Contrary to popular belief, cutlery should be washed facing downwards to reduce the risk of injury and smudging the blade when unloading (stock image)

3. Point cutlery downwards

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Cutlery should always be loaded into a dishwasher with the implements pointing downwards and the handles on top, an expert from consumer watchdog CHOICE previously revealed.

Product reviewer Ashley Iredale said it’s safer, more hygienic and easier to unload a dishwasher with utensils facing down.

‘Your fingers are covered in germs and bacteria, so obviously you want to minimise touching any surface that’s going to come into contact with your food if you can,’ Ashley told CHOICE in 2019.

He said holding the handle also helps because you’re less likely to smudge the freshly cleaned blade.

4. No pans, knives or chopping boards

Pans, fine china, sharp knives and wooden items like spoons and chopping boards should always be washed by hand and never in the dishwasher, Bon Appetit experts say.

The hand-washing rule also extends to reusable straws and ‘keep’ cups which are weakened by the force of the machine’s cleaning jets.