Rack up tips for loading dishwasher

DEAR HELOISE:Is there a proper (or improper) way to load a dishwasher? — A Reader, via e-mail


You bet there is.  don't know if "proper" is the right word, but there are certain things to do that will allow the washer to work more efficiently. It's always best to check the owners manual, or you usually can find it online at the manufacturer's website.

Here are some basics:

• First, remove big chunks from the dishes. Sauces and gravy don't need to be removed if you will wash right away. However, if you do not plan to run the dishwasher soon, then rinse or wipe off.


• Use the top rack for cups, glasses, bowls and dishwasher-safe items. Place items between the rack tines and not over the rack tines (which can lead to breakage and the dreaded water spots). To prevent chipping in stemware, do not let it touch other items.

• For the bottom rack, load plates, serving bowls, soup bowls, casseroles, pots and pans. Again, place items between the tines, or secure large items between rows.

• In the silverware basket, put utensils with some facing up and others facing down to avoid nesting. Always place knives with the sharp point down.

Things to remember: Do not nest bowls, because they will not get clean; make sure pot handles or other large items are not in the way of the rotating spray arm or tower; do not load large pans in the front, where they would block water from reaching the detergent dispenser; and do not load silver or silver-plated utensils with stainless-steel utensils.

Readers, to easily remember these helpful dishwasher hints, cut this article out and place on the refrigerator for the whole family to see and read. — Heloise

DEAR HELOISE:I had water seeping in from the basement hatchway during heavy rains. I used diapers to soak up the water. They worked great -- prevented the basement from getting wet. They are more absorbent than towels, and a row along the hatchway door works wonders. — Gail Larson, via e-mail

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