Prep: Scrape food off dishes; rinse only if necessary.
Bottom rack: Load plates, alternating large and small, facing toward the water jets in the centre. Add pots and pans, but don't overcrowd, or you may block jets. Baking sheets and flat plans should line the outer edges of the rack.
Cutlery Tray: Knives should go blade down. Alternate other utensils handle up or handle down and spread them out to avoid nesting.
Top Rack: Put all cups and glasses between the tines, never over them. Place bowls at an angle and add dishwasher-safe plastics here to keep them away from the heating coil. Extra-tall utensils can lie across the rack with the spoons facing down.
A version of this article appeared in our April 2015 issue with the headline, “How to load your dishwasher (properly!),” p.40.