Dishwasher Loading 101

Posted by Danny

I may get hammered for this post.  So let me start with a disclaimer.  I really don’t think I’m sexist.  I married a very strong woman – I know when she was alive that she was in charge of me.  She was also in charge at work (even though she wasn’t officially the boss), at church (although she wasn’t always the committee chair), and with her brother and sister. 

I work with strong women who I respect immensely.  And I hope and pray my three daughters will grow up to be independent women – kicking men’s butts when necessary.

All that being said…I don’t think women are capable of loading a dish washer effectively.

I watched as Lisa spread the dishes out so far that a slender person could have walked between them.  I see my mother lay bowls down instead of stacking them closely in the upward position. 

On the rare occasion that a child of mine actually puts something in the dishwasher, it’s tossed in with no strategy.  It’s kind of like they’re tossing a pair of socks in the laundry bin.

And who’s left to empty the dishwasher 17 times each week?  Me!

I hate unloading the dishwasher!  Despise it.  I’d much rather unload it twice a week when it’s really full than 4 times a week when it’s only slightly full.  There has to be some economy of scale there.

My theory is to pack the dishwasher with as many dishes as humanly possible.  If you tactically work to place each dish, you can fit 80 or 90 things in there, excluding the silverware.  I know it can be done, I’ve counted.  And we eat out of the same size dishes as you.

There is a shelf that can be pulled down if you put short dishes underneath it.  There are plenty of places for tall things – but every woman in my life puts anything with height right where the shelf could house four bowls and the lid of a water bottle.  Got the coffee mug you purchased from Disney World?  Don’t put that tall booger underneath the shelf!  Put it in the bottom of the washer.  Just because it looks like the lower level is made for plates, doesn’t mean you can’t put something else down there!  There’s no dishwasher police that’s going to arrest you for placing an item in an unsuspecting place.  Be bold!

The bowls can stack very close together and still come out clean.  But my kids and my mother will spread them out like they’re setting a table. 

Some argue that you should rinse all of the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.  I disagree.  That theory means you have to rinse 100% of the dishes.  If you just throw them in, 10, maybe 15% come out dirty.  You rinse them after the wash and you’ve come out 85% better than if you’d rinsed them all from the beginning.

I’m a busy man.  I’m all about saving time.  This is but one tactic to simplify life.  If you need more tips, just let me know.

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27 Comments

  1. Mel Ham

     /  June 29, 2011

    i’ve seen your dishwasher..you have a bad rack not supportive of the loads you are talking about….didn’t lisa’s grandma get on you about overloading the washing machine?…I see a pattern here.

    That said…I have a system too for loading a dishwasher. If it isn’t my style I rearrange to suit me. This blog has opened my eyes that you and I share a methodical approach to household chores…me hair color and bush trimming….you lifting weights (#10 cans of peaches) while waiting for time warner. Good to know I’m not alone in this..love much mel…count down to the beach.

    Reply
  2. Equal time! The difference is…a woman’s goal is to be sure the dishes are clean. The man’s goal is to get all 105 dishes in the kitchen in the dishwasher at one time. It’s a challenge,,,as in cave man days…something to conquer, After having to take a blow torch to some of the dishes at your house after they’ve been washed in the dishwasher, I am even more convinced that there is a limit as to how many dishes can be washed CLEAN in a dishwasher. I am with you on emptying a dishwasher, however.. It’s one of my most dreaded jobs in a house. BUT…better than the alternative!

    Reply
  3. Helen LaVere

     /  June 29, 2011

    I think I attended the same class on dishwasher-ology that you did! LOL

    Reply
  4. Hahaha. I’ll speak up on your behalf from a woman’s perspective! I do the SAME thing. In our house it is The Mister shaking his head as I try to stick a bowl so far towards the back of the washer that half my torso is tucked in the thing. Yes, I’ve nearly thrown my back out cramming dishes in the dishwasher. But boy have I saved myself some boring minutes of unloading!

    Reply
    • AaaHa.. here’s a tip: my Mom requires tight stacking from the back to the front. Heaven help a visitor that places a dish half way back let alone at the front!

      Another idea for those disliking unloading: A client who wanted no upper cabinets and an island sink with dishwasher on both sides. The dishes never got put away! – one was always clean and the other loading.

      Reply
      • Danny Tanner

         /  June 29, 2011

        Now I like that! At the beach with half of your family. Susan is coming down on Saturday. We miss you.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  June 29, 2011

      It’s a good thing your husband doesn’t live with my mother. They’s spend their life unloading dishes.

      Reply
  5. Alias: Shy One

     /  June 29, 2011

    Ok, I am sort of with you, although I pretty much wash my dishes and use dishwaser as a drying rack. You need a map to load my parents’ dishwasher, and I have asked for one on many occasions! My father will fuss if you do his wrong…..
    Just tell the girls they will have to handwash them if they cannot load it correctly. It shouldn’t take but a couple of times and they’ll get it right for you.

    Reply
  6. You are SO on target! It drives me crazy when my wife puts a large bowl, that maybe held only some washed lettuce, in a spot that otherwise could be occupied by six dinner plates. She gets very annoyed when she sees me rearranging her dishwasher organizational plan. And I also hate emptying it. Mostly it’s because I can never figure out where all the disposable plastic containers and lids go.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  June 29, 2011

      I hate those damn things.

      Reply
    • Erica

       /  May 16, 2012

      I know this is an old post, but I’ll add my suggestion in anyway! lol If you are always searching for those illusive lids to your containers, put them in gallon zipper bags and store them next to the containers. I always have my lids handy and dust free! I have one bag for my store bought containers and another for my cool whip/deli salads/pudding containers that I reuse.

      Reply
      • Danny Tanner

         /  May 16, 2012

        I’m going to try that because my tupperware cabinet ain’t lookin’ good right now.

      • That is a great idea! There is a project for this weekend.

  7. I have trained my group on getting as much in as possible. They are doing pretty good. Everyone helps unload at some point.

    Reply
  8. Wren

     /  June 29, 2011

    My thoughts: 1) Dogs are great pre-washers – saves H2O & makes for a happy pet; 2) most quality dishwashers don’t need pre-rinsed dishes; 3) Lisa would probably have girls loading & unloading; 4) loading & unloading is instant gratification to the max; and 5) if you delegate, accept an 80-90% effort & result for long term benefits. Challenge the girls to see who can best load & unload with most effective results. Akin to a STS science fair project. Good luck!!

    Reply
  9. Ha i thought i was the only efficient dishwasher packer in the world
    thank you for proving me wrong 😦

    Reply
  10. Heather Bailey

     /  June 30, 2011

    As a female, I agree with you on teh dishwasher organization. I am the dishwasher police in this household. Tings have their places in a dishwasher for effeciency & productivity. You would think in this day and age that more people would adapt to the dishwasher organization to save water and energy.

    Reply
  11. Sarah LF

     /  June 30, 2011

    I am excellent at loading a dishwasher. We should have a party at your place, fill your sink with dirty dishes and have a contest to see who can get the most dishes in while also loading efficiently.

    And I will happily unload the dishwasher. Instant gratification!

    Reply
  12. Norma Pedersen

     /  June 30, 2011

    You sound exactly like my husband! Now, I don’t even bother putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, I know that he’ll just redo it anyway! Oh well, one less thing for me to do:)

    Reply

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