Remember my plea for help in loading my dishwasher? I did find the manual online and their suggestion for loading it was even less space-efficient than what I had been doing. Apparently I'm supposed to be able to fit "service for 12" in this dishwasher, which sounds like a lot, but it's really not! Especially since I'd been used to running the dishwasher every 2 days.
Here's how I figured out the best loading techniques:
One day when I had just unloaded all the clean dishes from the dishwasher, I started re-loading it... only I used my clean dishes. I tried various ways of loading all my bowls (just bowls first). With nothing else to load, I could try putting them anywhere and everywhere!
Then, I took the bowls back out and did the same thing with the different plates (large and small), and then the same with the drinking glasses (larger and smaller ones of those as well).
This load didn't have many bowls, but you can see how I stack them on the side, which allows for more cups and containers to be stacked in the middle of the top rack. If needed, I can stack bowls on the other side as well, and still fit a bit of stuff in the middle. Yay! :)
Somehow stacking just ONE thing at a time allowed me to try all the possibilities and made so much more sense than just frustratingly trying to jam all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher each day! Now I have a good grasp of what can go where. I know that bowls CAN fit in the bottom rack if the top is too full for them, and I know just where they fit best when they do need to be on the bottom rack.
Tip: To find the most efficient way to load your dishwasher, practice loading clean dishes -- one type at a time!
Since the two middle plates have to be smaller plates, I've found I can stick a bowl behind them (shown on the left) and it gets nice and clean!
If I have little plates or bowls for the bottom rack, I can also squeeze in a canning jar or two. We use canning jars regularly for homemade "frappuccinos". :)
Bonus tip: How I figured out the price comparison for my dishwasher detergent
Both detergents clean well. I think the Finish does a slightly better job of cleaning, but if I use enough of the Costco detergent, it does just fine. My question was... how MUCH liquid detergent am I really using, and is it still cheaper than Finish?! :)
So, I measured! And, conveniently enough, 2.5 ounces (which is about 1/3 cup or 5 tablespoons) fills both of the compartments in my dishwasher. That makes the Costco detergent about $0.09 per load, a good 20% cheaper.
I fill both compartments with detergent. As an aside, anyone know why there is a rust stain coming out of my rinse aid dispenser? It was light when we moved here, but keeps getting darker. When I open the knob, dark rusty water (?) comes out!
Another good part about liquid detergent is that if I do happen to run a not-as-full load of dishes (or a less-soiled load), I can easily decrease the amount of detergent. I know I could cut the Finish tabs in half (and maybe I will still try that, to see if half is enough like one person said!) but I don't like to touch the detergent with my bare hands, so pouring out less is easier than cutting a tablet in half. :)
Dishwasher tips -- lots more tips from a previous blog post!
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2. Substitute for cardamom
3. Tips for leftover sloppy joes (LeAnne)
4. Pita bread tip (Donna)
5. Keeping track of online recipes (Rachel)
6. Shopping for groceries in pajamas (Gretchen)
7. Keys to a clean and orderly kitchen (Michele)