How Do You Load Utensils in Your Dishwasher and Why?

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Flour Child
Mar 26, 2010
North Carolina, USA
My daughter asked her boyfriend this question last week...then asked my mother and me. The four of us each had a different answer and all had a valid reason. Here's mine:

I load knife handles up, points down. Spoons and forks go handles down, mouth part up...because I like to fan out the part that will soon touch our lips so they get maximum exposure to the soapy hot water without touching each other, with the exception of knives for safety reasons when unloading.
I load everything up, including knives, but my silverware baskets are to the side, so I put the knives all of the way to the back. If they were point down, the blade would dull at the spot they poke through the basket, and eventually cut through the plastic bottom.
Heads up, handles down for everything but my microplane grater - its handle fills with water otherwise. The clean better this way.

If you have children in the home, knife points down might be a good idea for safety reasons.
Everything down. I don't use the dishwasher for knives (aside from butter knives), pots & pans or cooking utensils. Just dishes and eating utensils.
Everything down. I have never had a problem with things getting clean this way or knives cutting through the basket. This way when emptying the basket we grab the handles and not the part that goes in your mouth.
Well, jet, you just confirmed that mother's are always right. "Mixed" all willy-nilly is just how my mother does it too. But will i listen?...nooo :innocent:
knives, blade down. spoons, some up some down so they don't "nest" glasses on top, plates, etc on bottom. i don't put pots in dishwasher. take up to much room and don't get really clean
I do mine knives down, everything else up. Now if I could just convince my brother of doing the same thing! That way if there are any spare pieces of food that do end up in there you are not scraping them off the useable ends of the fork (such as the tines) or spoon.
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Handles up unless the utensil doesn't fit that way. Been doing it like that for many, many years. I make a point of separating spoons when I put them in.

My good knives don't go in the dishwasher, so that isn't an issue.
Knives down, everything else up safety reasons, but most of the time I wash the knifes by hand and put them away as soon as they air dry.
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