Loading a dishwasher correctly not only results in cleaner dishes, but can guard against breakdowns and malfunctions. Wondering how to best load the latest model KitchenAid dishwashers? These designs offer a third rack for silverware, cups, and small plates to minimize crowding below. Learn how to load a KitchenAid dishwasher with our tips and recommendations for optimal performance.

How to Load a KitchenAid Dishwasher: Rack-Specific Loading Tips

Each rack on a KitchenAid dishwasher was designed for holding specific items. Utilizing each rack properly prevents overcrowding, aids in washing and drying, and avoids damage to both your dishwasher and its contents. We’ll review how to load a KitchenAid dishwasher rack-by-rack, but, first, here are some pre-loading tips that can also improve performance. 

Pre-Wash Tips

Proper KitchenAid dishwasher loading starts before a single dish is loaded. Some key interventions before loading can also influence the cleanliness of your results.

Follow these pre-wash tips for cleaner dishes:

  • Skip the pre-rinse: While large food particles, bones, and peels should be removed before loading, it’s not necessary to pre-rinse dishes. Most detergents work better with a little grease and grime.
  • Add rinse-aid: Rinse-aid enables water to flow off dishes more easily. This eliminates streaks and results in drier dishes.
  • Run the garbage disposal: If you have a disposal, run it just before starting a wash cycle. This will clear its shared pipe with the dishwasher and prevent clogs and backups.

How to Load Silverware in a KitchenAid Dishwasher

When loaded improperly, silverware is prone to “nesting” in the silverware basket, blocking water and detergent from reaching each item. Proper loading can prevent nesting and ensure that each piece of silverware is clean.

Here’s how to load silverware in a KitchenAid dishwasher correctly:

  • Alternate forks, spoons, and knives next to each other to prevent nesting.
  • Place knives upside down to avoid injury.
  • Need more lower rack space? The silverware basket can be split into two smaller pieces and placed anywhere in the bottom rack. Refer to your KitchenAid dishwasher manual for instructions on how to split the basket.

how to load a kitchenaid dishwasher

Loading Dishes in the Lower Rack

The lower rack is designed to hold large plates, serving ware, and pots and pans.

Follow these dishwasher loading tips to make best use of the lower rack:

  • Position dishes facing inward for better access to spray arms.
  • Place pots and pans upside down to be within reach of water and detergent. Fold-down the adjustable tines to better accommodate these larger items.
  • Load serving plates and cutting boards along the perimeter of the rack to avoid blocking spray arms.

Note: Be sure to avoid putting Tupperware or other plastic items on the lower dishrack. The heat generated by the drying cycle can cause plastic items on the bottom rack to melt.

How to Load the Upper Dishrack

Small plates, glasses, bowls, and cups should be placed in the upper rack for safer washing. 

Here’s how to load a KitchenAid dishwasher upper rack:

  • Place cups, bowls, and glasses upside down, facing inward at an angle for access to water and detergent.
  • Secure wine glasses with plastic stemware holders. Fold these holders away for increased space when not in use.
  • Fold-down tines to better accommodate bowls or larger mugs as needed. 
  • Remove the upper rack altogether to better fit taller items in the rack below.

Make Use of the Third Rack

Newer KitchenAid dishwashers have a third rack for additional cups, glasses, silverware, and larger serving utensils. This extra rack lessens the risk of overcrowding below.

These tips detail how to best use the third rack:

  • Place bowls and glasses upside down, at an angle, for better access to spray arms.
  • Place one utensil per slot in the silverware tray.
  • Adjust the rack up or down, as needed, to accommodate any tall items.
kitchenaid dishwasher loading

Image from KitchenAid

Avoid These Loading Mistakes

Knowing how not to load a dishwasher can be just as helpful as the right techniques. 

Here are some common loading mistakes to avoid:

  • Overloading: Placing too many items in the dishwasher will prevent each from accessing detergent and water. Wondering how to get drier dishes? Avoid overloading to ensure that air can circulate between items and dry them sufficiently.
  • Too much detergent: Using too much detergent can leave behind streaks and residue as well as clog the dishwasher. Always use the least recommended amount on the detergent package.
  • Placing items incorrectly: Use each rack only for the items it was designed to hold and position them to optimize access to water and detergent. If items don’t fit appropriately, adjust tines or remove racks as needed.

While knowing how to load a KitchenAid dishwasher can prevent breakdowns, malfunctions may still occur. When you need a dishwasher repair service, call Moore Appliance Service for the utmost in professional care.