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Family members who bicker over how to load the dishwasher should know that some procedures help ensure that dishes emerge safely and gunk-free:

1. Load large items at the sides and back so they don't block water and detergent from other dishes.

2. Put the dirtier side of dishes toward the center of the machine.

3. Don't let dishes or utensils nest or rest side by side.

4. Use the top rack for plastic and more delicate items.

5. Rest glasses on prongs so they stay upright and don't fill with water.

6. Load silverware with handles down; knives with handles up. If there's an open basket, mix spoons, forks, and knives so they won't stick together.

7. Don't machine-wash brass, bronze, cast iron, disposable plastic, gold-leaf china, or anything made of wood.


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