This piece originally appeared on PureWow.
There’s a best practice for everything in life, including operating the dishwasher after family lasagna night. Here, five loading mistakes you’re gonna want to avoid — unless you’re into splotchy wine glasses, of course.
Mistake 1: You pre-rinse everything
Just scrape off the big bits (and be careful about what you put in your garbage disposal). Save your precious H20 for the actual wash cycle.
Mistake 2: Your bowls and plates all face one direction
Aim all dirty surfaces toward the water source for efficient spraying.
Mistake 3: You load the biggest pieces in the center
Place your serving bowls, cutting boards, casserole dishes and other bigwigs on the outside so they don’t block the spray. Or just hand wash them.
Mistake 4: You pack in every piece of silverware
Your forks and knives need a little room to breathe here. Don’t overjam the silverware basket and alternate loading the pieces top and bottom up so the water can get at tines, blades and other food-covered surfaces.
Mistake 5: You forget to use a rinse agent
If you’re regularly seeing water spots on your dishes, you’ll want to use a rinse aid (There’s even a separate compartment for the stuff!), which removes mineral deposits in the last cycle.
Hooray for sparkling glasses!