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The Science of Loading Your Dishwasher

A new study takes a look at how to properly load your dishwasher and it turns out we’ve been doing it all wrong.  Heck, even your dishwasher’s owners manual has got it all wrong.  So what’s the deal and what’s the best way to load your machine?  According to the study published in Chemical Engineering Journal, correctly loading your dishwasher has more to do with what’s on the individual dishes, than whether said dish is a bowl, plate, cup etc. Dishes that are covered in carbohydrates (like from spaghetti) need the benefit of being located as close as possible to the spray arms of your machine. Dishes that are covered in proteins, can afford to be located a little further away. University of Birmingham’s Dr. Raul Pérez-Mohedano conducted the research and recommends arranging the dishes in a circle, following the dishwasher’s rotating arms. Given the rectangular shape of today’s dishwashers, this could be more easily said than done.

The study came to these conclusions using Positron Emission Particle Tracking, a method of tracking how water moves inside the dishwasher. You can check out the study here from Science Direct. By tracking the motion of water inside a dishwasher, researches were able to conclude that placing dishes covered in carbs by the spray arms, they get the benefit of more pressure from the water. Protein covered dishes on the other hand, need more  time to suds up with detergent. This time is allotted, by placing them on the edges of your dishwasher. 3

Time will tell if the study leads to innovative new shapes or methods of water distribution in new dishwashers. Samsung and Electrolux have recently released models with a unique take on the spray system , suggesting manufacturers are likely aware of the current problems.  Check out the study for yourself and see how your dishwasher loading methods stack up against this new scientific approach and enjoy this video filmed with a GoPro camera to see exactly what it looks like inside your dishwasher on the wash cycle.

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