The humble dishwasher – you may want one, you may have one and you may have no idea how to fit all your dishes into one.
It can be easy to throw all your dishes into the machine at the end of the day and hope for the best, but there are some cleaning hacks that could help you to achieve great results.
There's a knack to getting it right if you don't want to end up re-washing bits and pieces.
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According to Stuff, dishwashers can also be a bit hit or miss, and this can depend on how things are stacked.
A good wash is said to depend on who stacks the machine, how things are placed in it and on whether the soap and rise aid dispensers are filled up.
The dishwasher has even become a trending topic on TikTok, with #dishwasher having so far received more than 750million views.
Hack-obsessed TikTokers are keen to point out that some models have extra wheels, while others even come complete with a lifting mechanism.
This enables people to lift up the upper rack to offer extra room for smaller items to be placed below.
Despite this it seems there is no perfect way to load the dishwasher, but there are certain things you can do to ensure you get the best results possible.
Stuff spoke to some experts to see what people need to do to avoid ultimate dishwasher loading fails.
Consumer NZ product test writer Erin Bennett told the website: "Your model will dictate how you stack it.
"For example a dish drawer is going to be very different from a standard washer."
Despite this there are a few important rules to follow which could help you get much better results.
Bennett added: "The most important thing is to stack your dishwasher so that the water can get to everything."
So, in a nutshell, you shouldn't overload the machine or lay anything flat, as this could lead to blocking the water circulation.
It's also important to ensure plates and utensils don't "nest" together, as this will prevent water from getting to the dirt in the gaps.
Another one of Bennett’s tips is to "make sure your heavily soiled items are in the bottom basket and facing inwards, so that the spray arm can directly spray water at them."
As for the super dirty items – they should be placed in the centre back of the bottom basket.
This is because the area is usually the warmer section of the dishwasher, which should offer a "more intense clean."
It's also advised that you should clean away any leftovers on plates before putting them in the machine, but giving them a rinse is probably going to waste both water and time.
A lot of models come with a rinse cycle and the detergents, combined with the lengthy cleaning time, should be enough to give them a thorough clean.
Bennett also claimed that many people debate over whether cutlery should be pointed up or down
“We say put sharp items in points down, spoons can go either way up," added Bennett.
"When we posted this on our Facebook page, people said it was because it's unsanitary.
"That's not why we make that recommendation – it's because of safety, so you're not accidentally reaching into the washer and poking yourself with a knife."
Bennett also claims you shouldn't put anything wooden in the dishwasher, as the items could end up either damaged or cracked.
It's also said that items made from cast iron, silver and copper should be hand-washed as putting them in the dishwasher could lead to them becoming discoloured or rusty.
Plastics also need to be placed in the top drawer to avoid being damaged in the heat, but some guides tell you not to put them in machines at all.
This is because the washing can cause the plastic to become brittle.
Meanwhile Nic Winslade, who has launched a cleaner-finding app called Kept, has also offered some tips on how to make the most out of your dishwasher.
Her advice is as follows:
1. Ensure there is nothing obstructing the spray arms from spinning.
2. Place mugs on an angle, as opposed to directly down, as this will enable them to dry better.
3. Add scrunched up tinfoil to cutlery draw/basket to achieve more shiny, polished results.
4. Stack casserole dishes or trays on an edge instead of lying them flat, so they don't prevent the water from circulating.
5. Make sure you clean filters and seals often.
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