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Washing Silverware in the Dishwasher

Make sure your silverware is clean and easy to put away. This guide is about washing silverware in the dishwasher.


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4 found this helpful
October 15, 2010 Flag

I have recently realized how to make fast work of putting away my silverware from the dishwasher basket when the dishes are done. That seems to be the most laborious part of the chore. All the spoons, knives, and forks were all mixed up in all the different compartments of the silverware basket. Not to mention all the serving spoons and spatulas too. Wow! I was consistently rearranging silverware when I took them out of the dishwasher. It took me forever to get them reorganized and put away. Well, it takes me about ten seconds flat to put them away now. How?


Well, it dawned on me one day that since I have six small compartments and one big compartment in the dishwasher basket that holds my silverware and I have just as many compartments as I do the number of different types of silverware. I experimented one day and put all the same types of silverware in it's own individual compartment. For example, I put all the small spoons in one compartment, all the big spoons in another, all the butter knives in one, and all the forks in another, and, well you get the picture. I put all the serving spoons and other things likes spatulas that go into the container that sits on my kitchen counter top in the biggest compartment.

Now, when the dishes are done, all I have to do is grab all the items from one compartment all at one time, and put them in the corresponding spot in the kitchen drawer. And I only have to do this once. Rather then keep going back and forth and doing it over and over until the dishwasher basket is empty. Whew! Boy, talk about a time saver, and making life easier!

I also always face them in the same direction too. Fork prongs face down, and so forth. Otherwise if I have to rearrange them, that would only defeat the purpose. Right? Try it, you'll see what I mean.

By marianneryan23 from Des Moines, IA

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October 23, 20100 found this helpful

My dishwasher company said not to do this. The reason is because if you have all spoons in one holder they could nestle together and not get as clean as they should. I separate all my silverware. When my dishwasher has finished then I take all my silverware and lay them on a towel and then I can pick up all my spoons, all my forks and so forth and put up. This don't take much time.

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1 found this helpful
October 10, 2006 Flag

When loading knives in to your dishwasher silverware tray, please put your knives point side down. This will prevent any accidents from happening. Children are sometimes near the dishwasher when you are loading and you wouldn't want them to fall in to the dishwasher and hurt themselves on a knife point.

Related Content(article continues below)

By Sherri from Petaluma, CA

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October 11, 20060 found this helpful

We actually had a child in our community die from falling on a knife placed sharp edge up in the dishwasher

NO horseplay in the kitchen!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
February 9, 2010 Flag

Should silveware be washed in a dishwasher?

By Ray from Ontario, Canada

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February 10, 20100 found this helpful

I have always washed mine in the dishwasher. The only ones I wouldn't do is ones with wooden or plastic handles.

Another tip, I quit washing anything clear glass in the dishwasher. I always wondered why my glasses invariably came out looking frosty, no matter what brand of soap I used. I ran across a tip about 8 months ago saying the dishwasher was causing it. I bought new glasses and have been washing them by hand ever since and they still look like new.

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Anonymous Flag
February 13, 20100 found this helpful

I wouldn't wash silver or silver plate silverware in the dishwasher (or any other silver or silver plated item for that matter) if that's what you were wondering. The hot water and dishwasher detergent in a dishwasher will eventually damage the silver causing it to need professional refinishing.

Just hand wash them with mild soap in warm water. Usually a couple of times a year you'll need to clean them with silver tarnish remover and then just wash them again afterwards in the soapy water.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

If you're talking basic flatware that isn't actually silver, every dishwasher has a silverware/flatware basket. However, when we used a dishwasher 30+ years ago, we had to thoroughly rinse and swab everything to loosen the food first. I find I get everything cleaner washing by hand, and wouldn't trust a dishwasher. Washing by hand is greener, anyway.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

I wash all of my cutlery in the dishwasher. I don't pre-rince anything either, unless it is egg that has dried on. Sometimes a few pieces come out with food still stuck on, but that is usually if the dishwasher is exceeding full. I use stainless steel cutlery all the time, and silver plated cutlery occasionally. All go through the dishwasher perfectly fine.

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0 found this helpful
May 3, 2014 Flag

How should silverware be put in the dishwasher? Should the silverware be put in handle up or down?

By Larry

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0 found this helpful
November 11, 2013 Flag

Are there any baskets that could be used to wash a whole load of silverware in our dishwasher for a large church gathering other than just the small basket provided with the dishwasher? The complete load would be silverware.

By Ron O

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

0 found this helpful
October 15, 2010 Flag

When you put your silverware into your dishwasher, try grouping it in each compartment by the type. That way you can take out a section at a time and put all the spoons away together, and the same for forks and knives as well. Makes emptying the dishwasher go a lot faster!

By Robin from Washington, IA


Grouping Silverware in the Dishwasher

I almost never do this, as spoons and forks have a nasty way of "nesting" and then they come out dirty with food stuck between them. I have taught the kids to separate them well so that this doesn't happen. (05/24/2006)

By susabelle

Grouping Silverware in the Dishwasher

I once thought that would make my life easier but NO, it is not easier. They nest just as Susabelle said. (05/24/2006)

By meoowmom

Grouping Silverware in the Dishwasher

I agree about the nesting. In fact, most articles and your dishwasher handbook will tell you to be careful of this. When we load silverware, we just go down the rows - putting a fork in each one, then a spoon, then a knife (you get the picture). That way, they are staggered and have a better chance for the water to get to them for cleaning. (05/24/2006)

By ccarnow

Grouping Silverware in the Dishwasher

putting the spoons together can sometimes cause problems when the spoons stick together (07/01/2006)

By wyoKrista

Nesting Spoons

I'm sorry but I don't believe in this theory of "nesting" spoons. I believe that the force of the washing thingymebob keeps them spoons from staying stagnant in the silverware dishwasher tray thingy.


By Allen

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0 found this helpful
February 9, 2010 Flag

It's okay to wash your silverplate items in the dishwasher, just not with any of your stainless steel items. It doesn't hurt the silverplate, but it will pit the stainless steel.

By Brenda Cole

Editor's Note: Here's a note about washing silverware from the Silver Superstore website.

"Dishwasher Tips: Before you use the dishwasher, wash your silverware by hand the first four or five times of use. This will prevent the minuscule amount of copper from forming brown spots on your sterling. Rinse all excess food off of the silverware, and do not let sterling and stainless pieces touch. Avoid lemon-scented detergents, those containing chlorides, and use slightly less than recommended. Remove the silverware before before the dry cycle, and hand-dry with the soft cloth."

They also have more silverware cleaning information at:

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