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Cutlery Up Or Down In A Dishwasher?

Cutlery Up Or Down In A Dishwasher?

The correct way to place the cutlery (knives, forks, and spoons) in the dishwasher is a topic that has been discussed by many people around the world for a long time. From chefs and housewives to families and couples. No one is very clear about what the best way to set the cutlery in the dishwasher is.

That is why here we will talk about the different ways you have to place your utensils in the dishwasher, and the one we believe will work better for you.

Continue reading and learn more about this, as well as some extra information that will be useful for anyone using a dishwasher:

Materials To Avoid In The Dishwasher

First things first. When we buy cutlery, we usually look for the ones that can fit perfectly with our style and also a set that will last as much as possible. We try to select the best and most resistant materials. However, do you know if the material, which your cutlery is made, is dishwasher safe? It is important to know this because you would not want to damage the utensils you are trying to clean.

It should be easy to know this information because the manufacturer of the cutlery should put that in the package where it came. However, if you do not know or are not very sure, do not worry.

Let’s list the materials that you should avoid putting in the dishwasher and why:

Sharp Knives

This first thing is not (exactly) a material. However, knives that should never be in the dishwasher.

The first reason is that it will be safer if you wash it by hand, you avoid getting cut when your loading or unloading the utensils. The second reason is that the dishwasher can dull knife blades, so they will not cut in the same way after a couple of washes.


Bronze utensils are not only beautiful, but they are also resistant and do not corrode easily. One thing that we like about metals like this is their shine. If you put it in the dishwasher it will become discolored, so it is better to wash it by hand.


This material is most affordable and has a good resistance to tarnish. However, we do not recommend putting it in the dishwasher; it could lose its shine and become pitted.

Cast Iron

It is common to find skillets made of this material. It has a high heating resistance and is very durable. However, it can develop rust if you use it with the dishwasher regularly. The best is to wash cast iron tools by hand and dry it immediately after that.


As well as cast iron utensils, you should wash them by hand and dry them, or let them dry in the open air. If a wooden utensil were in the dishwasher, it would be damaged by the heating and drying cycles. Consequently, the utensil can lose its finish or crack.

Silver and stainless steel, never together

Although these materials are dishwasher safe, you need to avoid placing them together in the dishwasher. If you do it there will be a chemical reaction that will pit the materials.


Some plastic items can say “dishwasher safe”, however, we do not recommend using plastic in the dishwasher. If you are sure that your plastic utensil will be OK in the dishwasher, then place it in the top rack.

So… Cutlery Up or Down?

Let’s start by saying something that everybody agrees with. You should put the knives with the blade down and the handle up. There is one main reason for this: in this way, you will avoid cutting or hurting yourself with the sharp blades.

However, what happens with forks and spoons? Should they go up or down?

Some people think that you can simply mix them (some up and others down) because in that way you avoid nesting or spooning. This is when two or more utensils, especially spoons, are inside the other. If this happens, those utensils will not be completely cleaned, because water and soap will not touch both sides of the utensil.

However, there is a problem. Remember that forks are sharp too, maybe not as sharp as knives, but they still have tines that could damage other utensils.

That is why we can end with a conclusion: place your cutlery down, with the handles up.

Let’s see with more detail the main reasons why you should start putting the cutlery down when loading the dishwasher.

  • It is safer: Placing any sharp end down will be better, for both loading and unloading the dishwasher.
  • It is easier to unload: You just need to take them by the handles and place them back again in the drawer or caddy.
  • Fewer germs: Of course, you should take the utensils with clean hands. However, when you take them from the handles you avoid passing bacteria to the eating ends of the cutlery.

Finally, one way to avoid spooning is to mix them in the basket. When we say mix, we mean to place knives, forks, and spoons together, all of them facing down.

For sure, you are not going to get hurt with a spoon; however, we think that for health reasons it will be much better to take all the utensils by the handle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I place all my kitchen utensils in the dishwasher?

No. You need to be careful not to include some materials such as wood, bronze, and plastic. Also, avoid putting on sharp knives.

Is it right to place my cutlery up?

Knives should always be facing down, and we recommend that you put your forks and spoons also facing down.

Although we recommend putting your cutlery down, we also encourage you to read the manufacturer manual. It always has important information about the best ways of loading your dishwasher, as well as for instructions for use and additional recommendations.

Loading properly your dishwasher, especially your cutlery, will end up with cleaned utensils ready to be used again.

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