Should you point utensils up or down in the dishwasher?

Originally published at: Should you point utensils up or down in the dishwasher? | Boing Boing


which way to hang a roll of toilet paper and which way to point utensils in the dishwasher. I don’t care about toilet paper,



Esh. That’s like saying “I never kill anyone, so I have no opinion on murder.”


I bet he’s one of “those” people:


I’m a handles-down guy, but the opposing camp makes some good arguments. Maybe I’ll start pulling them out of the basket with a clean dishcloth over my notoriously filthy hands for maximum consideration and cleanliness.

This debate is one of the reasons why, though I like being a helpful guest, I never offer to help load the dishwasher. It’s a minefield.


We just got a new dishwasher. The utensil holder has holes in the top (like the post picture shows) to keep things separated for more efficient cleaning. These holes preclude putting spoons and forks in with the handles up, but knives can be put in handles up. So that’s what we do.

Our dishes tend to be more on the eclectic side and what I find with the new washer is that the rack design is such that a diverse set of dishes are really hard to pack in tightly compared to our old washer. When I looked at the manual for recommendations, it was really biased towards almost all dishes being the same.


The handles-down philosophy may be due to pre-dishwasher sink-washing where the bottoms of storage cups for utensils in drying racks get moldy easily. Don’t want the cleaned eating ends touching that.

My mother, who refuses to use her dishwasher, always dries with handles down and it drives me crazy because I keep stabbing myself when I try to grab them to dry or put them away.


Who are these people who handle freshly cleaned tableware without washing their hands?


HAH! It’s neither in our dishwasher.

It has a top rack that they go sideways in.


Ours is the same, though even when we had a model with just baskets I put forks and spoons handle down. How else was the spray supposed to scour them clean?

As for this:

Just wash your hands before unloading if that’s a big concern. It isn’t for me, but I usually do anyway.
Better washed hands grabbing a thoroughly washed fork by the prongs for 2 seconds than a fork with stuck-on gunk. Given how often people touch their faces and use their fingers while eating, pulling the silverware out by the handle is hardly an improvement if someone has dirty hands.


Should I just add this to the wiki now?

ETA: Who puts sharp knives in the dishwasher anyway? And how do you resharpen them afterwards?


My loose understanding is that every so often, pepulation-wide, a little kid (ambulatory maybe max age 5-6 years) will trip and fall into an open dishwasher. Handles up, the kid won’t end up being impaled on the cutlery.


Definitely in the monster camp i guess but if i had to pick between the first two options it’d be the first one.

Also for the dishwasher i prefer to put the utensils handles up. My parents prefer to do handles down and it low-key drives me nuts but since i visit once a month or two i don’t have to deal with it too often.


This is really the nut of the issue; all dishwashers are a little different and require different uses based on their design. I’m generally in the “sharps down, spoons up” camp, but I’ve encountered dishwashers that don’t allow for any options and others that have such a tight basket there’s no way they’re getting sprayed facing down.

One important caveat; “knives” in this case means butter knives. Any knife with an edge is hand-wash only. Or, if you really hate washing them, laid flat in the top tray.

Also: TP is top-over only. I’ve known people who don’t care/notice, but I’ve never met anyone who actually prefers the opposite.


Wow, you think exactly like me. Sorry about that. People always say “children have such active imaginations”, implying that adults don’t. One day, while watching a squirrel, motorcycle and my toddler on an intercepting course of each other, I realized that adults have an amazing imagination, it’s just all the ways shit can go sideways. I must have gone through 500 scenarios in the span of a second.


Owning cats is the wildcard.

Case in point:


My partner might murder me with one if I put his knives in the dishwasher!

I have never paid attention to the TP thing. Maybe I should


I gather that on small watercraft end-over will tend to unroll itself. So serious boating enthusiasts will sometimes prefer end-under instead.


Wait, how would it matter one way or the other? Wouldn’t it be just as likely to unroll either direction assuming all else is equal? I’m not a boat guy, so maybe there’s some mechanism at play I’m unaware of.


The only truly correct way: