GE Dishwasher Loading: Don’t Make These Mistakes

Great results come from great planning and workflow.

I have seen many people posting on different social media and forums seeking help and advice because their dishwasher is not drying the dishes after cleaning, not starting, and so on.

But do you know what triggers these issues in the first place? Or what the basic reasons for these problems are?

Well, you may have noticed a separate page in the manual about properly loading the dishwasher.

This is included to inform you of the correct way to load the dishwasher so that you don’t encounter any cleaning-related issues.

Let’s dive into some things you may be doing wrong and tactics to get the most out of your GE dishwasher.

1. Pre-Rinseing the dishes

pre rinsing the dishes

When I first bought my dishwasher, I thought it was a good idea to pre-rinse the dishes before loading them.

If I’m not mistaken, you may be thinking the same now, right?

I believed this until I came across the research conducted by Consumer Reports (a company that tests products)

According to them, pre-rinsing your dishes is not necessary. When they tested dishwashers with really dirty dishes, they found that most dishwashers including GE did a great job of getting them clean, even if the dishes were really dirty.

Only you need to just scrape off any big chunks of food from the dishes to avoid the water-draining issue and put them straight into the dishwasher. Then the enzymes within the detergent will do the rest!

However, If you’re not going to run the dishwasher right away and it might be a few days before you do, it’s a good idea to rinse off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. This is because leftover food particles can start to smell bad over time, especially if they’re left sitting in a warm and damp environment like a dishwasher.

2. Cramming too many dishes

cramming too many dishes

Extravagance is tempting, but when it comes to loading dishes in the dishwasher, you should always avoid this.

Cramming every dirty dish at once may seem like an excellent hack to save time and water, but this approach can actually backfire and lead to a bunch of issues.

If you overcrowd the dishwasher, the water spray arm may not be able to spray water properly and detergent may not be able to reach every surface.

What will then happen? —Some of the dishes may not get cleaned at all and you will waste both your time and water.

Instead, separate larger loads and take the time to hand wash some of the items.

3. Putting delicate dishes

putting delicate dishes in GE dishwasher

Some dishes are not dishwasher-safe and should be washed by hand only.

Delicate items like crystal, china, and certain types of plastic may melt or warp due to the high heat and strong detergent used in the dishwasher cycle.

Even if some delicate dishes are labeled as dishwasher safe, it is still important you follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.

For example, Lenox dinnerware patterns are identified as dishwasher safe according to the Lenox website, while Waterford Crystal is typically not dishwasher safe and should only be hand washed.

If you choose to wash delicate dishes in the dishwasher, use a gentle cycle, avoid high heat settings and use a dishwasher-safe detergent.

4. Putting dishes on the top rack

putting dishes on the top rack instead of bottom

GE designed its dishwasher with two racks, a top, and a bottom.

The bottom rack is specifically designed to hold plates and features small pointed parts called “tines“, while the top rack is intended for glasses, coffee cups, and odd-shaped utensils.

Mike Nerdig, the marketing manager for dishwashers at GE Appliances, states that,

The tines have been designed to hold plates in a manner that maximizes the number that will fit while ensuring proper cleaning by allowing hot water to pass through.

Therefore, avoid placing plates on the top rack, as it may make it harder for other items to fit and may affect their cleaning.

5. Not checking the spray arms

checking the spray arm before loading the dishes

If you want your dishwasher to clean the dishes well, you should pay special attention to the spray arms,” says Lunti Marker, an experienced DIY repairer in Los Angel.

The spray arms are responsible for distributing water and detergent throughout the dishwasher.

If you put the dishes in a way that restricts the spray arm from rotating, it will lead to an uneven distribution of water and detergent, resulting in some dishes being poorly cleaned or not cleaned at all.

Make sure that dishes are not blocking their movement and that the dishwasher is not loaded with tall items that prevent the spray arms from rotating freely.


Q: What are some common mistakes people make when loading their GE dishwasher?

Some common mistakes include overcrowding the dishwasher, blocking spray arms with large items, and not properly pre-rinsing heavily soiled dishes before loading.

Q: Can I mix different types of dishes in my GE dishwasher?

Yes, you can mix different types of dishes in your GE dishwasher. Just make sure that they are properly loaded and not overcrowded.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for loading different types of dishes.

Q: What is the best detergent to use in my GE dishwasher?

Use a high-quality, automatic dishwasher detergent that is specifically designed for use in dishwashers such as Cascade or Finish. (Ranked via

Avoid using regular dish soap or hand soap, as these can create excessive suds and damage your dishwasher.

Q: Why should I avoid placing pots and pans in front of the detergent dispenser?

Placing large items in front of the detergent dispenser can block its release, leading to incomplete cleaning.

Position pots and pans on the sides or back of the dishwasher.

Q: Why is the detergent not dissolving properly during the cycle?

If your detergent isn’t dissolving, it could be due to improper loading blocking the dispenser, water temperature issues, or using the wrong type of detergent for your dishwasher.

Ensure dishes aren’t obstructing the dispenser and use the recommended detergent.