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There’s no wrong way to load this dishwasher

There’s no wrong way to load this dishwasher


Bosch says its new dishwashers will “put an end to the great debate” about how to load your dishes.

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A top-down shot of dishes loaded into a dishwasher, with an overlay dividing them into quadrants. The quadrants are all labeled “normal,” except the bottom right, which is labeled “heavy.”
Bosch’s PowerControl spray arm gives you control over where you want it to clean the hardest.
Image: Bosch

Bosch is claiming its new 800 and Benchmark Series dishwashers could finally lay to rest the debate over the right way to load the dishwasher.

The new thing is a PowerControl spray arm that can find the dirtiest dishes wherever you put them (as long as that place is on the bottom rack):

The PowerControl™ spray arm provides a targeted intensive wash from anywhere in the bottom rack – no matter where the dishes are loaded.

Basically, you can target specific quadrants of the lower rack for extra attention. According to the manual for one of the new dishwashers, it looks like you’ll need the Bosch Home Connect app to actually set those quadrants; otherwise, your options are to split more intensive cleaning between the front and back half. That’s all well and good, but what about when you’ve left your phone in another room or the Wi-Fi is out?

In case you needed statistics to understand how intense the dish-loading discussion is, Bosch provided several from an SWNS survey of 2,000 people on behalf of Bosch. It says 54 percent of Americans argue about how to load a dishwasher, 87 percent rearrange them after someone else already loaded the dishwasher, and lastly, 35 percent have “considered” giving someone they live with the silent treatment after an argument.

The new spray arm’s pitch to “help” is that it can get everything clean no matter where it’s loaded (again, on the bottom rack). That’s quite a claim, and to that, I say: good luck, you mad fools.

Because I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Encrusted food-laden cast irons on the top rack. I watched metal straws get placed in the rack sideways, never touched by the dishwasher’s jets. All those dishes will be washed again, wasting water until it’s time to dry.

I don't care how good that spray arm is, unless it's picking dishes up and rearranging then, then you absolutely can still load a dishwasher wrong.

Many years ago, my partner and I resolved our dishes debate without buying a new app-controlled dishwasher. Having worked in several commercial kitchens and bars where I needed to optimize all of the space on the drying rack, I have strong feelings about where things go, and when we finally got a dishwasher a couple years ago, that extended to rack placement inside the infernal machine.

Similarly, she is of the belief clothes shouldn’t all be washed and dried together, using the same settings for every load forever. Appreciating her feelings on the matter and she mine, we agreed an equitable split is total siloing of those duties. Of course, if you’d like to handle things without messy solutions like “having a conversation,” then have you heard about these new dishwashers?

The new dishwashers are becoming available this month and cost up to $1,799. The cheapest model listed on the Bosch website featuring the new PowerControl arm is the $1,299 800 series.