We are in the midst of a great, prolonged debate in this country. There are strong feelings and strong arguments on both sides. And, as with many issues, once people have staked out a position it is incredibly hard to convince them to change it.
How do you load your silverware into the dishwasher? Do you put everything — knives, forks, and spoons — into the dishwasher so that the business end of the utensil is down in the basket, and the handle is up? Or do you do the reverse, and go handles down for everything? Or do you split the baby — an uncomfortable phrase when you are talking about knives — and put the pointy end of the knives in the basket, but have the bowls of spoons and the tines of fork up and flapping in the breeze?
Believe it or not, the experts and dishwasher manufacturers disagree about the best way to approach this common household chore. Some say forks and spoons should be placed business end up and out of the basket to maximize water pressure and cleaning power, and to prevent spoons from “nesting” together and stray food particles from being trapped between fork tines and the basket. Others says the fork tines should go into the basket for safety, to avoid scraped and punctured hands and fingers. And there does seem to be consensus among experts and manufacturers that knives should go in blade down to avoid shredding the hands that reach down to retrieve them.
I’m somebody who places all utensils, even spoons, into the basket business side down. I’ve always done it that way, for a reason that the experts don’t mention — at the point of removal, when the human hand interacts with the sparkling clean flatware, isn’t it better to have the grubby hands grabbing the handles, which after all are designed for the human hand to hold, rather than the working ends? Why have hands grappling with the metal parts of the utensils that interact directly with the food? And I’ve got a simple answer for the concerns about “nesting” and food trapping — mix up the utensils when you put them in the basket, and if a utensil comes out less than pristine, put it back into the basket for the next dishwasher run.
Sometimes “experts” really don’t know what they are talking about.