You also have to consider orientation. You don't want pooled water left in a dish after the load is done. Yuck. You should also consider the direction that the water jets are coming from. Only then, can you consider the most space efficient placement.
I was laughing through the whole article, and then I remembered...remembered what happened when I was a kid and our dishwasher broke down. We asked Mom if we were going to get a new dishwasher. Her reply was, "Why should I go buy a new one. We have five of them right here." Yep, talk about five glum faces that day. And then my job (this is like when I was in third grade) was to empty the silverware basket and put the knives, forks, and spoons in their proper places in the drawer. So one morning I am empyting last nights silverware into the drawer...plunk...plunk...plunk.. and then it slowly dawns on me that no matter how much I work, the silverware basket is not getting emptier. Is the silverware basket a current source or a current sink or some strange kitchen vortex? The answer to this mystery was that my wise older brother, who was drying that morning's dishes, was deposting the silverware into the basket to let the person with the official job title put it into the drawer. He thought it was hilarious. I thought it not.
Does it take an engineer to pack a dishwasher? Yes, but anyone can be trained to do this properly thought it may require the standard four years of schooling.
@seeEE: ...and then it slowly dawns on me that no matter how much I work, the silverware basket is not getting emptier...
I've actually been involved in something similar -- I can;t quire recall the occasion, but it was some big function involving lots of people -- during the clear up process there was a younger kid who proved to be the weak link, because (with all good intentions) he was mistakenly returning the clean, dried items and feeding them into the beginning of the cue mixed in with dirty stuff -- it took us ages to realize what was happening LOL
"How do I know whether the stuff in there is clean or dirty?"
Long ago, when the kids were still kids, I would take the cardboard tube from a used-up roll of paper towels and write "CLEAN" on one side and "DIRTY" on the other. Then it was just a matter of placing the tube in the upper basket and rotate it so all would know. The kids were usually pretty good about depositing their used dishes directly into the dishwasher when the sign was positioned to say "DIRTY". I always wanted to build a better version of this, but never got a round tuit.
A few years ago one of my kids (now the father of 2 grandchildren) remembered this and bought me a nifty little plastic gadget that has a sliding cover to expose the words "CLEAN" or "DIRTY" one at a time. It uses an adhesive backing to mount to the top of the dishwasher door. Now it's obvious, as long as one remembers to slide the cover over upon starting a new load.
@Zeeglan: I would take the cardboard tube from a used-up roll of paper towels and write "CLEAN" on one side and "DIRTY" on the other.
You can make it even easier than that -- when you empty the dishwasher, place a new dishwashing tablet in the compartment and close the door -- as long as that door remains closed we know that any ports inside are dirty -- when someone eventually washed the dishes, the fact that the container is open means the disjher are clean.
@Max the fact that the container is open means the disjher are clean
That is far too complicated for kids to comprehend. Just getting them to move their dishes from bedroom to kitchen was a challenge. Of course, when parents go on strike and refuse to move dishes, and the sinks pile up, and suddenly there are no clean dishes available; the kids finally realized what a dishwasher is for and reacted accordingly. They were too young to have ever experienced having to wash dishes by hand in pre-dishwasher days...
I was given another "mental crutch" (so far unused and still in its blister-pack) by another kid, a magnetic-backed sign that has the "DIRTY" and "CLEAN" printed opposite-upside-down, the idea is to place them in the correct position on the front of he dishwasher. But I can see this as eventually scratching the shiny surface of the dishwasher and reducing it's re-sale value :>}
All kidding aside, your article discusses a subject that is a problem in every household worldwide that has a dishwasher. My wife often complains about my re-packing; I prefer to refer to it as "squeezing in that last dirty dish".
Any engineer who has had to squeeze every last component onto a pcb, or onto a single-page schematic drawing, can certainly squeeze one more dirty dish into a dishwasher - it will fit some where...
I've often been annoyed by bowls, etc., that just don't fit the dishwasher that well. My daughter, a ceramic artist, decided to attack the problem by using the design of the best fitting dishes to make a set of beautiful dishes that fit well.
I don't she is ready for production at this point! She writes "I would only sell them for a whole whole lot of money. They take forever to make! I would however sell my prototype." You can see them under Ceramics at http://ArtistKatherineMeeks.com
@Barton.Meeks: My daughter, a ceramic artist, decided to attack the problem by using the design of the best fitting dishes to make a set of beautiful dishes that fit well.
One slight gotcha is that every dishwasher is different. We just got a new one a coupel of weeks ago -- the design of the plate and flatware holders is completely different to our previous one -- I'm still learning its little foibles :-)
The answer to that question is a resounding "No". I can't answer the other, as we have two engineers in our house (only the two of us) and my husband, a brilliant engineer and mathematician, can't load the dishwasher very well at all. And yes, I always reload it and get more dishes in than he could. I have often wondered how such a good engineer could do such a poor job, but now I'm left to wonder if it is a ploy on his part to get me to do the job.
@Mary: ...now I'm left to wonder if it is a ploy on his part to get me to do the job.
My dear old dad taught me his "helplessly confused" look that served him well throughout his marriage. I have since used this look to good effect on many an occasion. I recall back in England about 26 years ago when a drain became blocked up outside our Victorian house. After deploying my dad's look, my wife ended up lying on the floor with her arm down the drain up to her shoulder pulling all sorts of nasty gunky stuff up saying "I don't know how you can be so useless at stuff like this" ... and I stood there making encouraging noises while thinking "thank you dad" LOL
@max: My dear old dad taught me his "helplessly confused" look that served him well throughout his marriage.
Lol, at least it worked for you, though hopefully she doesn't read your column. Else, you just "outed" yourself and that will never work again. Fortunately, DH is too good at most things for that to work with me. That is just one reason why the whole dishwasher thing confounds me so much...
When I was a teenager, my parents took my younger siblings on vacation for a couple of weeks, so it was just my older brother and me at home. We just left all the dishes in the dishwasher. Take clean ones out, put dirty ones in, and every once in a while turn the thing on.
It takes the thought processes of an engineer to pack a dishwasher (new design) until it is full while proposing beforehand the size of the disherwasher needed (design box size and shape). This is done without knowing the number of dishes (detail design) it takes to fill the dishwasher (design space).
Your wife and siblings (fellow designers) will want to pack the dishwasher (design approach) their own way. This must be done without ever looking inside the dishwasher (design not done yet) to see what dirty dishes (detailed component placement requirements) have been placed there. An engineer will pack the dishwasher by using experience and clever placement of the dishes (major components estimates).
When the struggle to fill dishwasher (design to the committed space) properly to get the dishes clean (meeting component requirements such as cooling, wiring, access, testing, etc.) has been completed, one is indeed thankful yet proud of the results. This is why I love proposal through design and production of products.
My father-in-law is the greatest packer of all time. When my wife went to college, he would pack half of her things in plastic bags to make sure he filled every crevice in the trunk. You see suitcase are inefficient because they aren't flexible enough to fill all available space.