At some point it’s likely that you’ve opened a dishwasher to find your spouse or roommate loaded or rearranged it in a way you felt very strongly about.

Chances are, how you load a dishwasher is nearly ingrained in you at this point, and whether grounded in truth or not, you have ideas about how the task is done most efficiently. This includes the decision to load silverware handle side up or handle side down.

An ongoing poll on Houzz shows that people are split nearly 50/50 on the debate.

The handle-side-up argument states that knives and forks can cause serious injuries to the person who will be unloading the machine.

The handle-side-down camp insists that cutlery doesn’t get nearly as clean when it’s hidden in the basket, and also that handle side pointing down allows for less silverware overall to fit in each load.

So which is the correct way?

TipHero looked at various sources, and just like us, they experts are pretty split.

Start Cooking, WikiHow and ABC News argue for the points up, citing that many dishwashers have slots that won’t even allow users to stack handle side down.

NBC News and nearly all of the dishwasher manufacturers spell out that silverware should be placed sharp side down at all times to avoid injury.

Ultimately, our favorite home experts, Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart, stepped in to solve the dilemma once and for all.

Like most things in life, the answer is compromise: Do both, they say. The best way to load your utensils is to mix and match points up and down.

This method prevents silverware from nesting, ensuring they come out clean, but can give you pause to realize there are sharp objects, without the guarantee of injury.

Children are also a consideration. In a house with kids, consider all points facing down.

What side of the dishwashing debate do you fall under?


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.