Why Put Plastic In Dishwasher Top Rack? (Explained)

Let’s imagine you have plastic containers that need to be cleaned. You might not want to handwash them and would rather put the containers in the dishwasher.

While this is wonderful, it is important to note that a lot of people have complained about plastic melting inside a dishwasher.

This is what leads to hesitation as you might assume using a dishwasher to clean plastic containers is not a good idea. However, it comes down to your use of the dishwasher when cleaning plastic items.

This is why it’s common for people to put plastic in the dishwasher’s top rack.

The reason plastic is put on the dishwasher’s top rack is to keep it away from the heating element. Being close to the heat makes it prone to melting. Since the element is at the bottom of the appliance, it’s best to put the plastic on the top rack.

This is a simple reason why plastic always goes on the top rack of a dishwasher when running a load.

This guide will explain more about what to do when you are cleaning plastics in dishwashers.

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Tips For Washing Plastics In Dishwashers

1. Always Keep On The Top Rack

Can you put plastic containers in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can put plastic containers in the dishwasher as long as you keep them on the top rack. This ensures the plastic does not get impacted by the heat emitting from the heating element.

Since the heating element is located at the bottom of the dishwasher, you want to keep the plastic containers away from it.

Most of the issues stem from this.

Plastic will melt when exposed to that much heat inside the dishwasher. So, it is best to make sure you are putting it on the top rack.

It’s a simple way to keep the plastic containers clean in the dishwasher while also making sure they are not impacted by heat.

plastic in dishwasher top rack why

2. Don’t Surround With Too Many Items

It is important to make sure that you are not surrounding the plastic containers with too many items when they are inside the dishwasher.

This is to make sure they are being washed properly when inside the appliance.

If you start to cram a lot of items alongside the plastic containers, you are going to make it much harder for the dishwasher to rinse them.

It is in your best interest to reserve the top rack for the plastic containers. You can add a few more items but make sure the plastic containers have space to breathe inside.

3. Run On Normal Cycle

You will also want to consider how you are running the dishwasher when it is turned on.

You will want to run it on a “Normal” cycle.

This is to ensure the plastic container are being rinsed with enough water and soap to be kept as clean as you want them to be.

A lot of people don’t do this and go with a “Gentle” cycle, which will not work as intended.

It is important to run it on the normal cycle to keep the plastics as clean as you want them to be.

It is a simple detail to think about when you are putting plastics in dishwashers.

plastic in dishwasher top rack why

4. Don’t Run Empty

You will not want to run the dishwasher without other items inside.

What does this mean?

In general, you might think the best idea is to put the plastic containers on the top rack and then run the dishwasher with nothing else inside.

This is not ideal because you are once again going to be compromising the plastic containers. They will be further exposed to too much heat even if they are on the top rack because there is nothing else inside the appliance.

You are better off putting other items on the bottom rack as a layer of protection.

Final Thoughts

These are the reasons why putting plastic in a dishwasher’s top rack is the best option moving forward.

Putting plastic in a dishwasher’s top rack is ideal since it prevents the plastic from melting. The heating element is located at the bottom of the dishwasher, which is why it’s best to put the plastic containers on the top rack away from the heat.

This is a great way to make sure you can rinse and wash the plastic containers without having to do them separately in the sink.

The dishwasher can wash plastic containers as long as you are strategic about how you do it and where the plastic containers are placed.

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