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If you dislike emptying or loading the dishwasher, or even want to know how to speed up the process by making the tasks easier, check out these 16 easy-breezy tips on creating a routine for emptying and loading the dishwasher.

1. Get Into the Habit of Loading Dishes Right Away


Try getting into the routine or habit of loading dishes into the dishwasher as soon as you can, regardless if it’s as you cook or shortly after eating.

And if you find yourself and others feeling the urge to procrastinate, just remember this: the longer you wait to do it, the more scrubbing it will take to get the job done. In other words, the sooner you do it, the less effort and fewer steps you’ll have to put into the task.

Benefits of Loading the Dishwasher ASAP

  • Reduced odors
  • Faster clean up
  • Less effort and scrubbing needed
  • More likely to keep sink and kitchen looking and smelling cleaner for longer
  • It frees you from unnecessary steps, such as unloading the sink just to unload the dishwasher
  • When you’re able to the extra step of unloading the sink into the dishwasher, you free up time to tackle other things around the house or in your life.

Check out our other time-saving kitchen tips next with our 21 Tips on Cleaning the Kitchen As You Cook (new tab).

2. Consider Having a No-Dishes-In-the-Sink Policy


Having a no-dishes-in-the-sink policy for the rest of your household dishwasher routine can be a great way to keep up with the practice and benefits of loading things into the dishwasher as soon as possible.

This generally means anyone capable of doing their dishes can take care of their own mess when it makes sense to do so, instead of leaving their mess in the sink to be taken care of later.


  • Reduced odors
  • Easier and faster general clean-up
  • Gain a cleaner and more polished-looking kitchen throughout the day.
  • When people take care of their dishes it can teach or positively reinforce healthy behaviors, such as:
    • Sense of personal responsibility
    • Better sense of empathy for others
    • Improved relationship behavior (teamwork)
    • Cleaner habits
  • A consistently empty sink and kitchen can become a natural visual aid for people to spot other messes in the kitchen more easily since there won’t be a mess to distract them
    • As a result, you and/or others will be more likely to clean up messes like spills, crumbs, etc., as they’re made since there will be less clutter and fewer visual distractions.
  • You and others may view and approach other disliked tasks differently in the future. This is more so the case with ones that you might have a tendency to overthink or procrastinate on.


  • Sometimes dishes—particularly cookware—will need to soak for a bit. Try to soak dishes with stuck- or burnt-on stains right away with warm, soapy water, even leaving them to soak as you cook and/or relax after eating.
  • To speed up the soaking process of cookware and other stuck-on dishes, consider using a reliable degreasing soap such as Dawn Platinum 4x or similar.
  • Be prepared to explain your “why” to others who might not be used to immediately loading their dishes in as you approach them about it.
    • Avoid using “You” statements or blaming others, or being accusatory in your actual approach.
  • Reducing visual clutter and distractions in the kitchen can be a great way to visually assist others with spotting messes, particularly with dishes sitting out or in the sink.
    • Therefore, try to reduce anything sitting out on the counters to just the necessities and maybe a few of your favorite knickknacks.
    • Plus, your kitchen will look better throughout the day!

Need more decluttering tips? Check out our post on 18 Signs that It’s Time Declutter Your Home next (new tab).

3. Adopt a Schedule or Cleaning Routine


Adopting a schedule or cleaning routine can help people get on track and stay consistent. Cleaning routines can also get the rest of the household on board and in sync with time and practice.

As a result, you may find it a lot easier to maintain your home while helping others get on the same page, too.

4. Customize Your Routine Accordingly

Cleaning schedules or routines can be personalized to suit your household’s needs along with your personality, schedule, weaknesses, habits, and even preferred cleaning methods.

Sometimes, even experimenting and mixing and matching based on what suits your mood or needs can be a good way to go about it.

5. Add the Task to Your Evening or Morning Routines

Morning Cleaning Routines and Evening Cleaning Routines can be an ideal way to incorporate emptying, running, or loading the dishwasher into your day-to-day schedule or routine with ease.

Best of all, you can customize your nighttime and morning routines to suit your needs, schedule, and household all while mastering the art of cleaning smarter instead of harder.

6. Think Ahead

While some people like to run the dishwasher during the daytime, it’s often more efficient for many households to do so at night and after dinner. However, if you’re concerned about noise, you can also set the dishwashing machine to run on Delay and have it run in the morning.


In either case, it’s typically easier to empty the dishes first thing in the morning–or even the night before. This way, you’ll have an empty dishwasher to load dishes into immediately instead of everything getting piled into the sink while waiting for the load to finish.

Ensuring that the dishwasher is available as early in the day as possible–especially in a multi-person household–will also encourage more consistency with other housemates and cleaner habits.

However, do whatever works for you, when it works for you, regardless if that means running and emptying the dishwasher at night or tackling the unloading once you wake up.

7. Negotiate with Others About Unloading and Loading

If you have other people living with you and find that you frequently do the bulk of the dishes, or simply despite doing the task, consider asking them if they would mind helping you out.

However, it’s important to remember that each person is different and that you may need to negotiate a little or take on other tasks they might dislike in turn.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I found that my ex didn’t mind emptying the dishwasher and was happy to make that one of his permanent tasks along with trash and yardwork, mainly since I did the bulk of the cleaning and often other tasks that he hated doing.

When living temporarily with my mother, however, I found that she preferred to rotate or split up each load, with one of us handling silverware and the other plates or vice versa.

10. Stay Consistent


Staying consistent with when and how you empty or load the dishwasher, and encouraging others to try to do the same, can greatly speed up the amount of time it takes to do the task.

As a result, you’ll likely find that your kitchen will run more smoothly, giving you and others more time to focus on more important tasks. Practice makes perfect.

11. Work Around Certain Days

Try running the dishwasher around times when you might empty leftovers and expired from the fridge each week, such as around Grocery or Trash Day.

Doing so can help you build a good cleaning routine and may even turn the task into an automatic habit for you and others in your household.

12. Take Advantage of the Situation with Chores

When you stack other chores on top of emptying or running the dishwasher, you can significantly speed up and reduce your cleaning time and effort by multitasking.

Stacking chores around emptying or loading the dishwasher can also work as a Jedi Mind Trick for yourself when in regards to chores that you may otherwise procrastinate on since you can get things going before you have the chance to change your mind or overthink it.


Stackable Tasks for Emptying the Dishwasher

  • Deep cleaning the dishwasher.
  • Performing a quick monthly cleaning on the dishwasher.
  • Deep cleaning the kitchen sink.
  • Washing kitchen sink elements like sink grates, drain strainers, brushes, microwave components, stovetop grates, burner covers, and/or even soap dispenser trays that sit on the counter on Quick or Turbo Mode for quick and easy cleaning.

Looking for dishwasher-cleaning tips? Check out our How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher? and How to Deep Clean a Dishwasher Tutorial posts next (new tabs).

13. Be Strategic About It for Faster Unloading

You can eliminate a lot of time and effort with emptying the dishwasher by getting into the habit of loading dishes and flatware in properly and with like items. Doing so will reduce steps and unnecessary cleaning.


For instance, you can try putting forks in one section of the silverware caddy, spoons in the center portion, and then knives in the other. Similar can be done with plates, bowls, mugs, and other related dishware.

That way, as you unload the dishwasher, you can quickly grab and put these items away without having to think so much about it.

14. Stack Like Items Together


You can also stack like-items on the counter prior to putting them away to help speed up the unloading process, reduce noise, and spend left effort on the task, rather than trying to unload and put away everything one piece at a time.

15. Use Dish Towels and Mats on Surfaces


Stacking like-items on dish towels or microfiber drying mats can also speed up how quickly you’ll be able to unload items since you won’t have to worry about how gently to place things, thanks to having a softer surface to work with.

By loading and stacking like-items, you may even find that you can get the task done in just a minute or two.

16. Entertain Yourself

Entertaining yourself while cleaning is often the best way to make nearly any situation or task more bearable.

In fact, many people actually find that they wind up enjoying doing tasks and look forward to doing them in the future once they learn to make the process a little more entertaining. Time will also likely go by faster once a little fun is mixed in.


Ways to Time & Challenge Yourself

  • Use a kitchen timer.
  • Listen to some good music.
  • Check out your favorite podcast, Ted Talk, or news.
  • Immerse yourself in an audiobook.
  • Multitask by talking to people over the phone, in person, or online.
  • Time yourself using a kitchen or phone app timer to see how quickly you can get the job done. You may even find that timing yourself will minimize overthinking about the task of unloading or loading the dishwasher—especially once you see how fast it can be.
    • Unload a dishwasher during a commercial break.
    • Unload while coffee or tea brews in the morning.
    • Try unloading the machine as meals cook when safe to do so.
  • Learn something new with audio-based courses that won’t require too much visual attention.
    • An online course that’s mostly audible.
    • Online videos, such as how-tos or similar tutorials.
    • Bible or other religious text.
    • Self-help or therapy-related online videos and workshops.
    • Audiobooks
    • Podcasts
    • Ted Talks


In this post, we covered 16 tips to speed up loading and unloading the dishwasher and make the overall process easier through scheduling and household routines. Some of these tips and examples include the following:

  • Creating a cleaning routine or schedule for faster loading and better efficiency.
  • How to work with others to lessen the burden and effort.
  • Ways to load or unload dishes from the dishwashing machine to reduce unnecessary steps.
  • Tips to make the overall process easier and more bearable.
  • Ways to turn the task into a natural-feeling habit through consistency.

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