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How do you wash plasticware and chopsticks in dishwasher?

Hi all, I have a 10 year old Whirlpool dishwasher that came with the house. I'm so irritated by it. In particular, I can't put chopsticks or straws in the utensil rack since the holes are too big and they would fall through the hole. Also plastic containers, even on the top shelf, always end up upended and filled with dirty water by the end of the cycle. Now that I have a toddler and another baby on the way, meaning a lots of plastic bowls, sippy cups, nipples and bottles, I need a dishwasher that doesn't require me to wash half the stuff by hand first. Thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. I save the plastic mesh bags that oranges and other fruits come in and put small plastic items in those. Then I tie it to the front of the top rack and let it hang down inside of the door. Just make sure it's not in the way of the water thingy that spins around under the top rack. I've found the things drain better if they're hanging down instead of just laying the whole thing on the top rack. Takes up less room that way, too.

    Larger items may not fit in the bags though the small ones should. You might be able to cut open one of the mesh bags and spread it out over the larger items and then use clothes pins to hold it in place. That should keep those things from flying around. Hope that helps.

    1. I do a low-tech balancing with the chopsticks by sticking it large side down in between the holes. I am not sure if it will work with lighter chopsticks though. I use metal chopsticks and they seem to stay in place.

      As for the plastic containers, they do better if they are at the far back or front of the machine where the water power is the lowest. If it's too close to the middle, it will flip over. I've even had real glasses flip over if they aren't lodged into the center area tightly enough.

      1. just put a clean dish cloth in the silverware basket, just underneath the chopsticks. It'll sanitize the cloth and keep the chopsticks from slipping through the spaces.

        I got a new dishwasher a few months ago. Prior to that I had the builders grade DW and had the same problems as you. I'm not sure how you resolve the plastic containers turning right side up - I had the same problem. I did have a dishwasher basket that I bought at Babies R Us that I used for small things like nipples, rings, pacifiers, sippy cup lids, etc. It was very handy and inexpensive.

        1. Are you asking for suggestions about what to do to use your current dishwasher to wash plasticware and chopsticks or are you looking for suggestions for a new dishwasher?

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          1. I stick chopsticks in the top shelf, laying down next to the glasses, rather than the cutlery dish where they fall through. They stay put as long as you don't put them near the edge.