Loading a dishwasher - knife handles up or down?

Dishwasher accident kills woman.

I’m sure glad I always load my dishwasher with the fork and knife handles up. You never know when freak accidents may happen.

Handle side up, for all cutlery. I’ve been scratched or cut way too many times.

Sad story.

Also this story.

I always put cutlery and flatware in handle down - which, now that I think if it, is kinda dumb as you’re forced to grab the clean eating surfaces to remove it all. I hadn’t even considered the safety angle…

For small knives, where the blade will slip through the silverware basket and interfere with the rotor at the bottom, I put them blade up.

But the majority of my knives don’t go in the dishwasher. Hand-wash only.

Knives pointy side down. But only the crappy knives. Good knives get hand washed.

As far as getting scratched or poked while reaching for very sharp utensil in the dishwasher, I can proudly say Ive never had the occasion where I would absent-mindedly lunge for a basket full of sharp knives and pointy forks while casually looking at something else. :dubious:

However, my wife has, so “they” set the things handle up. However if I wash the dishes (and put them in the dishwasher to dry) I only place the knives handle up. Forks and spoons are placed handle down) Again, I dont reach in there without cleaning my hands first and I hardly ever touch any other utensil other than what I need. Which is exactly why I place them handle down. I want to know what the heck I am pulling out. If they are all handle up, all you see are the handles. If theyre jammed packed in there (the way my children always does them) its hard to pick the right one without close inspection.

If you are worried about hygene and cleanliness, consider that the bottom of the basket that holds the utensils have very small holes to keep the utensils in the basket. Any leftover food debris can get stuck and trapped in there where the business end of any utensil (placed handle up) would be. Knives would have very little contact with those but spoons and forks could.

AH yes - I guessed it would be about that story! Me, I reckon it should just teach us all not to offer to help with the dishes when visiting your friends!

btw - another local story here involves the “tragic” death of a 17 year old girl, who, at a party with friends, decided to sit on the windowledge - 15 floors up. SO, perched on window ledge, bottom on ledge, precariously I should imagine, legs outside window - well guess what - she fell down and of course died.

Good grief - I know what a panic I was in when the cat tried the same sort of thing - I’[d expect the silly girl to have a bit more sense.

Sorry, I am not too sure if that is tragic, or more like a Darwin award.

A link in case anyone thinks I am jsut about sick enogh to make this up! (As if!!!)


Handles up in my house - handles down for the rest of the flatware. My wife tried handles up for all the spoons and forks as well, but they just don’t fit as well. Besides, the forks and spoons get cleaner if the eating ends are up. Knives were just too much of a risk handles down - this is coming from a guy who’s already cut a finger on a butter knife. Really.

You cut your finger on a Butterknife??!

Either your butterknives are sharpened by a samurai or you really have very tough butter…


Hey, I believe the butter knife story - My friend quite literally almost lost a finger to a paper cut.

Now that it’s healed we can’t stop laughing at him.

Any blade sharper than a butterknife should never be placed in a dishwasher. EVER. Butter knives go business-end-up just like any other non-sharp piece of flatware.

Loading a dishwasher with cutting blades is just as stupid as leaving sharp knives at the bottom of a sink filled with sudsy water.

Safety is the primary issue here. Incipient damage to the blades is another matter of less vital importance.

Did you see who they got a quote from for that story?

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).


I’ll have to ask the staff.

Pointy side down. A kid from school fell on an open dishwasher and got the Iron Maiden treatment, but didn’t die.

I think about it every time I load that bad boy.

I remember being told (back when it first became my job to do the dishes growing up) “handles up keeps stitches down”



<cant stop shivering>

Yep, the pointy ends go down. I’m enough of a klutz I’m always worried about cutting myself. Forks and spoons go handle down, though, as they get cleaner that way.

Wow - you are a posh lot, aren’t you - you all have dishwashers?
<Celyn departs lamenting in sorrow and woe>

I load the dishwasher with handles up, business end of the utensil down. This is in small part so I don’t get my hands full of whatever needs to get washed off of the utensils, and in large part because I’ve always done it that way.

We have friends who used to run a bed and breakfast. They were legally required to load utensils into the dishwasher handles up for safety reasons.

Handles up, definately. And while we’re on the subject of dangerous kitchen appliances – if you have to stick your hand in the disposal, always use your left hand (if you’re right-handed). The point, of course, is that if the disposal accidentally turns on by itself, your non-writing hand will be the mangled one. Little sick piece of advice my mom’s been telling me for years.