Dishwashers are one of the most hardworking home appliances. So here at Consumer Reports, we really put them through the wringer in our tests. We load each dishwasher with 10 place settings of white ceramic dishes with baked-on food, then run it on the normal cycle (or its equivalent). When the cycle is complete, we use a photo-imaging machine to determine precisely how clean each dish is.

Dishwashers that make our list of top picks deliver sparkling results every time. But even the best of the bunch won’t get the job done if they’re loaded improperly. Overfilling the machine and placing platters and cutlery in the wrong spots are common mistakes that can leave grime on your place settings at the end of a wash.

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