Marina Fogle’s FOUR dishwashers: Wife of presenter Ben reveals they argue about stacking appliances

Marina Fogle’s FOUR dishwashers: Wife of presenter Ben reveals they have multiple appliances to avoid washing up – and says stacking them correctly is the only thing they argue about

  • Marina Fogle, who is married to TV presenter Ben, shared her household gripe
  • The mother-of-two revealed the couple regularly argue over the dishwasher
  • While Marina stacks in a ‘tidy’ and organised manner, Ben doesn’t see the issue 

Marina Fogle has revealed the only thing she and her husband Ben bicker about – stacking the family’s dishwashers.

Mother-of-two Marina, who shares children Ludovic and Iona with Ben Fogle, said she didn’t have many complaints about her husband at all, but when it comes to the dishwasher, the pair can’t help but row.

She also admitted the couple fitted four dishwashers into their kitchen to make sure they never have dishes stacked up on the surface.

Marina, who founded The Bump Class for expectant mothers, wrote that she stacks the dishwasher in a style ‘that would make tidying guru Marie Kondo proud’.

Ben Fogle and his wife Marina have been living together for 15 years - and in all that time there is only one thing they tend to argue about

Ben Fogle and his wife Marina have been living together for 15 years – and in all that time there is only one thing they tend to argue about

The couple, pictured at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2021, wrote about how stacking the dishwasher causes tension in their marriage, but in all other ways they are 'happily aligned'

The couple, pictured at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2021, wrote about how stacking the dishwasher causes tension in their marriage, but in all other ways they are ‘happily aligned’

However, she accused her husband Ben, with whom she is usually ‘happily aligned’, of deliberately trying to annoy her with his dishwasher stacking.

The Austrian-born podcaster said: ‘There will be pans with plates on top, facing the wrong way. And he even drops knives in point-up, risking serious bodily harm to the poor person who unloads them. 

‘He seems to think of the dishwasher as a magical box that will miraculously deliver clean plates even if it’s stacked any old how.’

She added he was guilty of ‘chucking it all in as if it was bound for the tip’. 

Explaining the need for order when stacking the dishwasher, Marina said she puts plates at the back and bowls at the front, while wine glasses are placed where they can have a little bit of support from the stem holders so they don’t tip over.

The pair admitted that while Marina stacks the dishwasher in a way that would 'make Marie Kondo proud, Ben isn't sure what all the fuss is about

The pair admitted that while Marina stacks the dishwasher in a way that would ‘make Marie Kondo proud, Ben isn’t sure what all the fuss is about

But she added: ‘Sometimes I’ll open a dishwasher so badly stacked, with bowls upright rather than facing down, I think he’s winding me up on purpose.

‘Is he intent on cleaning the already clean bottoms of the bowls? 

‘Or does he think there are invisible jets that come from the top?’ 

Marina also joked Ben was at risk of causing ‘GBH’ when he placed knives blade-up in the machine.

She said she is sure her husband thinks she is ‘crazy’ but added she will not ‘sacrifice’ a well-stacked dishwasher for anything.

Responding to his wife’s scathing yet hilarious attack, Ben said he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

He said: ‘It’s as if her brain sees it entirely differently to mine — a sort of dishwasher dysmorphia.’

Ben added that while he ‘packs’ the dishwasher, his other half ‘stacks’ it.

After 15 years of living together, Ben said he is used to loading up the dishwasher while his wife Marina stands over him to oversee the job.

Once he is finished, she rearranges it to her ‘exacting standards’.

Perplexed Ben said: ‘I have tried to understand her convictions but it’s still very confusing. After all, when you put clothes in a washing machine, they all just get washed.’

He also challenged his wife’s assertion that her method helps to stack the dishwasher more fully – arguing he can actually fit in much more at any given time.

TV presenter Ben joked the pair are now entwined in a ‘silent dance’ when it is time to load up the dishwasher as they choose passive-aggression to critique each other’s methods.

He said: ‘No words are spoken. I place a plate in, then Marina re-places it in what to me looks like precisely the same place.

‘These microscopic adjustments make Marina very happy. I think it may be her Austrian/Germanic exactness.’

How to win the dishwasher war: Which way up must the knives go? To rinse or not to rinse? And who stacks better? As the Ryan Giggs trial heard this week, dishwasher etiquette can be a family flashpoint. So we asked experts for the definitive verdict 

Amidst a host of serious accusations, there was one more relatable domestic drama that emerged from the otherwise grim Ryan Giggs trial this week. Because it seems that whether your spouse is a postman or a Premier League footballer, there’s one thing that can prove a bone of contention: the dishwasher.

Do you place the bowls on the top or bottom shelf? Which way should the cutlery be pointed? And do the plates clean better on the left or right-hand side?

Giggs told the courtroom the dishwasher would often be on three or four times a day. ‘I would be opening the dishwasher and the tablespoons would be the wrong way round,’ he said. ‘It would wind me up.’

So, to help couples up and down the country who are experiencing their own disputes over the correct way to stack a dishwasher, the Mail has collated the expertise of those in the know — from manufacturers of appliances and detergents to professors who have carried out extensive studies — to give you a definitive guide to getting the most out of your dishwasher, and ensure perfect plates and gleaming glassware every time . . .

It seems that whether your spouse is a postman or a Premier League footballer, there’s one thing that can prove a bone of contention: the dishwasher

It seems that whether your spouse is a postman or a Premier League footballer, there’s one thing that can prove a bone of contention: the dishwasher

NEVER RINSE YOUR PLATES FIRST

All the experts agree a manual ‘pre-wash’ isn’t necessary. Make sure you scrape all food scraps into the bin, but there is no need to rinse your dishes under the tap.

The fact is, modern appliances work better with dirt to remove and may be tricked into washing less thoroughly if dishes don’t have the expected level of residue on them. Most dishwashers use sensors that measure the level of grime in the water from the first rinse cycle and, if you’ve pre-rinsed your plates, the dishwasher may set itself to wash less intensely and end up missing some spots.

Not only that, but the enzymes in your detergent work by binding to food debris and dissolving it — if there’s not much dirt to bind to, they can’t clean effectively. Just make sure to remove and clean the appliance’s food filter at least once a month.

CUTLERY HANDLES UP — OR DOWN?

The debate as to whether the cutlery basket should be filled pointed ends down or up rages on. Some recommend placing forks and spoons handle down, while others say tips down is essential in order to stay closer to the water jets.

One thing everyone can compromise on? Knives should always go blade down for safety reasons, says Richard Tarrant, of BSH Home Appliances Corporation. Other experts advise sorting cutlery into groups, packing knives with knives, forks with forks and so on, in order to make unloading easier.

But Richard disagrees, saying this risks cutlery ‘spooning’ together, so the full surface will not easily be cleaned.

If you have a cutlery tray, however, as some newer machines do, you can safely slot the knives next to the knives and so on, as the sections keep each item suitably separated. But should the handles face in towards the middle of the washer, or out?

If you do have a cutlery tray, make sure to follow the guidelines on your machine, say the experts at Siemens, as depending on the configuration of your appliance the tray may be shaped so as to secure the cutlery handles in either direction.

There is some potential benefit to mixing it up, so all the most heavily soiled areas are not in one spot. However, Siemens does recommend stacking knives serrated edge down and placing ‘spoons and ladles at an angle. This will prevent water accumulations and stains’.

Interestingly, multiple consumer tests have not shown either a basket or a tray to have the edge when it comes to how clean your cutlery comes out of the dishwasher.

All the experts agree a manual ‘pre-wash’ isn’t necessary but make sure you scrape all food scraps into the bin

All the experts agree a manual ‘pre-wash’ isn’t necessary but make sure you scrape all food scraps into the bin

THE BOTTOM SHELF IS FOR BIG BEASTS

‘Your dishwasher’s most powerful spray jets are positioned down in the depths of the body. So, any heavy-duty items such as pots, pans, big plates, colanders or large bowls should be placed neatly in the bottom rack to get the most effective clean,’ say the experts at Neff.

‘The water spray is stronger here, so the dishwasher will clean them more effectively and you will get a better wash result,’ adds Siemens — although be careful not to allow any items to protrude through the bottom of the crockery basket. ‘This will ensure that the spray arm does not get blocked, and the dishwasher will be able to wash the dishes properly.’

FIND THE BEST ANGLE FOR BOWLS

Further from the initial spray and the strongest concentrations of detergent, slightly more delicate and less soiled items belong on the top rack of the dishwasher, say Siemens.

Put glasses and plastic items here, where it’s not as hot or the jets as powerful. Position hollow vessels such as glasses and bowls upside down or at an angle so that water cannot collect in them and never stack dishes on top of one another, as this will prevent upper parts from being sprayed with water from below, and the dishes will not be cleaned properly.

STACK ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU ATE

Research conducted by chemical engineers at the University of Birmingham, supported by Whirlpool dishwasher manufacturers, led scientists to come up with a dishwasher stacking technique not previously covered in an instruction manual.

They found that stacking according to the type of food debris resulted in cleaner crockery. ‘Cleaning of protein-based soils, such as egg yolk, requires an initial swelling/hydration stage, which is typically driven by high alkaline conditions at the beginning of the wash-cycle,’ said Dr Raul Perez-Mohedano, who led the study. ‘Carbohydrates, like tomato paste, require less chemistry and more mechanical action.’

Essentially, this means carbohydrate-based stains such as potato and tomato need the full force of the water jets to get clean, while protein-based foods such as dried egg yolk need more contact with the chemical detergent.

That means stacking the protein-soiled plates towards the outer perimeter of the dishwasher, where water travels slower but detergent has more time to act, and placing carbohydrate-soiled dishes towards the centre of the machine, where the fastest-moving jets of water can clean them off.

It’s also vital to ensure the dirty side of every item faces the centre of the dishwasher, where the dishwasher jets spray from.

The team at Bosch say 3-in-1 tablets only reduce the amount of rinse aid and salt needed overall — they don’t totally replace them

The team at Bosch say 3-in-1 tablets only reduce the amount of rinse aid and salt needed overall — they don’t totally replace them

SIGNS YOUR MACHINE ISN’T HOT ENOUGH

‘An average dishwasher temperature runs its main cycle at about 51-60c,’ says the team at detergent brand Finish. ‘This is because the temperature of water in the dishwasher needs to be hot enough to ensure that the detergent is dissolved and activated, while also removing any leftover food and grease.’

During the rinse phase, the water temperature should rise to 80c for the sake of food hygiene, effectively sterilising the contents of the dishwasher.

Finish says that if your dishwasher water temperature is not running hot enough, you’ll know ‘via tell-tale signs, such as if your dishes do not come back as clean as they should be, or if your dishwasher detergent tablet has not fully dissolved’. If you suspect your water temperature isn’t high enough, contact a technician — and always run a hot or intensive cycle every six months or so, along with a dishwasher cleaner, to keep fat and grime from building up and your appliance running smoothly.

This is particularly important if you regularly use an ‘Eco’ mode, which runs at a lower temperature, meaning fat builds up faster.

ARE 3-IN-1 TABS ALL YOU NEED?

The newer ‘triple action’ or 3-in-1 dishwasher tablets promise to do the job of rinse aid, dishwasher salt and detergent, but is it really wise to rely on these alone?

The answer is, probably not. The team at Bosch say these tablets only reduce the amount of rinse aid and salt needed overall — they don’t totally replace them, so you should always keep both topped up.

Even the tablet manufacturers agree that in hard-water areas, it’s advisable to use separate rinse aid and salt along with their tablets.

But most important — don’t overload your dishwasher. If you do, your detergent won’t reach every item.

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