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This TikTok Grandma Just Taught Us a Brilliant Dishwasher Hack

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At age 73, Barbara Costello (aka Babs) isn’t a typical TikTokker. And yet, the grandmother of eight has amassed over 2 million followers on the Gen Z-dominated platform with her no-nonsense recipes and household tips. In one of her most recent videos, Bab’s shared the “proper way to load your dishwasher,” and the post quickly went viral with over 4 million views and thousands of comments.


@brunchwithbabs 🍽  Did your Mom ever teach you the Do’s and Don’ts for loading the dishwasher?  In our family, when it comes to chores, how to load the dishwasher is one of the hottest topics.  Let’s face it, everyone has their own system that they think is the only way to load the dishwasher.  Well, Babs’ is here to teach you the proper way to load your dishwasher so that each and every dish comes out sparkling clean.  🍽 Xo Babs #dishwasher #howtoloadadishwasher ♬ original sound - everyone’s grandmother

“Scrape (your dishes). Don’t rinse. Not only will you save water, but the detergent will have something to adhere to,” Babs tells viewers while loading her dishwasher. The 73-year-old TikTok star goes on to share more than a dozen dishwasher do’s and don’ts, though one tip stands out.


“For tall wine glasses, don’t forget to drop your top shelf down before closing,” Babs says before pushing a lever and adjusting the rack.


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In the comments, viewers were clearly shocked that she was able to lower her dishwasher’s top rack.


“I’m sorry… the top rack goes … DOWN?!” Lauran Woolley commented alongside an astonished emoji.


“Excuse me? The shelves do what aunty Babs?!” another viewer wrote.


Before you run to your dishwasher to see if you can adjust the top rack, know that not all units come with levers. That said, a Twitter user recently shared a video explaining that even “old or cheap” dishwashers have an adjustable top rack. Rather than pressing on a lever, you may have to pull out the top shelf entirely, and then place it on a different level.


Some of Babs' other tips include:

  • Don't load your dishwasher with wood objects or kitchen knives.
  • Place fragile items on the top shelf.
  • Face all your dishes toward the center.
  • Put like silverware together to make unloading easier.

Babs has been making waves with her TikTok videos — they regularly rack up hundreds of thousands of views — since she started the account with her daughter in 2020.


“Everything has been a total surprise to me,” she told Today Parents in September. “Sometimes you just can’t plan things. We’re having fun, we’re sharing things and we feel like our followers are family.”


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