I have a new dishwasher and the top shelf has several movable brackets on the side. I just don't know what they are designed to do or hold. I'm guessing they are somehow supposed to hold something in place. I just don't see how. Can anyone help. My dishwasher is a Zanussi ZDT21001FA The brackets are on booth left and right sides.

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  • Do you have a manual? If not, you can download one. A quick internet search lists foldable cup shelves as one of the features.
    – Cindy
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 10:22
  • Hi Cindy, I have just tried several different types of cups we have and none of them will hold on to the rack without falling off. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 11:05
  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. If @ElendilTheTall's answer is the best, please click the check mark icon next to it to mark it as correct. Thanks! Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


They are for holding wine glasses upside down by the stem, safely, so they don't fall over and break during the washing cycle.

  • 1
    Hi, I have just tried putting a wine glass of mine in there and it holds the stem perfectly. I will have to buy some more smaller stem wine glasses as most of mine have a long stem so don't fit in. But thanks for the great answer. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 11:07
  • @user3335985 I've got a similar but older Zanussi and the issue with stem length is the same.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 15:52
  • If they don't fit in because they are too high for the overall dishwasher you sometimes can move the whole upper tray into a lower position. Usually they have two sets of wheels to do that. Some models also have adjustable holding thingies that can change the height of where the glass touches them.
    – simbabque
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:52

They have a few functions (depending on design):

  1. They're an extra place to put cups (depending on what height setting the top shelf is on).

  2. They support the stems of wine glasses

  3. They can also be used for longer utensils such as knives (not that I'd recommend it) or spatulas.

(To clarify, "cup" here means a cup/tea-cup, not a large mug example)

  • 3
    The original use is for wine glass stems, at least that's what my manual says, but they are indeed convenient for the alternative uses you list. I also love using mine for hanging mixer attachments from them, they fit there perfectly and don't crowd the spoon basket.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 15:27
  • 2
    @rumtscho very difficult to definitively say what the original intended function was without a lot of research. Likely different companies have taken the idea and adapted it to suit different uses over the years. The makers of your dishwasher designed it primarily for glasses, so yours is for glasses - but this isn't a general answer. E.g. some are made without notches to fit stems into. But i think this is as close as we're likely to get.
    – Niall
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 18:37
  • I don't know if it was an intentional part of the design, but the brackets on mine, when folded down, form a "cage" to keep lightweight items from being thrown around by the water jets.
    – Mark
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 19:50
  • 3
    Just be careful with putting longer utensils in there, as they may hang below the top rack and impede the spinning water thingie (actual nomenclature from my manual...).
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 21:04
  • Sometimes chopsticks or skewers on top.
    – mckenzm
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 21:24

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