Like any other major appliance, you can extend the life and improve the performance of a dishwasher by taking good care of it. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to help your dishwasher be all it can be without causing you un-necessary dishwasher repairs.
Periodic Inspection and Cleaning
It seems counterintuitive to clean the inside of a dishwasher, but it is necessary from time to time, as well as to inspect the parts and pieces. With the dishwasher empty, inspect the spinning arms to see if they turn freely. Remove any debris from the filter in the bottom. Use a gentle cleaning solution (white vinegar and warm water works well) to clean around the door, including the gasket. Inspect the gasket for damage or separation. If there is mineral build-up inside the dishwasher, run one cleaning cycle with about one-fourth cup of white vinegar.
Pre-Scrape and Rinse Dishes
Be sure to rinse off your dishes before loading them if you want to achieve optimal dishwasher performance. Newer dishwashers are designed to use a smaller amount of water. As a result, having lots of food particles can easily clog the holes in the washer arms and potentially clog the filter and drainage hose. Some very high-end dishwashers have the equivalent to garbage disposers built-in; however, most dishwashers will become clogged when faced with food particles over time.
Use the Right Detergent, and the Right Amount
Never, ever use any product in the dishwasher that isn’t made specifically for dishwashers (well, except for maybe vinegar). Even a tiny bit of regular dish soap can cause the machine to overflow. If you have soft water, you need only ever use enough dishwasher detergent to fill half of the dispenser, and you don’t need to add detergent to the pre-soak dispenser unless your dishes are really soiled. With medium-hard water, fill the regular dispenser all the way but use only half the amount for pre-soak if your dishes are very soiled. Otherwise pre-soak detergent is not required. If your water is hard however, you must fill both containers for normally soiled dishes to come clean.
Should your dishwasher fail to perform properly despite following these simple tips, it may be time to have it looked at by a professional. Complete Appliance Repair and Service can inspect your machine and determine why it’s performing subpar. Before you know it, you’ll be back on the road to sparkling clean dishes!