Tag Archives: Dishwasher maintenance

Why Items in the Dishwasher Rust

Don’t you hate when dishes come out of your dishwasher rusty? If so, you’re in good company.

Your dishwasher seems to be in perfect working order, you’re careful to load it properly and useRusted Items Dishwasher the correct detergent — so why do your pots, pans and silverware develop rust spots?

Actually, rust is a fairly common problem that is (usually) easily remedied. Take a look at three common reasons for cookware rust in the dishwasher.

The Uneasy Truce between Stainless Steel and Rust

No matter the grade of your stainless steel utensils, knives, silverware and cookware, the material is only corrosion-resistant, not corrosion-proof. Steel is a blended alloy of chromium, along with other elements, including nickel and iron ore. The exact blend determines its susceptibility to developing rust.

Stainless steel was created to resist corrosive environments, like the inside of a dishwasher, but mild surface rust is fairly common, particularly for items that have run through multiple dishwasher cycles. In most cases, rust can be removed with a lemon juice soak or a product like Bar Keepers Friend.

Problems with Silverware and Utensil Placement

Rust spots can occur as a result of the way that your silverware and utensils are loaded. If they are too close together, they may not dry properly. In that case, water droplets hide between the utensils, sometimes leading to rust spots. Spoons and forks should never be nested together, as this traps the water between them.

Generally it’s best to place silverware with the handles facing downward, unless they protrude through the holes at the bottom of the silverware basket. Try also to avoid placing two spoons or two forks in a single compartment, if you can help it.

If you have different types of metal touching each other in the dishwasher, electrolysis can occur. This can promote rust development, even in stainless steel. Items with metal fittings, such as some cooking utensils and can openers, can also easily develop rust, which can in turn cause rusting in other items.

Damaged Dishwasher Prongs

Over time, the outer vinyl coating on the tines of your dishwasher racks begins to wear away. This exposes the metal underneath to the wet and steamy environment of the dishwasher, leading to the development of rust on the tines.

This rust can transfer onto your stainless steel cookware, bakeware and even your china or dishware. Fortunately, this problem is usually an easy fix. You can use a product like ReRack or Sugru to cover the rusted areas, or purchase a tine repair kit at the hardware store that contains vinyl repair paint along with rubber tips to cover the tine ends.

Although most problems with rust are easy DIY fixes, the issue may be originating from deep inside the machine. If you can’t trace the problem, give Complete Appliance Repair a call. Our expert technicians, serving North Salt Lake, Utah, and the surrounding communities, will troubleshoot the problem, and in most cases, be able to complete the repair the same day. Contact us today if you have any home appliance problems, including rust on your cookware and utensils from your dishwasher.

Change the Dishwasher Filter for Better Cleaning

Changing your dishwasher filter every three to six months can drastically improve your Dishwasher Filterresults. Many homeowners don’t realize the importance of this routine maintenance task, but it is essential in order to keep your appliance running smoothly.

Your dishwasher will not perform the way it should, and dishes will not get clean if the filter is clogged with food particles. Some filter types can be manually cleaned several times before replacement, but regardless of your model, you will need to change the filter periodically.

Purchase the Correct Dishwasher Filter

First, locate your filter. Usually it is under the drain cap at the bottom of the inside basin, but it may be off to the side. Next, you’ll need to determine what type of replacement to purchase. Some models use extra-fine screens, while others have a triple-layer helix filter. Every dishwasher uses a particular type of filter, and some are brand-specific.

You can find information for your model by looking at your current filter or in your product manual. Depending upon your model of dishwasher, you may need to order your part online rather than purchasing it from a local appliance store.

Remove the Old Dishwasher Filter

Once you have your new filter in hand, it’s time to remove the old one. Start by unplugging the unit or turning off the power to its breaker. This will ensure that the machine doesn’t accidentally turn on while you are working on it.

Next, remove the cover. With some dishwashers, the cover will simply pop off. On other models, however, the cover is held in place by screws.

After you get the cover off, remove the filter. Reach in and grab the handle of the cup assembly at the base, pull it straight up and lift the filter right out of the cup.

Install the New Dishwasher Filter

Before you set the new filter in place, it is a good idea to clean out the area around the cup and basin. Food particles may be lodged there, so take a sponge or rag and gently wipe it out.

Then place the new screen into the cup assembly, being careful to make sure that the water tube remains tightly connected to the cup. Put the cup back into the basin and secure the cover over the housing. You can then turn the power back on and run a full cycle of dishes to test the new and improved performance of your dishwasher!

Changing your dishwasher filter is usually doable if you’re handy, but not everyone is so inclined. If this process sounds daunting or if you don’t want to risk damaging your appliance, contact the experts at Complete Appliance Repair today. Serving North Salt Lake, Utah, and the surrounding communities, we are always available to help you with this and any other appliance maintenance tasks. Call today to schedule your maintenance service and dishwasher filter change.

Top Signs It’s Time to Replace the Dishwasher

How do you know when it’s time to replace your dishwasher? This workhorse in the kitchen has an average life span of nine to 10 years, according to appliance repair experts. Read on for Dishwasherthe top six signs that it’s time to consider a dishwasher replacement.

Poor Draining

Do you see water standing inside the dishwasher tub at the end of its cycle? This can indicate that the drain is cracked or so worn out that it is actually crumbling. Dishwashers work hard for your family on a daily basis, so this type of deterioration is normal. The biggest risk is that water can leak out onto your kitchen floor. This can cause flooring and cabinets to warp and potentially even lead to structural damage, especially if you have a basement.

Cracked Tub

Do you see cracks in your dishwasher’s tub, also called the shell? This compartment keeps the water and soap inside the dishwasher. If it cracks, moisture and detergent can leak out, potentially damaging the dishwasher’s motor and electronic components. It also can allow water to leak onto your kitchen floor. At the first sign of a crack, call your appliance repair professional to determine if the machine is worth repairing. The problem — and chances of damage — will only get worse with time.

Damaged Latch

Do you have trouble getting the dishwasher door to latch properly? This can be a major problem. Most dishwashers won’t start if the door isn’t closed correctly. The problem usually starts with resistance when you try to shut it. As soon as you notice a problem getting the door to catch, request a service call. The longer you struggle with the latch, the greater the chance that the door will warp. When that happens, you must replace the dishwasher immediately.

Unheated Water

Do your dishes feel cool right after going through a wash cycle? This can mean your thermostat isn’t working. The water must be hot enough to efficiently clean and sanitize the dishes. You can ask your repair tech to determine if it is worth replacing the heating system. In most cases, it is more cost-effective to invest in a new dishwasher.

Rust on the Bottom

Have you noticed rust on the floor of your dishwasher? This means that water is collecting there. You can double-check by sweeping beneath the dishwasher and checking for rust flakes. When you see signs of rusting, it means your dishwasher must be replaced soon, before the rust eats right through the bottom.

Poor Energy Efficiency

If your dishwasher is more than 10 years old, you will be money ahead by replacing it with an Energy Star model. This rating indicates that the appliance has passed a number of tests for energy efficiency. For example, newer models use just 5.8 gallons of water for each cycle. Your old dishwasher probably used 10. New models are whisper quiet, while old ones can be obnoxiously loud. The newer models clean much more effectively than older ones and have better insulation, preventing heat and steam from escaping into the kitchen.

If you suspect it’s time to replace your dishwasher, call the experienced technicians at Complete Appliance Repair, serving Kaysville, Utah, and the surrounding communities. Providing a full range of appliance sales, installation, maintenance and repair, Complete Appliance can advise you honestly whether your machine can be repaired or if it’s truly time to replace your dishwasher.

Surprising Things You Can Put in the Dishwasher

Your dishwasher, godsend that it is, is probably even more useful than you realize. In fact, one professional organizer recently referred to it as a “multi-purpose cleaning apparatus.” Having Dishwasheralready covered some things you shouldn’t put in your dishwasher, here is a list of surprisingly helpful things that CAN go through a dish cycle successfully, emerging more sparkly clean and fresh that anything washed by hand. One caveat for these: If the item is not related to food or its consumption, it’s probably better not to include any regular dishes in the same wash load!

Personal Care Items

Toothbrushes, hair brushes, combs and makeup brushes (no wood handles) come out clean and germ-free. Include toothbrush holders and soap dishes while you’re at it.

Refrigerator Shelves and Drawers

The dishwasher is a great way to get them clean and sanitary, and uses less water than hand washing. Check first to make sure your shelves and drawers are dishwasher-safe.

Artificial Plants and Plastic Flowers

They emerge looking like new, but don’t try this with silk flowers.

Range Hood and Stove Parts

Removable knobs and filters, especially those with greasy buildup, are a perfect fit.

Car Parts

Cup holders and removable storage bins are obvious choices for this cleaning method, but some automotive gurus claim to run their hubcaps and lug nuts through with great success as well, adding a cup of white vinegar to make them gleam.

Desk Accessories

Dusty pen cups, business card holders and in/out trays will all do well in the dishwasher, as long as they are plastic. Probably best to skip the stapler though!

Kitchen Sponges and Brushes

Experts say that you should run your dish sponge through the dishwasher frequently, if it’s not spent enough to throw away. Make sure you secure it in the top rack, however — if it comes loose and clogs your dishwasher, you might be looking at an expensive repair. As long as your water is hot enough, running a sponge through the dishwasher is the best way to kill bacteria, since you shouldn’t microwave sponges (despite common belief).


Many people use the rinse-only setting (no soap) to clean potatoes and other root vegetables with the skins on. In fact, wrapping peeled potatoes in foil and running them through a rinse cycle is said to cook them perfectly for mashing. If you’re really brave, do an Internet search for the “Dishwasher Salmon” recipe.

In Salt Lake City and the neighboring communities, Complete Appliance Repair knows how important your appliances are. They are committed to keeping your range, refrigerator and all your appliances working efficiently. If you’ve experimented unsuccessfully with your “multipurpose cleaning apparatus,” their experienced repair technicians can have your dishwasher back to making dinner (and cleaning up) in no time.

Dishwasher Maintenance Hints

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 complete appliance repair and service dishwasher repairtime, 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!