Today is National No Dirty Dishes Day. A good day to remember that many of us would have only dirty dishes if not for our handy dishwashers. So what better day than today to share top dishwasher tips to keep your appliances up and running for as long as possible?
Our dishwashers are the unsung heroes of our kitchen. The ovens and stoves get so much hype, but without the dishwasher, we’ll all be stuck washing dishes after every meal. And if there is one thing no one wants to do, it is to be stuck washing the dishes. Why else would over 68% of US households have a dishwasher?
Related: How to Clean A Dishwasher
This cannot be overemphasized. Regular maintenance of your dishwasher, whether personally or with the help of a professional, is essential for both longevity and improved performance.
Consumer Reports state that dishwashers should typically last ten years. However, they also discovered in a survey that about 25% of dishwashers don’t make it to five years, which points to poor maintenance. Giving your dishwasher proper care even as it serves you ensures that it remains in perfect working condition for a long time, leaving you more than satisfied with your purchase.
Regular dishwasher maintenance also ensures improved performance. With time, you might notice a decline in the efficiency of your dishwasher, and that is because it needs a deep cleaning or some parts need to be changed.
Tip #1: Scrape food off your dishes
Note we didn’t say pre-rinse. Pre-rinsing can be wasteful, consuming extra water and energy because most modern dishwashers are designed to handle food particles. Simply scraping off food residue is sufficient. This way, large food particles that could clog up your dishwasher, leading to buildup and unpleasant smells, are removed.
#2: Use the suitable detergent
Use only dish-cleaning products that are meant for the dishwasher. Use dishwasher detergent and rinse aid instead of regular dishwashing soap. This makes for easy dish cleaning as the enzymes in the detergent are well-equipped to properly remove any tough stains, grease, and food particles on your dishes. And the accompanying rinse aid prevents water droplet formation, leaving your glassware without spotting.
#3: Load your dishwasher properly
A dishwasher is built in such a way that every dish has where it is supposed to go. The utensils, bowls, flat plates, cups, and so on all have their place. Make sure to place each dish in the right compartment. Keeping your dishwasher load manageable is also vital so there is enough space for the water and detergent to do their job, especially when cleaning greasy dishes.
#4: Do a monthly deep clean
It is vital that at least once a month, you get in there and give your dishwasher a thorough cleaning. This way, it remains in tip-top shape as gunk, grime, buildup, and unpleasant odors will have no room to accumulate.
Your dishwasher is a friend that you can always rely on to save time and energy with just the press of a button. However, because of regular use, a time will come when it will break down. Here are some common problems you might encounter and how to troubleshoot them, so you don’t always have to rely on a technician for something you could easily take care of.
#1: Your dishes don’t come out clean
Your dishes not coming out clean could be caused by different things. First off, check to make sure that your dishwasher is clean. If you notice any grease or food particles on your dishes after washing them, your dishwasher needs a deep clean. You can use
It could also be because the water pressure is too low or the detergent is too old. If the detergent is too old, change it. And if it’s a case of low water pressure, clean the spray arms with a flexible wire or toothpick to remove any particles.
#2: Your dishwasher is too noisy
Generally, dishwashers aren’t awful quiet, but it could be a huge inconvenience when they get too noisy. Don’t overload your dishwasher so the dishes don’t rattle against each other during the cycle. Also, check for loose nuts on your racks. The problem could also be a defective pump, wash arm seal, or bearing ring. Checking for these problems and addressing them can help resolve the noise. If the issue persists, it's advisable to seek professional assistance or contact the manufacturer for further guidance.
#3: Your dishes and glassware are spotty or cloudy
Use a rinse-aid during your rinse cycle if your dishes are spotty. Rinse aid prevents the formation of water droplets on your plates, thereby preventing spotting. But if your dishes are cloudy, use a hard water detergent or install a water softening system in your home, as cloudy plates or film over your dishes are most often caused by mineral buildup in hard water.
#4: Water is not draining properly
The culprits are usually the drain pump or motor. Check them and replace them if necessary. Also, clean out your drain regularly to prevent clogging.
#5: Your dishwasher smells bad
This means the dishwasher is dirty and filled with trapped food particles and gunk. Clean it thoroughly, and use our dishwashing hacks to ensure that your dishwasher looks and smells fresh.
Sometimes, you might need clarification on what is wrong with your dishwasher. And even if you do know what is wrong, you need help figuring out how to proceed. Call a professional dishwasher repair service in these situations like this so you don’t worsen the matter by trying to fix it yourself. This way, you are sure your dishwasher is in safe hands and will be restored to working condition in no time.
Dishwashers are expensive appliances that are designed to make your life better. Taking care of yours through proper and regular maintenance will ensure that it stays in perfect condition and operates optimally for a long time.