How to Keep Your Dishwasher Healthy

Your dishwasher is no doubt one of the hardest working appliances in your household. But you need to show your dishwasher some regular love to keep it performing optimally so it will reach its average life span of 9 years. Here’s what you can do to ensure your dishwasher is well-maintained and keep doing all the tough work so you don’t have to.

Keep pre-rising to a minimum.

Who knew? While you should still dispose of larger excess food particles into your garbage or garbage disposal, don’t over-rinse any dishwasher items as many of today’s detergents actually require stuck-on food to activate their special enzymes to maximize cleaning properties.

Clean your dishwasher filter. 

Some dishwasher models feature self-cleaning filters but they’re not as popular with consumers as they’re typically more pricey and noisy than those with manual filters. Once a month you’ll need to manually clean out your dishwasher filter, here’s what you need to do:

  • locate the cylindrical-shaped filter in the bottom main tub of your dishwasher
  • you may need to remove the bottom rack before following the arrows indicating which way to turn to remove the filter
  • once loosened, simply remove the filter and use a sponge to clean with a solution of warm water and soap; you may need to gently scrub areas where food appears to be stuck on
  • rinse and then lock the filter back into place

Regularly check for leaks.

It’s good due-diligence to check your dishwasher hoses once per month for any signs of water leakage. At the same time, you can vacuum underneath the unit to keep dust from building up; you’ll need to remove the front kick panel with a screwdriver to do so.

Use a dishwasher cleaner.

Following manufacturer instructions, it’s recommended to run a dishwasher cleaner through an empty cycle every month. If you’ve got some  in your dishwasher, you can add a small amount of vinegar into a dishwasher safe bowl placed in the top rack of the unit and run through an empty hot-water cycle; using too much vinegar can breakdown hoses and gaskets so be sure to use with caution and follow manufacturer suggestions.

Inspect the interior.

Every few months it’s a good idea to ensure the spinning spray arms are free-moving and there’s no debris caught anywhere. Take out the silverware basket and remove any remaining food particles. Ensure the door seal is clean and not worn.

Don’t overload your dishwasher. 

According to manufacturers, you should never overload your dishwasher with dirty dishes. They recommend doing two loads to ensure the rotation sprayers don’t get damaged to keep your dishwasher running smoothly. To save energy, only run your dishwasher when it’s comfortably full and by using the shortest washing cycle.

Problem with your dishwasher?

Before calling in a professional to service your dishwasher, use these self-diagnosis tips:

  • Have the proper settings/buttons been used to turn on the dishwasher?
  • Is the door closed and locked?
  • Is the water shutoff valve underneath the sink turned on?
  • Is the garbage disposal switch (if applicable) also turned on?
  • If your dishwasher is not draining or washing, it could mean the pump needs replacing
  • If it’s extremely noisy, check to ensure the dishwasher is level by adjusting/turning the leveling legs
  • If the water is cold, use a thermometer under the hot water tap to check the temperature; your hot water tank should be set at 140° according to experts

Be conducting regular maintenance on your dishwasher, you’ll be ensuring it will continue to perform well for you and your family. DomiDocs provides an easy-to-use digital platform for all your homeowner needs including a maintenance schedule that comes complete with calendar reminders for maintenance items such as your dishwasher, along with a trusted list of service professionals across America.

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Author – Connie Motz