There are many times when a dishwasher is really put to the test. For some it is during the holidays when you have been cooking meals for family and friends. For others, like those with large families, it is important that the dishwasher work hard all of the time to keep dishes clean on a daily basis. While not everyone is able to use a dishwasher to wash dishes, there are many who rely on them to get through the holidays and other busy times in the kitchen. To keep your dishwasher going strong, follow the easy tips below! These tips will help prevent the need to call for dishwasher repair services.
You may have heard advice from those around you about how to keep your dishwasher running great. Or maybe you have searched online and found tips from experts. While you may have already tried a few of these tips, there are surely some new ones that might have you wondering why you didn’t try them sooner. Go ahead and try a few of these ideas or all of them if you really want to make sure your dishwasher stays like new for a long time to come.
- Use Vinegar to Keep Your Dishwasher Smelling Clean: Just like with a washing machine, it is important that you a run your dishwasher with an empty load once a while to clean out any build up. All you need to do is add a cup of white vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher while it is empty and then let it cycle through a normal wash. The vinegar will help to clear out any old bits of food that may be stinking up your dishwasher.
- Simply Scrape Your Dishes Before Loading: There is no need to wash all of your dishes before you load them into your dishwasher. This is the job of the dishwasher. But what you need to do to make sure that you are clogging up your dishwasher with large pieces of food is to scrape off any leftovers before putting them into the dishwasher. The more you scrape off before loading the less that will be stuck to the dishes after the wash cycle is done.
- Turn Your Kitchen Faucet to Hot Water First: After you load your dirty dishes into your dishwasher and before you start the wash cycle turn on the water faucet in your kitchen sink and let it heat up. When you heat the water coming out of your kitchen faucet, you eliminate the need for the dishwasher to heat the first fill of water into the dishwasher. This helps the cycle to start sooner and is even more important during the cold months with water takes a bit longer to heat up.
- Make Sure Your Water Heater Temperature is Just Right: Many people don’t know that they can adjust the temperature on their water heater. In order to get your dishes clean, make sure it is set between 120 and 125 degrees. Any lower and you may be getting your dishes as clean as they should be but you also don’t want it to go higher than that either. Water that is too hot will dry before it has a chance to get gunk off of your dishes.
- Choose the Best Cycle for Every Load: While many people think that most of the cycles will clean their dishes about the same that is not true. If you are one of those people that put lightly soiled dishes in the dishwasher with those that need extra cleaning be prepared to wash the heavily soiled dishes again. Think about how you sort your clothes for laundering and sort your dishes in the same fashion. Dishes with baked or stuck on food will need more hot water and time to get clean than your average dish.
- Save Money on Rinse Aid: There are many new detergents that include a rinse aid. If you use these detergents in your dishwasher, there is no need to add additional to your load of dishes. Another alternative to buying expensive rinse aid is white vinegar. Simply fill your rinse aid dispenser with plain white vinegar for sparkling dishes at a great price.
- Soft Water is Best: If you have hard water in your home, it is important that you understand how to soften your water to make sure your dishes are cleaned properly. Hard water can make it very difficult to get dishes and it can also be tough on the surface of your dishes. If you are sure what type of water you have, make sure to have it tested.
- Give Your Dishes Space to Get Clean: While it may be very tempting to fit every single dirty dish into one single load so you don’t have to run two loads or hand wash any dishes that don’t fit, it is better for the dishes if you give them space to get clean. When dishes are packed in too close the water and detergent can’t get to everything which can leave one or more items dirty after the cycle is over.
- Keep The Trap Clean: Though not many people know this part exists in their dishwasher, there is a trap under the sprayer in the bottom of your dishwasher that should be removable. Take the time to lift this piece out and give it a good cleaning. You may not like what you see, bits of food or anything that may have floated into your dishwasher, but it is important that it get cleaned. If you cannot take out the trap to rinse it in the sink try using a paper towel or rag to remove any build up.
- Seals Need Cleaning Too: Another place that will need to be cleaned in order to make your dishwasher run its best is the seal around the door. This rubber can get gunk stuck to it easily and should be cleaned regularly. And don’t forget about the soap door as it can get dirty as well.