We rely on our dishwasher on a regular basis. This modern convenience that we often take for granted brings comfort to our lives and makes it a little easier to get through the day. But when it breaks down, household chores can seem difficult to manage. Fortunately, a simple maintenance routine can prevent costly and inconvenient breakdowns. Here are a few reasons why you should maintain your dishwasher.
Why Maintain Your Dishwasher Properly
Improve Appliance Efficiency
Appliances that work harder use more energy and take additional cycles. Fortunately, small routine maintenance can help you catch little things that significantly impact efficiency. For example, cleaning the filter or checking the sprayer arm can make all the difference in allowing your dishwasher to work efficiently.
The harder dishwashers have to work, the more energy and money they require. High energy costs typically indicate that the appliances in your home need maintenance or repair. Wear and tear can negatively affect efficiency. Common culprits are clogged filters, blocked ducts or tubes, and faulty sensors. Fortunately, seasonal tune-ups and routine appliance maintenance will ensure your dishwasher runs as efficiently as possible while keeping your energy bills to a minimum. Plus, you’ll save money on costly repairs and replacements.
Increase the Lifespan
When certain parts fail, it can cause more strain on the other parts. A straightforward and inexpensive fix can quickly turn into a much larger problem. Fortunately, a few minutes of preventative upkeep will help you avoid complete appliance replacement. The lifespan of your appliances is directly related to proper care.
Properly maintaining your home’s appliances will ensure property safety. For example, a dishwasher that isn’t draining properly can flood your kitchen, putting a major dent in your wallet. Plus, standing water can be dangerous and make you vulnerable to infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries.
How to Maintain Your Dishwasher
The good news is that you don’t need to be an appliance repair technician to keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape – just a bit of common sense. Following these simple tips will save you money and unnecessary stress and help you extend the life of your appliances.
Clean the Filter
A dishwasher filter is made to trap leftover grime and food. To avoid being clogged, you should clean it at least once a month. In most cases, you can find the filter assembly in the bottom corner. Once you find the filter, turn it counter-clockwise and lift it straight up. Next, remove the coarse mesh filter and clean it with soap and warm water. Once the filter is clean and clear of food particles, slide in the coarse mesh filter followed by the cylindrical filter. Make sure it’s properly installed by giving it a slight tug.
Remove Food in the Sprayer Arm
Your dishwasher’s sprayer arm should also be free of food particles and other debris. To clean, remove the arm and place it into a water and vinegar solution. Allow it to soak until the grime softens. Rinse with warm water and reinstall it in your dishwasher.
Use the Right Kind of Dish Detergent
It’s crucial to use high-quality dishwasher detergent, including Finish or Cascade pods, pouches, or tablets. Not only are they efficient in breaking apart food particles, but they also help the dishwasher operate more efficiently. As a general rule of thumb, we advise against liquid detergent, as it can cling to the gears and parts inside the dishwasher, causing them to malfunction. Instead, we recommend using Finish Quantum or Finish Max in 1. Although they run on the pricier side, they’re the best in protecting your machine. You can also save money when buying bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco.
Practice Proper Loading Techniques
The easiest way to maintain a healthy dishwasher is to follow proper loading techniques. Although each dishwasher’s manual has specific instructions for loading, the following tips are universally applicable.
Always scrape leftover food or anything solid into the trash before loading your dishes into the dishwasher. While it may seem counterintuitive, there is no need to pre-rinse your dishes. Many modern dishwashers have a built-in soil sensor that reads the amount of dirt on your dishes and how long a wash cycle needs to be to get them clean. Plus, a suitable detergent helps break down food into smaller particles.
After pre-rinsing, you’ll need to load according to the type of dish. We recommend placing plates, pots, and other large dishes on the bottom rack where heat and water pressure are most intense. Load bowls, cups, glasses, dishwasher-safe Tupperware, and large utensils in the top rack. You should place all smaller utensils into the silverware rack. Finally, consider handwashing knives, wood, brass, cast iron pans, china, and crystal in the dishwasher.
A little TLC and routine maintenance can go a long way toward a healthy and efficient dishwasher. Inspections, regular maintenance, and education of overall operations will keep your dishwasher running smoothly, ensuring clean dishes after each load.
Call in the Appliance Repair Pros at iFiX
A dishwasher is a complex machine. If you’ve given your dishwasher proper maintenance and care and it’s still malfunctioning, call our locally-owned and operated appliance repair service at 435.241.3600 for all your dishwasher needs.
At iFiX, we believe in treating each home like our own. So you can rest assured knowing that our technicians are honest, reliable, and dependable. We work hard to provide our customers with the best appliance repair possible. We are in the business of keeping people happy, and we’re here to help.
If this article helped you extend the life of your dishwasher, please share it or leave a comment below!
It stood out to me when you mentioned that the filter in a dishwasher needs to be cleaned at least once a week. My wife and I have lived in our home for almost nine months now and we have never cleaned the filter. We don’t know how to find the filter in our dishwasher, so it might be a good idea for us to find an expert that can help us.