If you’ve recently bought a home, congratulations. If your new home has a dishwasher, even better. Dishwashers are efficient appliances that save you time and use less water than if you washed your dishes by hand. That’s good news for your water bill!
We’ve put together a quick primer for those of you who haven’t had to keep up a dishwasher before. Your dishwasher doesn’t require a lot of maintenance but these basic dishwasher maintenance tips will ensure that yours performs its best and lasts for years to come. If you run into bigger clogs or problems with your dishwasher, the expert plumbers at Benjamin Franklin are always happy to help.
3 Quick Tips to Make Your Dishwasher Run Better
Let’s start off with the three easiest ways you can get the most out of your dishwasher. By following these simple steps, you’ll be caring for your new appliance and extending its use every day.
- Scrape plates before loading them. This may seem like common sense but chunks of food can gum up your dishwasher. You’ll spare yourself from a clogged drain and a stinky aroma when you open the door.
- Run the hot water faucet before starting. Start your dishwasher out hot to maximize its cleaning and sanitizing power. By drawing hot water up through your kitchen faucet, you’ll reduce the time it takes to reach your dishwasher.
- Use your dishwasher regularly. Frequent use keeps your dishwasher fresh and prevents food or mineral build up problems.
Monthly DIY Dishwasher Maintenance
These are the things you should do on a monthly basis to keep your dishwasher from failing prematurely. It only takes a few minutes to show yours some monthly TLC. Here’s our checklist:
Check and clean the door gasket.
Food crumbs, dirt and mold can prematurely wear down your door gasket. Check yours regularly and wipe it down with a vinegar/water solution.
Check and clean the rinse arms and nozzles.
The plastic arms that spin and spray water are vital to your clean dishes. Wipe them down and check that none of the water jets are blocked. Use a toothbrush, paperclip or toothpick to clear any blockage.
Check for leaks.
Small leaks can turn into big leaks before you know it. As part of your monthly dishwasher maintenance check the door gasket and water supply line for any sign of leaks. You should be able to see your water line underneath your kitchen sink.
Remove and clean the filter.
Find your filter at the bottom of your dishwasher and unscrew it. This is where larger food chunks or broken shards end up. Carefully empty out the contents and clean your filter off before returning it to its slot.
Clean the interior with white vinegar.
White vinegar is an acid that has massive cleaning power. It disinfects and breaks down mineral buildup. Place two cups of white vinegar in a cup or bowl on the top shelf of your empty dishwasher and run it on a normal cycle. The vinegar will mix with the water and clean the entire interior. Important tip: Don’t use bleach to clean a stainless steel dishwasher. It can stain and damage the finish.
Check your dish racks.
The metal shelves that you place your dirty dishes in have a plastic coating that keeps your dishes from getting scratched. If this coating has chipped away, you can get a repair kit to apply a new coating.
Check for clogs.
Still water pooled in the bottom of your dishwasher can be smelly and unhealthy. And you don’t want that water washing your next load of dishes. If you notice that your dishwasher is not draining properly, take out your filter and unclog your drain. If the clog doesn’t resolve, call a professional plumber. Backed up dishwashers are no fun and the last thing you want is water spilling out on your kitchen floor.
Dallas Dishwasher Repair
Hopefully these dishwasher tips will keep your plates clean for many happy years in your new home. If you need dishwasher repair in Dallas, Plano or McKinney, or if you have questions about your dishwasher not working properly, schedule an appointment with Benjamin Franklin. We love meeting and helping new homeowners like you!