Dishwashers are easily one of the best innovations of our modern lives. Put your dirty dishes in and a short time later they’re clean and sparkling without any effort on your part. But have you ever put any thought or time into keeping your dishwasher in good working order? Here’s what you should be doing on the regular in order to keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape.
Clean your dishwasher every three months
It may seem counterintuitive, but your dishwasher does need cleaning every now again. The machine that’s responsible for keeping your dishes clean will accumulate dirt and gunk over time. Experts recommend using a dishwasher cleaner every three months if you’re an average user. It’s as simple as dropping in a cleaning tablet and running the dishwasher empty.
Spot clean components
Even if you do use a cleaning tablet on your dishwasher, you should also spot clean its components when needed. First, consult the owner’s manual so you know where each of these components is located and how to clean them properly. You’ll want to wipe down the spray arm and clean blockages with a toothpick. Then wipe down the door and the rubber seals around the door with a little dishwashing detergent and water. Finally, remove and clean the filter if your dishwasher has one. Food can often get trapped in the filter which will make your machine run less effectively.
Load it properly
You could easily write a manifesto based on how to load a dishwasher. There are many different ways to load your dishes in order for them to come out sparkling clean. But according to Consumer Reports, the first thing you should do is look at the owner’s manual. It may have specific advice about how to load your dishes. Otherwise, place glasses, cups, small bowls, and plastics on the top rack. Plates, serving bowls, and other large items belong on the bottom rack. The largest items should be placed on the sides so they don’t block the water sprayer. Don’t crowd your dishes, and don’t worry about pre-rinsing. Most dishwashers have sensors that will make adjustments based on how dirty your dishes are. Finally, unload the bottom rack first so that water that has collected on the top rack doesn’t splash down on them.
Consider using tablets
Many people swear by using dishwasher tablets when cleaning their dishes. Powders and gels tend to wash away quickly. But tablets dissolve slowly throughout the entire cleaning cycle. That means they’re more effective at getting your dishes really clean.
Know when to replace it
Finally, know when to replace your dishwasher. First of all, if your dishwasher is more than 10 years old you should consider replacing it. New dishwashers are incredibly efficient and use much less water. Otherwise, think about replacing your dishwasher when the control panel stops working, when the spray arm doesn’t turn, when your dishes consistently come out dirty, or when the machine dies mid-cycle. You should also consider replacing your dishwasher if repair costs are more than 50 percent of the cost of a new machine.