Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

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The dishwasher is one of the most frequently used appliances in your home. That is understandable – a dishwasher is a convenient appliance that saves you a lot of time by making dishwashing a far less tedious process.

However, dishwasher cleaning and maintenance aren’t always at the top of a homeowners’ to-do list because many assume it’s a self-cleaning appliance. But because of the frequency in which it is used, it is important that basic maintenance is performed on a regular basis. A neglected dishwasher can cause costly problems in the long run. Take preventative action now by following these dishwasher maintenance tips and ensure your most trusted appliance is performing well!

1. Regularly Clean Filter

Not cleaning your dishwasher’s filter can lead to debris build-up and unpleasant odors. Take a couple of minutes every month or so and clean out your dishwasher’s filter. Locate your owner’s manual and figure out what kind of filter your dishwasher has. If it’s a manual filter, you will have to take it out and wash it properly to ensure peak performance for your dishwasher.

The filter is located on the floor of the unit most likely below the lower spray arm.  In some models, the filtration system consists of a lower flat filter and an upper cylindrical filter. Remove the filter (the flat one as well) and gently hand wash with soap and warm running water.

2. Reduce Buildup with Vinegar

White vinegar is considered a great DIY cleaning agent for household maintenance. You can use vinegar to clean out your dishwasher to remove any stuck food particles or residual detergent left behind. To do this, place a dishwasher safe container on the center of the top or bottom rack and pour a cup of vinegar into it– then run your dishwasher on a hot water cycle. The vinegar will disinfect the dishwasher and break down any residue stuck inside.

3. Properly Load Your Dishes

This might not seem as important, but properly loading your dishwasher can make a difference in your dishwasher’s cleaning ability. Here are some ways you can correctly load your dishwasher:

  • Look through your owner’s manual to select the right cycle for the items you are cleaning. Heavy cycles are for pots and pans and lighter cycles are for more fragile items.
  • If there is a lot of grease on your plates and dishes, take a few seconds to dump the grease and gunk out to prevent a clogged drain.
  • Don’t overload your dishwasher by putting all your dishes, pots and pans in every corner of the appliance. Be strategic and load it correctly by putting items in the right places.

4. Clean the Gasket

The dishwasher’s seal or gasket is vital to keeping the water from leaking out on your floor. Residue buildup on your dishwasher’s gasket or seal can lead to odors as well as mold. Once a month, use a solution made of three cups of water and half a cup of vinegar to clean up the seal.

5. Check the Spinning Arms

The spinning or spray arms aid in the cleaning of dishes by spraying hot water to thoroughly clean dishes. However, they have holes in them that can become clogged and need to be cleaned out.  You can do this by using a toothbrush to remove the debris or food particles stuck inside.

By following these maintenance tips, you can avoid the costly problems and repairs that come with a malfunctioning dishwasher!

With our team at A Better Home Inspection, we’ve been your neighborhood home inspection company since 1988. Our staff have helped many California homeowners maintain their houses – Please call us at 619-514-4699 and schedule today!

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