It has been estimated that a well-maintained dishwasher can last 15-20 years. This may leave you wondering why so many models only work well for half that amount of time. Most experts agree that it is a lack of regular maintenance that has shortened the lifespan of these appliances so dramatically.
If you want to keep your dishwasher in tip-top running order for years to come, it is vital that you set a up maintenance routine. This includes a combination of regular cleaning, filter replacements, and checking for problems.
When it comes to basic cleaning, there are several things to take care of to keep your dishwasher working well. First, be sure to clear the filter of any debris on a daily basis. Food particles, grease, and grime can all clog the filters, which can stress the appliance. The spray arm, too, can become clogged and should be wiped down daily. Remove the arm every six months and clean thoroughly using a toothpick to get built-up grime out of the small sprayer holes. Lastly, be sure to keep the inside of the door and seals wiped regularly. Built up dirt can wear away at these seals, causing leaks.
Of course, you will want to check all of the seals and smaller parts of your dishwasher every few months for wear and tear. Seals break down; filters clog; and small parts break. If you notice your appliance running louder, cooler, or less efficiently, check for problems right away. Fixing something small now can save you huge repair bills down the line.
Avoiding appliance breakdowns isn’t difficult. Be sure to read your owner’s manual carefully so that you know how to properly use your dishwasher and what special cleaning considerations to take. To help avoid future breakdowns always be sure to:
- Follow the manufacturers cleaning and usage instructions
- Avoid washing hand-painted pottery or china in your dishwasher – clean these by hand
- Don’t overload the appliance
- Avoid stacking metal or ultra-heavy pots and pans on your racks
- Pre-soak ultra-soiled dishes and pans
- Avoid using any items (like aluminum) that could damage the inside of the dishwasher
- Scrape plates before loading
- Run your dishwasher empty once a month with a cupful of white vinegar and on the hottest temperature possible to avoid clogs
Finally, be sure that you are using the right kind of detergent in your machine and the proper amounts. Using the wrong kind of detergent can shorten your dishwasher’s lifespan by making it work harder than it should. And, if you use too much detergent, you could be causing more harm than you know.
One way to check for this problem is to run your appliance empty and with no detergent. About midway through the cycle, stop the appliance and open the door. If you notice suds, then you are using too much detergent, which could be clogging the entire system. To clear out the excess, run the dishwasher empty for another 1 or 2 cycles. Then cut back on your detergent usage.
Dishwasher Cleaners That Work
You may wondering which dishwasher cleaners you should choose. Check out these few recommendations
Cascade Dishwasher Cleaner
Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Cleaner comes in a convenient, single-dose packet you can pop into your dispenser every month. Run your machine on empty at a hi-temp cycle and lime scale, grease deposits, an odors will melt away.
- Cascade has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal
- Helps Eliminate Limescale, Grease, and Odors in Your Machine
- Phosphate Free
- 2 INDIVIDUAL - Easy-to-use, single-does pacs
- RECOMMENDED TO BE USED EVERY MONTH
affresh Dishwasher Cleaner
affresh Dishwasher Cleaner can clean your dishwasher while your dishwasher cleans your dishes. Simply put the tablet on the bottom of the machine and your detergent in the dispenser and run like usual.
- Designed to penetrate, dissolve & remove odor causing residue. Power away lime and mineral build-up that can occur inside your dishwasher. Cleans dishwashers better than bleach.
- Patented tablet design lasts throughout the entire wash cycle
- Safe to use with stainless steel tub and plastic tub dishwashers. Septic safe
- Recognized for safer chemistry by the EPA
- Use once a month to keep your dishwasher fresher and cleaner
Finish Dishwasher Cleaner
The powerful Finish Dishwasher Cleaner Liquid is so convenient to use, you don’t even have to remove the cap. Just peel off the top sticker and place it upside down in the silverware basket or lower rack of an empty dishwasher. Run a heavy cycle to break down grease and mineral deposits in hard-to-reach spots.
- Breaks down and removes lime scale and grease build-up inside your dishwasher
- Removes mineral buildup & hard water film from hard to reach parts like the heating element & sprayer arms
- Run dishwasher empty on the hottest cycle with dishwasher cleaner
- Fights odor and leaves behind a clean, fresh scent
- Recommended once a month or as soon as you notice build-up in your dishwasher
How To Clean a Dishwasher Vinegar and Baking Soda?
However, most people do clean their dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda. Check out the video below!
STEP 1 WIPE OUT THE DISHWASHER
First, remove the bottom rack. With the rack removed, clean out any gunk or large food particles you find by hand or with a sponge or brush. Next remove the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher and clean it in the sink. Now take a rag or sponge soaked in distilled white or cleaning vinegar and wipe the door gasket.
STEP 2 RUN A CYCLE WITH VINEGAR
Fill a Tupperware or other dishwasher-safe container with a cup or two of vinegar, and then place it in the top rack. With the rest of the dishwasher empty, run a cycle. The vinegar will naturally remove odors and help dissolve old detergent and mineral deposits that have built up, and even clear away any grease that could lead to clogs in your plumbing.
STEP 3 ADD BAKING SODA
Once the cycle is complete, you can absorb additional food particles by adding a cup of baking soda, which is slightly abrasive, to the bottom rack and running a short cycle. Once the cycle is complete, the interior of the dishwasher should be completely clean and odor free.