Well, it might be time to perform some regular maintenance on your dishwasher. It is one of the most used appliances in your house, after all, so it makes sense that one would need to check on it from time to time. Just because it cleans your dishes, doesn’t mean it cleans itself.
Our helpful Santa Maria plumbers have devised a list of four dishwasher maintenance tips to ensure this important appliance is in tip-top shape.
Clean Your Dishwasher’s Filter and Gasket
If your dishwasher’s filter can’t, well, filter, it’s easy to see why it isn’t working as effectively. Excess build-up in the filter can cause more and more debris to accumulate and even lead to unpleasant odors. Your dishwasher’s owner’s manual will indicate where the filter is located and also steps on how to remove it for cleaning.
Follow these steps every few months with a good soap-and-water cleaning, and it should prevent any nasty build-up. If it’s been a while since its last cleaning, you might need to soak it for a few minutes to remove hardened-on debris – or it might be time to replace it all together.
Also, cleaning the dishwasher’s seal or gasket once a month will eliminate build-up that can cause odors, as well as mold. A dirty seal can also lead to leaks. To clean the seal or gasket, soak it in a solution made of three cups of water and half a cup of vinegar.
Dishwashers Need Washing, Too
There are a number of different ways to clean out the interior of your dishwasher to eliminate build-up of soap scum, hard water deposits and other debris.
Plain-old bleach is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this. Simply fill the dishwasher’s detergent holder with bleach and run it through a cycle completely empty of dishes. Reminder: Don’t use bleach with any other cleaner, especially vinegar.
Speaking of, you can use white vinegar instead of bleach for a more organic solution. This is also an effective substitute for dishwashers with a stainless-steel interior.
Another less toxic, nature-friendly option is to use citrus drink powder mix. Yes, you heard that right. Grab some Tang, Crystal Light or another lemonade-type drink mix, add it to the detergent holder and run empty. This will not only give your dishwasher a lemony fresh smell but eliminate mineral deposits, as well.
Check the Spinning Arms
If the dishwasher’s spinning arms are caked with debris and build-up, those little holes that spray out the water can get clogged. Give the arms a thorough check-up after you’ve run the dishwasher with bleach or other cleaner. If the holes are still clogged, use a toothbrush or something similar to clean out those holes.
Properly Load and Pre-wash Dishes
This might not seem as important, but overloading your dishwasher greatly affects its cleaning ability. Loading your dishwasher to its specifications and selecting the proper cycle for the items you are cleaning makes a big difference.
Also, dishes caked in food and especially grease will lead to more build-up in the dishwasher’s interior and filter. The more you can wash off during the loading process, the more effective your dishwasher will perform.
Following these steps will ensure your dishwasher runs effectively and lasts as long as possible. If you think it might be time for a replacement, our Santa Maria plumbing pros are here to help. Call Griffin Plumbing at 805-934-1949 today!