As we’ve seen time and time again, even the best dishwashers need to be cared for properly. The life of any device is dependent upon its users, and will give you years of service if you treat it properly. To many, these are obvious tips and tricks, but they may bear repeating to get a long-lasting dishwasher that keeps your cutlery clean and keeps your friendly neighbourhood repair-people at bay!
Give your dishes a quick rinse before loading them in order to avoid loading solid foods; your dishwasher will otherwise have to work harder to drain and process large chunks of solid material. Remember to keep heavy things, like pots, pans, baking dishes, and so forth, on the bottom rack of your dishwasher—you don’t want to need to replace the top rack, and the cleaning jets are also strongest and hottest near the bottom, meaning you can want more durable dishware (and more baked-on stains) lower than other items. Reserve the top for delicate glassware and plastic, which should be as far from the heat as possible. Extremely delicate items and ceramics should be washed by hand, or in a dishwasher using baking soda for soap and without using the automatic drying setting. Obviously, don’t load items that aren’t dishwasher-safe. Keep your cutlery spaced out in the basket, and except for sharp knives, keep the handles down.
If you have loose items (like lids, for example), you want to make sure these are secure to avoid them flying about, and you also don’t want anything in the way of the spinning arms, which can damage if obstructed. Check the bottom of your washer and remove any lost items, chips of ceramic, or broken glass before running the machine.
If you can, run the kitchen tap until it’s hot before turning on the dishwasher—this will mean the water used is immediately hot, and thus immediately effective. Wasting water shouldn’t be a major concern here, as a properly used washing machine uses less water than washing by hand, and the more effective your initial wash, the less often you’ll have to run the machine a second time. If you have a garbage disposal, run this as well to clear out the pipes. Moreover, only ever run the dishwasher when it’s full—this will save you money, energy, and potentially years in the appliance’s life.
Always follow the recommendations given for detergent—overdoing it will cause similar problems to if you add too much detergent to your washing machine, and will cause a clogging build-up of soap scum. Too much detergent will also leave behind a film on your dishes. You also don’t have to run the dishwasher on the highest, longest setting every time if your dishes aren’t extremely dirty, so be conservative. If you can, simply let your dishes dry naturally—using the dry function taxes the appliance and takes a lot more energy. You can always use Rinse Aid to hasten the drying.
You still need to clean the insides of the dishwasher for food residues and other gunk. This means unclogging the holes along the spinning arms. For this, you might need tweezers or toothpicks, and you may need to detach the arms completely. You should also manually clean out the drain and the air seal, sponge the door latch and the door seal, and gently remove any gunk from the gasket. Tighten any screws or clamps you find. Finally, let the washer clean itself by placing a cap of vinegar (or lemon juice, or baking soda) on the rack and running the machine on the hottest setting.
There are other tips and tricks to employ, but if you’ve got any problems with your dishwasher whatsoever, give us a call—we’re the people who have your best interests at heart. Eventually, all appliances do break down, but with Toronto Refrigeration on your side, you’ll have your washer back up and running and your plates and cups sparkly in no time!