Tips for maintaining and repairing your dishwasher
Dishwashers are often thought of as a self-cleaning appliance, so when maintenance is required, more work is needed to keep it running. This makes dishwashers a higher maintenance major appliance, even with our improved technology. These tips should help you decrease the need for costly repairs in the future.
Dishwashers aren't meant to be garburators, misusing yours will increase the likelihood of needing expensive repairs. Food particles can work their way into the smallest areas inside your dishwasher, clogging the unit. Some models can last longer than others without being cleaned, but eventually, parts will start wearing out.
Not all dishes need to be rinsed before being loaded into the dishwasher, as most people think, but larger and harder pieces of food that will not dissolve under the heat and water pressure should be scraped clean before placing them in the dishwasher. Non-edible objects like toothpicks, seeds, paper, labels, etc. should ALWAYS be kept out of your dishwasher.
Always use quality detergents with the hot water in your dishwasher. If the temperature is adjustable, it should be set to between 130 - 145 degrees Fahrenheit (54 - 63 degrees Celsius). These temperatures will help the dishes end cleaner. We also recommend using "Finish" Electro-Sol tab detergent with power ball and "Jet-Dry" rinse agent.
Clean the inside of your dishwasher periodically, we recommend using "Glisten" (Dishwasher washer). You can get it at Costco or Co-Op.
Whether you use a liquid, solid or powdered detergent, it can be placed in the soap tray. If the soap is a quality product, it will get your dishes clean. When the dishwasher is on, water is pumped in from the hot water tank and sprayed all around the inside of the dishwasher, spraying the dishes from all directions. This process will be repeated, while the dish soap is released into the cycle, scouring stubborn food and drink residues from the dishes. Finally, the heating element is activated and the dishes are left to dry at high heat, while evaporating the remaining water off the dishes, draining the water and leaving a streak-free finish.
Using a Rinse Agent
Dishwashers save us a lot of time. Their ability to clean dishes quickly is nice, but being clean and looking clean are very different things. If your area has hard water, it can leave a dirty residue. Rinse agents haven't been around very long and help your dishwasher give your dishes a streak-free finish.
Rinse agents help remove spots and other filmy residues that form on dishes. Dishwasher detergents are abrasive, meant to scour dishes clean and sanitize them. Spots aren't caused by soap, they form after the final rinse cycle. The rinse agent is applied after the final rinse cycle and coat the dishes with a low surface tension solution that makes water slide off in sheets, leaving nothing behind. The surface tension of the water causes it to cling dishes, leaving it's residue behind as it drys; the rinse agent stops it from happening.
If you have hard water spots on your dishes, this simple fix can help you get your dishes cleaner.