How To Get The Most Out Of Your Dishwasher

Posted by capitalrepairs on March 19, 2014



There’s no doubt that the dishwasher has been the propitious saviour of many a modern home. They’re affordable, easy to use, and preclude the inevitable post-lunch argument of who’s going to have to roll up their sleeves and don the marigolds.

And as with any modern kitchen appliance, if you treat it with a little respect and some TLC you’ll reap the benefits of its miraculous cleaning magic for years to come. Here are a few sound words to help with the efficiency of your dishwasher and help you get the most out of it.  

Do An Empty Wash With Vinegar

Usually reserved for a good splash over your fish and chips, this is basically the same idea as running a running a vinegar load in your washing machine.  By placing a cup of white vinegar at the bottom of your dishwasher and running it on a normal cycle, it will eradicate any bits of food and keep your dishwasher smelling fresh.   

A Scrape Is Not A Wash

For many, the concept of washing your dishes before you place them in the dishwasher seems counter-productive. After all, the appliance is supposed to do the washing for you, right?  It’s washing dishes before you wash your dishes. But you wouldn’t want to eat a hearty three-courser and go for a run around the block straight afterwards, would you? That’s why it’s important to scrape off any bits of left-over food before loading up your dishwasher, as it reduces the amount of particles left on dishes when the cycle has finished. 

Run Hot Water Before You Begin

If you load the dishes and run the hot water in your kitchen sink until it’s too hot to touch, the first cycle will be hot rather than taking time to heat up and reach the dishwasher from the water heater.  Particularly useful during winter when it takes longer to warm up.   

Check The Water Heater’s Temperature

Make sure your water heater is set between 120-125 degrees, but don’t adjust it to a temperature higher than that as it will make the water flash dry and not roll of your dishes or remove the leftovers and dirty bits with it.   

The Right Cycle

We’re all a bit strapped for cash nowadays and it’s tempting to reduce those cost of your bills by using a lower dishwasher setting.  If you’re going to do that, make sure you wash all those extra-dirty plates thoroughly by hand first.  

Test The Water

Hard water can wreak havoc on your dishes and reduces the dishwasher’s ability to get things really clean.  Make sure you have your appliances tested so it can be softened if necessary.   

Overcrowding Is Bad

Even if the majority of the work is being done a domestic appliance, it’s still tempting toram in as much crockery and cutlery as you can. Don’t. It’s counter-productive and will end up creating more work in the long run. If you overcrowd, you might as well wash everything by hand – and  that surely defeats the whole point of owning a dishwasher.

Clean It Out

Every appliance needs a good clean out from time to time – and the dishwasher is no exception. Dig deep into the cavernous bowels of your dishwasher and there’s generally a piece you can remove to remove all the chunks of food and globulous leftovers that didn’t make it out of the drain.  There’s sometimes a train you can completely pull out and rinse under the sink, although you might have to use a dishcloth and spot of elbow grease to scrape away some of the more stubborn, clingy residue. 

Clean The Door Seals

Using your dishwasher regularly will lead to a build-up of gunk and grime around the rubber seals.  A good once-over with a damp cloth will wipe away any mild unpleasantness. 

Let Water Do Some Work

A good way of preventing blockages  - and precluding the need for a plumber’s bill -  is to run cold water through your pipes for a minute or so before you use the dishwasher. This will flush away any flotsam and jetsam clinging to the pipes and drains, which could otherwise get sucked into the dishwasher’s drain line and potentially block it. 

These are just a few practical pointers that will extend the lifespan of your dishwasher and help you get the most out of it.

Have you got any other useful dishwasher hints and tips? Share them in the comments.  

Image by: andrea castelli