Dishwasher maintenance may seem like the last thing on your to-do list, but routine care can help reduce the risk of broken parts and water leakage down the road. We rely on dishwashers to clean our dishes and cookware frequently, but taking the time to clean them is equally important. If you’re wondering what you can do to help your dishwasher last longer, look no further than these four maintenance tips we’ve put together for you.
Clean the Dishwasher Seals
Dishwasher seals create a tight seal between the washer and the door to prevent water leakage during the washing cycle. The seals are often located on the outer ridge of the inner-side of the door. They also frame the dishwasher unit on the inside. You can identify them by their color; they are often black or white. Once you locate them, use a vinegar or bleach solution to clean them.
Keep the Food Trap Clear
Logic tells us that if our dishes go into the dishwasher dirty, the leftover debris has to go somewhere, right? Most sauces and foods get collected at the bottom of the washer in the food trap. The powerful water spray during the dishwashing cycle loosens food or sauce left on dishes while cleaning. While smaller pieces and sauces tend to sink through the food trap, larger food particles get caught. You need to remove them after each washing cycle.
Avoid Mixing Vinegar and Bleach When Cleaning
You can use vinegar or bleach to clean your dishwasher but never use them together as the combination makes a dangerous fume. One cup vinegar placed on the top rack and run through the hot-water cycle helps rid your dishwasher of grime, mold, and grease buildup. Diluted bleach does the same thing, but you should never use it with stainless steel dishwashers. Ultimately, you never want to use these two chemicals together.
Common Sense Wins
Common sense can go a long way when maintaining your dishwasher and trying to prevent possible malfunctions that need repair. While it may be tempting to load as many dishes as possible into the dishwasher and only run one load, overcrowding can damage several parts of the dishwasher. It is also a leading cause of unclean dishes.
Most dishwashers have multiple cycles for various situations, such as a heavy cycle for pots and pans, and a normal wash for dishes, glassware, and silverware. Choosing the appropriate cycle allows your dishwasher to work more efficiently. It also helps save energy while lessening the workload for the appliance.