5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Dishwasher

Whether you’ve just had a new dishwasher installed or you’re trying to extend the life of your current one, proper maintenance is key. By following a few simple tips, you can ensure that your dishwasher runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

1. Read the manual.

Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t bother to read their dishwasher’s owner’s manual. Not only will this give you a full understanding of how your particular model works, but it will also help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

2. Pre-rinse your dishes.

No one likes finding bits of food stuck to their clean dishes, so save yourself the trouble and pre-rinse them before loading up the dishwasher. This will also help prevent your dishwasher from getting clogged up with food debris over time.

3. Load dishes wisely.

In order to get the most out of each load, it’s important to load your dishes correctly. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this, but in general, heavier items should go on the bottom rack while lighter ones should go on top. Also, make sure not to overcrowd the dishwasher—this will impede its cleaning performance.

4. Use the right detergent and amount.

For optimal results, use a high-quality dishwashing detergent specifically designed for use in dishwashers. You’ll also want to be careful not to use too much detergent—a little goes a long way. Using too much can not only cause poor cleaning results, but can also lead to excessive sudsing and foam buildup inside your machine.

5. Clean it regularly.

Just like any other appliance in your home, your dishwasher needs to be cleaned on a regular basis in order to perform its best. At least once a month, run an empty load with just hot water and vinegar to remove any built-up detergent residue or food debris that may have accumulated inside the machine. Doing this will also help prevent bad odors from developing over time.  Most dishwashers have a filter that helps to trap food particles and prevent them from recirculating.

Over time, the filter can become clogged with gunk, affecting the dishwasher’s performance. Fortunately, cleaning the filter is a quick and easy task that can be done on a monthly basis. Start by removing the lower rack and locating the filter. Depending on the model, the filter may be located in the door, in the base of the unit, or underneath the spray arm. Once you have found the filter, remove it and rinse it under warm water. If there is a lot of built-up debris, you may need to scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Once the filter is clean, replace it and reassemble the dishwasher. 


By following these simple tips, you can keep your dishwasher running like new for years to come. And who knows? You might even find that doing a little bit of upkeep is kind of satisfying after all.

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