Your dishwasher is an indispensable appliance that saves you time and effort in the kitchen. To get the most out of this hardworking appliance and avoid premature breakdowns, proper care and maintenance are essential.
In this guide, we’ll share valuable tips to help you make your dishwasher last longer, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.
How Can I Increase the Lifespan of my Dishwasher?
Load the Dishwasher Correctly
Proper loading is crucial to ensure that your dishwasher cleans dishes effectively. Avoid overcrowding the dishwasher, as this can obstruct water flow and prevent dishes from getting cleaned thoroughly. Arrange dishes, glasses, and utensils in a way that allows water to reach all surfaces. Refer to your dishwasher’s user manual for loading guidelines specific to your model.
The best dishwashers use arms that rotate and spray water upwards. Therefore it’s best to place dishes with the dirty side facing downward. This exposes the food debris to the jets of water being fired upwards from the dishwasher’s rotating arms.
Scrape Off Food Residue
While dishwashers are designed to handle food residue, it’s essential to scrape off excess food (anything that could be described as 3D) before loading dishes.
Large food particles can clog the dishwasher’s filter and drain, affecting its performance and potentially causing leaks. Scrape dishes into the trash or compost bin, and use a soft brush or sponge to remove any stubborn debris before loading.
Rinse Aid & Detergent
Using a rinse aid and dishwasher detergent designed for your dishwasher is essential for optimal cleaning and performance. Rinse aid helps prevent water spots and ensures dishes dry more efficiently. Additionally, using the correct dishwasher detergent will prevent excessive suds and residue buildup.
Add Salt (IMPORTANT!)
Keeping the salt level topped up has two significant benefits. The first is that it’ll help your glasses & crockery come out squeaky clean with no watermarks or residue.
The second (& often overlooked) is by adding salt, you’ll keep your dishwasher free of limescale. Once your machine is clogged with limescale, it’s time to get out the credit card a buy a new dishwasher.
Clean the Filters Regularly
The dishwasher’s filter traps food particles and debris, preventing them from clogging the drain or affecting the cleaning process. To maintain your dishwasher’s efficiency, clean the filter regularly. Consult your dishwasher’s user manual for specific instructions on how to remove, clean, and reinstall the filter.
Inspect and Clean the Spray Arms
The spray arms distribute water throughout the dishwasher during the wash cycle. Over time, they can become clogged with mineral deposits and food particles. Periodically remove the spray arms and clean them with warm soapy water. Use a small brush or toothpick to clear any debris from the spray arm holes.
Check and Tighten Connections
Regularly inspect the dishwasher’s water inlet valve, drain hose, and power cord for any signs of wear or leaks. Make sure all connections are secure and tighten them if necessary. Addressing minor leaks and loose connections promptly can prevent more significant issues down the line.
Use the Right Settings
Using the appropriate dishwasher settings for each load can significantly impact its lifespan. Most modern dishwashers offer eco or energy-saving cycles that are gentler on the dishwasher’s components and more efficient in water and energy consumption. Reserve heavy-duty or intensive cycles for heavily soiled loads, and use gentler cycles for everyday dishwashing.
Avoid Overusing Sanitizing or High-Temperature Cycles
While sanitizing and high-temperature cycles can be beneficial for killing germs and bacteria, using them excessively can put a strain on the dishwasher’s components. Save these cycles for when they are genuinely needed, such as during illness or when washing baby bottles and cutting boards.
Clean the Interior Regularly
Wipe down the dishwasher’s interior, including the door, sides, and rubber gasket, regularly to prevent the buildup of grime and odours. Use a soft cloth or sponge with warm soapy water to clean these surfaces. Pay special attention to the rubber gasket around the door, as mould and mildew can sometimes accumulate there.
Address Issues Promptly
If you notice any issues or changes in your dishwasher’s performance, address them promptly. Strange noises, leaks, or declining cleaning performance may indicate underlying problems that, if left unattended, can lead to more significant and costly repairs.
Descale Your Dishwasher
Hard water can lead to mineral deposits and limescale buildup in your dishwasher’s components over time. Keep the salt topped up & periodically descale your dishwasher using a commercial dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water. This will help maintain optimal water flow and prevent blockages in the dishwasher’s spray arms and nozzles.
How Long Do Dishwashers Last on Average?
Most dishwashers only come with a one-year warranty, but when looked after should last 7 to 10 years. With proper care and maintenance, you can extend the life of your dishwasher – saving a small fortune. By following these tips, you’ll not only save money on potential repairs or replacements but also reduce your environmental impact through improved energy and water efficiency.
Treat your dishwasher with care, address any issues promptly, and implement these maintenance tips regularly. The dishwasher will last longer & you’ll avoid doing the washing-up by hand!
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