Following these tips will help your dishwasher be energy efficient, smell fresher, stay cleaner, and keep it running smoother for years to come.
- Make Sure Your Dishwasher is Level. If your dishwasher isn’t level, it could leak. To check, open the door and place an air-bubble level along the edge inside. If the dishwasher isn’t level, raise or lower either side by adjusting its “feet” or add a wedge to balance correctly.
- Check gaskets for cracks and deterioration. These are the rubber or plastic seals along the dishwasher door that provides a water-tight seal when you close. If you start noticing water around your dishwasher, it could be due to faulty gaskets. If the gasket is damaged, remove it by unscrewing it or prying it out with a screwdriver. You can get a replacement gasket at a hardware store or order one from the manufacturer. Before installing the new gasket, soak it in hot water to make it more flexible.
- Check sprayer arm for clogs. Over time, food particles, mineral deposits, and other debris can clog the holes in the sprayer arm. It is essential to clean these small holes from time to time to enable the dishwasher to work more efficiently. Remove the sprayer arm periodically and soak it in warm vinegar for a few hours to loosen any obstruction. Then clean out each spray hole with a pipe cleaner.
- Check and clean screens and filters. Your dishwasher should have a screen or filter located near the bottom above the food drain to catch any large food or debris. These need to be cleaned out at least every other week to avoid clogs. Your dishwasher owner’s manual should provide instructions for removing and cleaning the filter. If the filter has holes, it needs to be replaced to prevent harm to other parts of the dishwasher. Also, inspect and clear out any food or debris that might be trapped in the food drain.
- Buy a repair kit. Notice any exposed metal, nicks, or corrosion on your dish racks? These can cause rust and stains to dishes and dishwasher walls. Most hardware stores sell repair kits that allow you to mend worn or chipped plastic quickly.
- Keeping your dishwasher odor-free is also important. When properly installed and regularly used, dishwashers rarely develop problems with bad odors. Most dishwasher odor is related to food, which has collected somewhere in the dishwasher and can’t be easily removed.
- Your first line of dishwasher odor defense is always to be sure to remove large food particles, non-dissolving, and sticky food substances from all dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Also, visually inspect every nook, cranny, and corner of the dishwasher to see if any hidden food has wedged somewhere out of view.
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