October 27, 2022

5 Dishwasher Tips for Efficiency and Longevity

Dishwashers are among the most overlooked pieces of plumbing equipment in modern households. The average lifespan of a dishwasher is roughly 10 years. However, nearly 25 percent of dishwashers fail to operate within the first five years of purchase, according to the major manufacturers.

Much like the other appliances in your home, dishwashers need regular maintenance to function properly. Here are five dishwasher maintenance tips that could extend the longevity of your dishwasher and save you money down the road.

1. Don’t Rinse, Scrape Your Dishes

There is a common household argument about how/if you should rinse your dish before putting it in the dishwasher. Most standard dishwashers have the capability to wash away most things left on. What dishwashers can’t do is dispose of large debris. Bones and chunks of food sent through the dishwasher could clog the drain hose or damage the internal pump. Even though rinsing may be unnecessary, it’s important that you scrape your plate before putting it in.

2. Don’t Overload Your Dishwasher

It’s tempting to want to cram as many dishes in the dishwasher as possible. You may think you’re saving time and money by not having to do two loads but how clean will those dishes be?. Stuffing the dishwasher past capacity restricts the spray heads leading to uncleaned dishes. This may result in having to run the cleaning cycle a second time anyway. If this happens often, the overuse could rundown the dishwasher, limiting its lifespan and leaving you with fewer clean dishes to show for it.

3. Un-gunk Your Dishwasher Door Seal

Perhaps one of the simplest maintenance techniques is cleaning the seal on your dishwasher’s door. This seal can accumulate food particles, hard water and bacteria from the years of use. Cleaning the seal is as easy as taking a rag with white vinegar and running it down the side of the door that meets the dishwasher. Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach when cleaning this part of the dishwasher.

4. Check Your Dishwasher’s Spray Arms

Interior view of dishwasher spray arm.

Possibly the most vital components of your dishwasher are the spray arms. Obstructions in the nozzles can lead to larger issues if left unchecked. Every few months inspect the holes for debris. If a blockage is found, gently remove it with a toothpick or pipe cleaner. Being too rough may cause a malformation in the spray hole resulting in a different spray pattern. If you have a clog that’s more difficult to remove, you may be able to remove the spray arm to clean it. Most dishwashers have a feature in which the spray arms can be unscrewed with a simple screwdriver.

5. Check for Rust in Dishwasher

If the plastic shielding comes off the cleaning rack, it’s important to fix it immediately. Over time the exposed metal on the racks can corrode and rust, allowing sharp fragments to enter the dishwasher pump. Those pieces may build up causing a clog and shutting down the system entirely. To avoid this, apply a vinyl coating to any exposed metal on the racks and check your dishwasher regularly. 

Avoid Common Dishwasher Problems

We’ve outlined the five most common problems with dishwashers. They, of course, can arise at the most unexpected times. If you need dishwasher repair that a DIY afternoon just can’t solve, a trained Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric technician is ready to help. Schedule your appointment today and have clean dinner dishes tonight!

Call  303-328-3060

Schedule Now