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Simple Ways to Boost Your Dishwasher's Performance

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Simple Ways to Boost Your Dishwasher's Performance

Your dishwasher is probably your favorite kitchen appliance. Not only does it save time and energy, it also keeps everything clean and sanitary. It might seem as if your machine is invincible, but after multiple uses, your "super" appliance can stop working as expected or break down altogether.

Whether you have a newer dishwasher or an older model, there are a number of simple things you can do to keep it working at peak performance for years to come.


Scrape, Don't Pre-wash

Even though all dishwashers have blades to grind up and flush away excess food residue,  over time, leaving leftover food on your plates will eventually cause more wear and potential clogs. Scrape food off plates and serving dishes before loading them into the machine.

Contrary to your mom's advice, don't pre-wash your dishes. Today's detergents consist of an enzyme that reacts with food particles to clean and sanitize. If you rinse all the food remnants off, you'll be left with a chalky film on your dishes.


Proper Detergent

Always use detergent made specifically for dishwashers to get the best possible results. Never use hand soap or dish soap meant for manually washing dishes. Also, use the proper amount  for each load by pouring liquid detergent into the built-in measuring cup or a single detergent pod.

Your dishwasher may have a variety of cycles for cleaning pots and pans, delicate dishware, and sanitizing. Each different setting may require special wash aids or rinse agents. Check your dishwasher manual to determine the correct amount and type of detergent to use for optimum cleaning.


Don't Overload

Although it's tempting to try to cram everything into one load to avoid hand washing even one dish, doing so can leave you with a machine full of partially cleaned kitchenware. Make sure you balance the dishes so the spray arm can reach all surfaces. Also, spin the top arm before running the machine to be sure it spins freely.


Hard Water Issues

Hard water can wreak havoc on glasses and dishes. Consistently spotty dishes and ugly residue might mean you have hard water. Use an inexpensive test kit from a home hardware center to check. Correct this problem by installing a water softener to keep stains and minerals from building up.


Clear Clogs

Keep your dishwasher cleaning its best by cleaning out clogs that may develop in the spray arm and drain. Remove food residue and hard water minerals with a toothpick. Check the drain and trap to make sure they're free from food or other items. You'll find these under the lower sprayer that might require removal of a screw or two. You can rinse out the removable tray or remove the buildup with a towel.


Check and Clean Seals

Even after a few months of use, the rubber gasket around the door and soap door can accumulate grease and grime. Use a damp towel to clean both regularly to reduce the possibility for door leaks and to keep the soap door opening properly. Replace the main door gasket as soon as you notice drying or cracking.


Remove Interior Buildup

A film buildup can occur inside your dishwasher from hard water and heavy use. Clean out the inside by pouring two cups of white vinegar into the bottom of an empty dishwasher. This will loosen food particles and residue buildup. Run a full cycle with no dishes and it will look brand new and smelling fresh when you're done.


Check Water Temperature

Your dishwasher will clean your dishes best when you use hot water. For optimum cleaning, make sure your water is set to approximately 120 degrees. Test water temperature with an instant-read thermometer after running your sink faucet for 10 seconds. Some dishwashers have a heater function but to save cycle times, turn up your water heater as needed.


Regular Maintenance

Your dishwasher can provide years of worry-free performance if you stick to a regular maintenance schedule. When you schedule an annual dishwasher check-up with a professional appliance technician, they will check for proper functioning, wear and tear on gaskets and movable parts, address water leaks, clean internal components, and help spot potential problems before they occur. 


Address Problems Quickly

Regular maintenance can keep your favorite machine running smoothly for years, but taking care of more serious issues quickly will make sure you get the longest life and best performance. Watch and listen for leaks and unusual noises; bad smells can also be a sign of clogs; and dishes that never seem to get fully clean may require a service call from an experienced professional.


Puls Can Help Boost Dishwasher Performance and Increase Life Cycle

Need an expert opinion or a skilled technician to service your dishwasher? Puls has got you covered. We are prepared to provide fast, professional service or installation of a new appliance at a time that's convenient for you.

Regular preventative maintenance can keep your dishwasher working like new and add years to the life of the machine. Low, affordable rates and comprehensive estimates are always provided before we start the work so you'll be able to stay on budget. Convenient, online appointments can be scheduled around your day, including same-day services.

For a limited time, save 5% on all home services, including dishwasher maintenance. Click here to schedule an appointment with a specialist today.

Debbie D.
Debbie D.
Debbie Dey is a professional writer with over three decades of experience in residential construction. Her background gives her a wealth of knowledge about all kinds of home improvement projects, which she enjoys sharing through her writing. She has been a Puls staff writer since 2018. In her free time, you can find her relaxing by the water or cruising with her husband in their sports car.

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