Can you imagine life without a dishwasher? Your sink full of dirty dishes and time wasted on cleaning and scrubbing? Doesn’t sound too exciting. Meanwhile, people face this problem every day just because they can’t take good care of their appliances.
Dishwashers are complex pieces of equipment. Simply plugging in and running them on a regular basis is not sufficient. The average life expectancy of a dishwasher is about ten years. But it can last twice as little without the right maintenance.
In this article, we’ll share several important tips to help you keep your major appliance in top shape.
1. Read the Manual
You may have a habit of leaving the manual in the box or throwing it into the garbage. This may work with smaller appliances that you know everything about. However, when it comes to your dishwasher, the manual should become your guide.
Each major appliance has its own operation and care nuances. If you don’t know them, it’s possible to make an unfortunate mistake. So before you run the dishwasher for the first time, take a minute to read the manual. You may learn something important.
Remember, not all dishwashers are created equal. So even if you knew how to take care of the old unit, when you buy a new one, reading a manual is still a must.
2. Clean it With Vinegar
About once a month, you should clean your dishwasher. Yes, just because water and detergent run through it every day, doesn’t mean it’s always clean. Pieces of food get stuck in places you never expect them to. Meanwhile, hard water residue could settle on the internal parts of the appliance.
A vinegar cleaning can fight all of the above and keep the dishwasher in top shape. Pour two cups of vinegar on the bottom of the appliance. Run the lowest cycle. Halfway through the cycle, stop the dishwasher and allow the cleaning solution to sink in for about 20 minutes. Then continue the cycle.
3. Remove Mineral Deposits
According to appliance repair specialists from Tampa, Florida, mineral deposits can cause irreversible damage to your dishwasher. No matter how clean and fresh your water may seem, it contains tiny particles that settle on your appliances and cause them to break down with time.
You’ll see numerous mineral deposit removal available on the market today. If you want to save money, just use citrus drinks. It can be powered lemonade or other citrus soda liquids. Fill the detergent holder with the drink and run an empty cycle. You won’t just get rid of the unpleasant deposits but enjoy a fresh citrus scent.
Try to remove mineral deposits at least once a month. Especially if you run the dishwasher every day.
4. Install it Properly
The key to the majority of your appliances’ good condition is proper installation. Make sure you hire professionals to do it. Besides monitoring all the right connections (hoses, wires, etc.), you have to check if the machine is leveled.
You can do that by placing an air bubble level inside the appliance. If the dishwasher isn’t leveled, you are likely to experience all types of problems with the machine, from leaks to vibration, and eventual breakdown.
When the experts are installing the dishwasher, double check if it’s leveled. It’s better to ask twice than to face the consequences.
5. Clean Filters Regularly
Your dishwasher has a screen or a filter at the bottom part of the machine right above the food drain. They are designed to catch large pieces of food and keep them from going into the piping system.
You should clean the screen at least once every two weeks. If it stays clogged, your dishwasher may stop working properly. Check your manual to figure out where to find the screen and how to remove it. It should also have general cleaning recommendations. You’ll probably need to soak it in soapy water for an hour or so and then rinse it off.
Look at the filter closely. If it appears damaged, replace it immediately. While checking the filter, inspect the food drain. You may need to remove pieces of food stuck inside.
6. Keep the Exterior Clean
Keeping the exterior and seals clean is the key to the longevity of any appliance. And the dishwasher is hardly an exception. Mix a cup of vinegar with two cups of water. Take an old toothbrush, soak it in the cleaning solution and scrub the seals.
You can use other cleaners to take care of the rest of the surface. However, if you have a stainless steel dishwasher, vinegar is the best choice for cleaning. If you don’t like the smell it produces, squeeze half a lemon into the solution to give it a nice citrus scent.
7. Take Care of the Mold
If you notice mold formation inside your dishwasher, you can fight it with bleach. But only if the machine doesn’t have a stainless steel interior. Fill the detergent holder with bleach and run an empty cycle.
If mold persists, call professional technicians. Your dishwasher may not be functioning properly. Consider keeping it open for about an hour after each cycle to ensure proper ventilation.
8. Ask for Professional Assistance
When you see that something isn’t right with your dishwasher, stop using it immediately, and call for help. DIY repairs can end up shortening the appliance’s lifecycle while endangering your health.
Find a respectable appliance repair service in your area as soon as you buy a dishwasher. This way you’ll know whom to call in an emergency.
Your dishwasher requires your attention at least once a week. It takes less than 30 minutes a month to keep it in top shape. Take care of your appliances, and they will take care of you.