Dishwasher Drama: Maintaining the Machine for New Homeowners

America's Preferred Home Warranty, Home Maintenance

If you love your dishwasher, giving it some TLC will help you get the most out of it. Check out these dishwasher maintenance tips we assembled to help keep your dishwasher going strong!

Regular Use
Your dishwasher is an appliance that works better if you use it regularly. Seriously! While most food particles will get washed down the drain, some will settle on the bottom after each load. Letting them sit too long between loads can cause excess build-up, clogs, and mold.

Cleaning the Cleaner
Here is a quick walkthrough from

  1. Run your dishwasher through a complete cycle.
  2. Inspect the spinning arms for any residual buildup and clear out what you can from the tiny holes with a toothpick or some needle-nose pliers. Be careful not to scratch the arms while doing so!
  3. Clean off the seals along the outer edges of the door.
  4. Brush any leftover debris out of your cutlery basket and detergent dispenser.
  5. Unplug the machine and use your owner’s manual to disassemble the drain on the bottom. Clear away any large food items by hand, and use a brush or a cloth to clear smaller deposits before reassembling the drain and plugging the machine back in.

Ban the Buildup with… Tang?
Some deposits like hard water spots or other stains won’t easily wash away. An acidic substance like Tang powder (yes, the drink mix) or lemon juice can actually help clear those away, or you can use white vinegar. Bleach is an option as well, but stick to the acids if your internal parts are stainless steel.

For powdered options, fill your detergent dispenser and run an empty load. For liquid options, place some in a bowl on the top rack and run an empty load. There are also dishwasher cleansers you can buy off the shelf if you’d prefer, just make sure to follow the directions on the container.

Until Next Time!
Go through these steps two to three times a year with regular use to get the most out of your machine and help it run more efficiently. If you have hard water, you may want to maintain it more frequently to prevent sediment buildup.

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