For many Central Indiana residents, the dishwasher is an essential kitchen appliance. When you clean and maintain your dishwasher on a regular basis, you can keep it in good operating order and avoid costly repairs caused by negligence. Dishwashers can develop corrosion, clogged spray arm holes, a drain or pump clog, dishwasher door seal leaks, and even foul odors from old food debris if they are not properly maintained.
Dishwasher maintenance may be handled quickly and easily by homeowners like you, without the need to call a plumber for assistance. Midwest Plumbing explains how to care for your dishwasher and keep your dishes clean after each wash cycle.
Keeping the Filter Clean
The filter in your dishwasher prevents food debris from clinging to your clean dishes, dropping down the drain, or entering the pump, where it could clog it. The filter in new dishwashers must be cleaned on a regular basis; older models frequently include self-cleaning filters that do not require maintenance. Keep your dishwasher filter clean to avoid food deposits and the aromas that develop over time as a result of this debris.
Cleaning your dishwasher filter and removing old food debris from the appliance once a month is recommended. These pointers can assist you in maintaining your dishwasher filter:
The filter is normally located at the bottom of the dishwasher’s interior, underneath the lower rack and lower spinning arms.
Check the owner’s manual to see if you need to clean the filter or if your dishwasher includes a self-cleaning filter. If you don’t have access to the handbook, you can check at your dishwasher to see what type of filter it contains. Self-cleaning filters resemble a circular plastic grid or screen, but manual cleaning filters resemble disposable filters used in water filtration pitchers or sink faucet filters.
Remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher from the dishwasher and empty it of clean dishes.
Remove any food material that has accumulated near the filter by wiping down the bottom of the device. Scrub away any stubborn accumulation with an old toothbrush if necessary.
To remove the filter from the dishwasher, twist it to unlock it.
Run hot water through the filter in the sink. Scrub the filter with an old toothbrush to remove sediments, then rinse clean.
Replace the filter in the dishwasher and secure it with a twist.
Before starting the next wash cycle, replace the rack.
Inspect the Door’s Gasket
When the dishwasher door is closed during a wash cycle, a rubber gasket along its edge forms a seal with the body of the device. During the dishwasher cycle, the door gasket seals against the dishwasher, preventing detergent and water from escaping. Damage to the gasket or debris might cause seals to be disrupted, resulting in a significant leak during the cycle.
Check the quality of the gasket surrounding the dishwasher’s door on a monthly basis. Examine the gasket for cracks, tears, or other problems that could prevent it from establishing a tight seal. Your dishwasher will need to be repaired if the gasket is damaged. You can do this repair yourself by removing the old gasket and replacing it with a new one. Alternatively, you can contact your plumber for assistance.
Wipe off all of the gasket’s edges with a moist cloth and mild dish soap. Remove any food particles that have become stuck in the gasket seal by reaching into the rubber folds.
Spray Arm Maintenance
Dishwashers have rotating arms known as spray arms that wash and rinse dishes with clean water. Each spray arm contains a series of tiny holes running the length of it that act as water jets. Food buildup and mineral or soap scum deposits in the dishwasher can cause the openings in the spray arm to clog over time. When the spray arm holes get clogged, the dishwasher is unable to adequately rinse dishes or complete the cleaning cycle.
Upper and lower spinning arms are common in dishwashers. One spray arm is located beneath the upper rack, while the other is located beneath the lower rack on the dishwasher’s floor.
Wipe away debris and deposits along each spray arm with a moist towel once a month.
Remove both spinning arms every six months for a thorough cleaning. Remove and replace spinning arms according to the instructions in the appliance handbook. After removing a spray arm from your dishwasher, use a toothpick to break up or remove food particles, soap scum, and mineral buildup from the jet holes. When you’re finished, replace the spray arm.
Preventing a Drain Clog
As dirt gathers on the dishwasher’s floor, it tends to concentrate around the drain, where it mixes with the wastewater inside the appliance. When there is enough food material in the drain, it can block it as well as other sections of the system, such as the pump. If you have a clogged dishwasher drain, water will not drain as it should. When all of the components in the dishwasher aren’t working properly, the energy efficiency worsens, and the appliance won’t give you the same pristine clean you’re used to.
Remove food debris from the drain area once a month to avoid a potential clog:
- As you service the dishwasher, remove the plug from the outlet for safety.
- Remove the dishwasher’s bottom rack.
- Remove any larger pieces of food from the dishwasher’s floor.
- Remove the drain cover by unscrewing it.
- Cleaning around the drain is important, but be careful not to knock any food particles down the drain.
- Scrub the dishwasher drain area with an old toothbrush if old food bits have formed a crust.
- Rinse the drain cover with clean water after cleaning it.
- Reinstall the drain cover and tighten the screws that hold it in place.
- Remove the lowest rack and replace it.
- Replace the dishwasher’s plug in its outlet and turn it on.
Make Sure Your Dishwasher Is Clean
Spots are a typical dishwasher issue in houses with hard water. Mineral deposits and soap scum can accumulate inside the dishwasher, reducing the cleaning power of the appliance. Clean your dishwasher on a regular basis with vinegar or another appropriate acid to remove buildup and deposits that can make your dishes appear dirty long after a wash cycle has finished.
Clean your dishwasher once a month by following these steps:
- In a dishwasher-safe basin, pour one cup of white vinegar.
- Place the vinegar-filled bowl on the lower dishwasher rack.
- Allow the dishwasher to run for a short cleaning wash cycle with hot water. The vinegar will cut through soap and mineral buildup during the cycle.
- Look for rust on the inside and outside of the unit. Use a dishwasher-safe rust removal spray or cleanser to treat any rust spots you notice.
- Using a moist cloth and baking soda or mild detergent, clean the outer door or stainless steel finish.
- Dishwasher Maintenance Tips for Everyday Use
- Aside from cleaning your dishwasher once a month, there are things you can do every time you use it to safeguard it against damage and repairs.
Don’t let too much time pass between loads. The motor seals and other components in your dishwasher may break down if you do not run it on a regular basis. Every week, run at least one wash cycle.
Use the appropriate cycle for the task. Dishwashers have a variety of cycle settings, allowing you to select the best option for the work at hand. Pans and pots are washed on a heavy cycle, while delicate dishes are washed on a mild cycle. If you have any doubts regarding how each cycle works, consult your appliance manual.
Load your dishwasher racks with care. Place items in the best possible placements so that they may be cleaned thoroughly without obstructing other dishes. The optimum positions on the racks for each type of dish or cup can be found in your appliance manual. If your racks are overloaded, your dishes will not be washed correctly.
Before loading, rinse and scrape dirty dishes. This prevents clogs by keeping excess food debris out of the dishwasher.
Dishwasher detergent is the only option. Dishwasher detergent should never be used from the sink. This may result in an overabundance of suds and possibly a huge leak onto your kitchen floor.
When at all possible, wash entire loads of laundry. Because the racks aren’t as full, you can’t modify the quantity of water or power the dishwasher needs — the dishwasher uses the same amount of resources regardless of how many or how few dishes are in your load. When the racks are sufficiently laden with dirty goods, save running the dishwasher for those occasions.
Plumbing Service in Central Indiana
You may avoid one pricey plumbing repair service call after another if you follow these dishwasher maintenance suggestions! If you have a problem with your plumbing system, whether it’s a dishwasher problem or something else, call Midwest Plumbing for fast, dependable plumbing repair in Central Indiana.