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By Kevin Hartmann October 18, 2021

FAQ: How do I Maintain my Dishwasher?

Appliance care might not be a top-of-mind concern for most people, but it should be! Good news though: a little effort goes a long way. In this FAQ series, we explore proper home appliance maintenance care starting with the kitchen! 

It’s easy to take your dishwasher for granted, but that’s the very last thing you want to do! As an appliance that cleans for you, it may seem counterintuitive that you need to perform preventative maintenance or cleaning, but skipping out on either could cost you. Luckily, keeping your dishwasher in top condition doesn’t require a lot of time or effort — we’ll walk you through it!

Prevent Potential Issues with Careful Use

  • Scrape First Food debris can clog your dishwasher, bringing it to a screeching halt. It’s not just solid pieces you need to watch for, either. If your dishes have a lot of grease on them, dump the grease in the garbage or compost to avoid clogging the sink drain.
  • Load Efficiently Properly loading the dishwasher makes a difference in its cleaning ability. Don’t overload it by packing it full with dishes, pots, and pans in every corner: load it carefully, putting items in the right places.
  • Use the Right Detergent Think dish soap for hand washing will work well in the dishwasher? Think again. Only use detergent intended for dishwashers.
  • Air It Out A hot, humid environment without airflow, your dishwasher is a great environment to grow mold and mildew. Prevent that fate by allowing the inside of your dishwasher to dry fully as often as possible.
  • Run It At Least Weekly Run your dishwasher at least once a week to ensure the motor seals stay in good working order, even if it’s a smaller load.

Clean It Once a Month…to help prevent germ build-up and maintain its efficiency.

  • Clean Filter If your dishwasher has a filter, remove it and clean it off. Food trapped in the filter can impact the dishwasher’s cleaning and draining ability.
  • Clean the Door and Seals The rubber seals around the door rim prevent leaks while the dishwasher is running. Be sure to wipe down the seals and the door with a damp cloth to prevent build-up. A drop of gentle dish detergent is all you need.
  • Clean the Spray Arm Wipe the spray arm with a damp towel. For deep cleaning, remove it and gently clear visible blockages with a toothpick every six months or as needed. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for how to safely remove and clean the spray arm. 
  • Sanitize White vinegar is a great cleaning agent for your dishwasher. Simply place a dishwasher-safe container with a cup of vinegar in it in the center of the top or bottom rack, then run your dishwasher on a hot water cycle to disinfect the dishwasher and break down any residue.

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