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Woman loading dishwasher
Woman loading dishwasher

10 Easy Dishwasher Tips That Will Help You Save Money

Dishwasher maintenance is essential. Cleaning your dishwasher and being proactive about early signs of trouble can save you from spending hundreds of dollars on repairs, or even more on an unexpected replacement.

Follow the maintenance tips below to keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape and help avoid costly repairs. 

1. Check The Sprayer Arm.

Sometimes, the way you load the dishwasher can put utensils or plates in the way of the sprayer arm’s rotation. Be sure to check that the sprayer arm has full mobility to rotate after you load the dishwasher and get ready to run a load. The holes of the sprayer arm can also become clogged. If you notice any clogs, simply use a toothpick to dislodge whatever is stuck.

2. Check The Drain.

Look in the bottom of the dishwasher and remove any food debris or clogs from the filter. Then, run the garbage disposal to clear out the drain they share.

3. Check The Water Heater's Temperature.

Make sure your water heater is between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, your dishes won't get cleaned appropriately. If it’s too hot, it can make food debris harder to remove and cause certain detergent ingredients not to function 

4. Test The Water.

There’s a chance that minerals are making your water hard. This includes salts like magnesium chloride and calcium chloride or other ground minerals. It leads to cloudy residue on your dishes and the washer itself. If that’s the case, you should consider having a water softener installed. 

5. Clean The Dishwasher Trap.

In the very bottom of the dishwasher, under the sprayer, is a removable trap that will likely contain pieces of food that didn’t make it through to the drain. Sometimes, the tray will come out completely, and sometimes it won’t. Clean it out regularly.

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6. Clean The Dishwasher Seals.

Over time, your dishwasher seal (i.e. what keeps the water from getting out during the wash) accumulates debris around the rubber. Clean the rubber gasket with a damp towel so the grime doesn’t build up and break the seal. 

7. Clean The Inside Of Your Dishwasher.

Inside your dishwasher, there’s the potential for grease, detergent residue and calcium buildup. Use vinegar to wash all of that away. Run a cycle of the dishwasher with vinegar only (no detergent) every few months. It helps to keep the dishwasher clean.

8. Don't Confuse Scraping With Washing.

Never throw dishes in the dishwasher with food on them. And don’t just rinse them with water either. If there are hard-to-remove food scraps on your dishes, use a utensil to remove them. The dishwasher won’t always be able to remove them, and you don’t want to clog the drain.

9. Don't Overcrowd The Dishwasher.

While you may want to get all of the dishes you can into your dishwasher, you also don’t want to block the sprayer arm and come out with dirty dishes. Organize it well by compromising and hand cleaning a few dishes.

10. Don’t Overuse Detergent.

It’s not always necessary to fill the detergent cup. Some dishwasher manuals will tell you fill it only one-fourth or one-half of the way. Check your dishwasher’s manual.

If you stay on top of these quick dishwashing tips, it will help you keep your dishwasher up and running. A great way to protect your budget from unexpected home system and appliance repairs is to get a home warranty plan from American Home Shield®. Our home warranty plans cover up to 23 of the systems and appliances that you use every day to help keep your home running smoothly. If your covered item breaks down, we'll repair or replace it for you. Dont worry. Be Warranty. 


AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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