There’s nothing more frustrating than unloading the dishwasher only to find bits of old food still stuck to your dishes. Before you throw in the towel and begin the hunt for a new dishwasher, here are 5 tips and tricks that could help ensure a sparkling finish!
DON’T OVER STUFF: Yes, this sounds painfully obvious, but be honest – do you follow through? We all know how tempting it is to add “just one more” dirty bowl to a load! Though it’s hard to resist, try to avoid overcrowding as packing dishes too tightly prevents them from being properly cleaned. It might be worth it to hand-wash those items that just won’t fit rather than re-doing a full load.
AVOID PREWASHING DISHES: Scrubbing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher wastes both water and time. In fact, most dishwashers are made to handle food debris and detergent needs a certain amount of grease and residue on dishes to do its job! If dishes are prewashed, the extra detergent can create foam that can actually damage some dishwashers. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to get the low down on your particular brand and model.
CLEAN SPINNING ARM HOLES: The holes on the spinning arm should be clear for water to pass through. Use a toothpick or needle nose pliers to remove any built up debris (just be careful not to scratching the spinning arms)
RUN A CYCLE WITH VINEGAR: Vinegar can be a great cleaning product for dishwashers. Add two cups to the bottom of the dishwasher and run a normal, empty cycle. This will remove food particles and help keep the dishwasher smelling fresh.
CHECK THE WATER HEATER’S TEMPERATURE: The best water temperature for washing dishes is between 120 and 125 degrees. Many dishwashers come set to a lower heat, so make sure to adjust accordingly. This will help the water roll off dishes, removing food debris.
It’s true – we don’t think about dishwasher maintenance very often. But it’s a good idea to refer back to your owner’s manual every now and then to be sure you are doing what is needed to keep the appliance in tip-top shape. And following these 5 tips can help to ensure dishes, silverware, bowls, cups and everything else come out shiny and clean.