A lot of us simply hate the chore of cleaning utensils and dishware, especially if you have a bunch of people in the household. Thanks to whoever thought of inventing the dishwasher, we don’t have to quarrel about this boring household chore.

We tend to disregard the huge convenience that this home appliance gives us until it suddenly conks out and you’re forced to wash the dishes by hand. To avoid all the hassles of a busted dishwasher, you want to make sure that it is well maintained and in good “washing” condition.

Below we list down some simple dishwasher maintenance tips shared by technicians from to ensure your appliance works properly for a long time.

1. Run the dishwasher regularly

To avoid excess buildup of debris and settling of residue in the bottom of the dishwasher, frequently use this home appliance. This also helps minimize the need for thorough cleaning.

2. Use appropriate cycle time

Choosing the proper cycle is important in maintaining your dishwasher. You may save up on water and electricity bills when using shorter cycle but this doesn’t guarantee your dishes are cleaned properly and can also shorten the life of your dishwasher. For example, if you use shorter cycles for dirty dishes, the appliance will use less water and may end up not fully cleaning out the debris from the unit.

3. Make sure the spinning arms are clean

The spinning arms are a crucial component of the dishwasher as it sprays water onto the dishes. If these components become clogged with residue buildup or don’t spin properly, the dishes may not be cleaned thoroughly. Inspect and clean the spinning arms. Remove any debris using a toothpick or a small piece of wire.

4. Regularly clean the drain

All the debris, food, residue and other matter end up at the drain – the very bottom of the dishwasher. Without regular cleaning, these particles can build up and clog the drain. As a result, the dishwasher will be less efficient and may even lead to problems if the water backflows to the unit. Regularly cleaning and de-clogging the dishwasher drain is very important to ensure that dirty water is exiting the appliance properly and to avoid potential problems.

5. Don’t forget the exterior and edges

Aside from cleaning the interior tub of the dishwasher, you also need to clean its exterior parts, such as the edges of the door, gasket, door exterior, detergent dispenser, flatware basket, and under the door. Unlike the dishwasher’s interior, the outside parts do not get washed during a cycle. Most of the time, foul smells are due to food debris and spills that get deposited in the edges of the door. Use a damp cloth and household cleaner to wipe up debris and residues.

6. Wait for the water to get heated up

Use of heated water cleans dishes better, especially during winter. However, water from the faucet doesn’t heat up immediately. It would take a few minutes to get the right temperature. So if you run the dishwasher at the same time as your water heater, it would use cold water for the first few cycles. To avoid this, it is recommended that you turn on the faucet and wait for some time until water attains the desired temperature. Only switch on the dishwasher once the water is already warm.

7. Remove buildup

Tap water contains high levels of minerals that can cause buildup or calcification on the interior tub as well as your dishes. The white or grayish residue that you see on the walls of the dishwasher is caused by minerals in tap water. To remove dishwasher calcification, you can use acid solutions such as white vinegar, lemon juice, tang, lemonade mix or dishwasher soap with rinse aids.

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