Are you putting your dishwasher to bad use? Learn about the most frequent dishwashing issues, as well as how to remedy them.
Dishwasher loading is one of those jobs that you may do without giving it a second thought. You’re OK as long as your dishes seem to be clean, right? Well, not quite.
There are a number of dishwashing blunders that you may be committing on a daily basis that are negatively impacting the performance of your appliance. Some of the things you’re doing may not have visible implications, such as residue stuck to plates or a bad odor rising from the dishwasher’s depths, but they’re still impacting how clean your dishes are and how effectively the machine operates.
Travis Robertson, an appliance specialist with Sears Home Services, discusses the seven most frequent ways consumers overuse their dishwashers and how to fix the issues that result.
Problem 1: The first issue is that you’re using the incorrect detergent
Why it’s bad: It may seem obvious, but dishwashing detergent and dish detergent are not the same thing. Both products clean dishes, although in somewhat different ways. In a dishwasher, normal dish detergent will result in a soapy, sudsy mess.
Make sure you’re using dishwashing detergent.
Problem 2: Failure to use a rinse aid
Why it’s a horrible idea: If you don’t utilize rinse aid, you’ll have two problems. To begin with, it may result in soaking wet dishes, requiring you to towel off dripping Tupperware, plates, and bowls, which is a common dishwasher complaint. Second, if you don’t use it, water stains and a hazy film will form on your glassware as your dishes dry.
A rinse aid, also known as a drying aid, aids in the removal of water from your dishes. It will not only speed up the drying process, but it will also prevent mineral deposits from forming on your glassware.
Problem 3: Not turning on the hot water before starting a load.
Why it’s a poor idea: Just as you should let the water warm up before entering the shower, you should do the same with your dishwasher. Because the device takes its water from the kitchen sink, you’ll be beginning the cycle with cold water if you don’t run hot water before your load. This means your dishwasher won’t be as efficient, and your dishes won’t be as clean, particularly if your pipes are cold in the winter.
Run a couple of minutes of hot water through your kitchen sink to prime the pump. You’ll start the load with hot water, which will make it more efficient.
Problem 3: Overloading is the fourth issue
Why it’s bad: It’s tempting to cram the final dish into the washing before starting a load, but that’s a poor idea. Not only does overloading result in unclean dishes, but it also prevents the spray arm at the bottom of the appliance from doing its function — particularly if the bottom rack is full. Water will be unable to reach the higher dishes, and residual food may be sprayed from the bottom rack to the top. It may also harm your dishes if the force of the spray causes them to collide.
Allow for some breathing space as a solution. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for loading.
Problem 5: Leaving an excessive amount of food on plates
Why it’s bad: While no one suggests washing your dishes by hand before putting them in the dishwasher, too much food left on your plates and cutlery might clog the filter. Furthermore, clumps of food sometimes reappear on plates after the cycle, defeating the objective.
Scrape off everything solid and larger than a penny as a solution.
Problem 6: Leaving no food on plates is problem number six.
Why it’s bad: You would believe that cleaning your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher will make them cleaner, but the reverse is true. Dishwasher detergent enzymes are meant to hook onto food particles, so if you’re excessively excited about pre-rinsing, your dishwasher is likely to function less effectively. It also wastes a lot of water.
Scrape is the solution. There’s no need to rinse.
Problem 7: Failure to clean the filter
Why it’s a problem: Most contemporary dishwashers contain manual filters that must be cleaned on a regular basis. Your dishwasher may begin to smell if you do not clean the filter on a regular basis. It won’t harm the machine, but it may create problems with water draining or flowing in correctly.
Cleaning your filter every a week or so is a good idea.
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