“The dishwasher is the most frequently used kitchen appliance, however many don’t realize they are not using their dishwasher correctly or efficiently,” says Colin Jones, Appliance Expert at Appliances Online.
“Your dishwasher should be regularly maintained in order to achieve maximum results and efficiency, as well as extend its longevity.” To ensure you get the most out of your dishwasher, there are five simple things you should be doing regularly:
1. Pack your dishwasher correctly
Plates should be placed at the bottom of the dishwasher, ensuring there is enough space between them to allow water and soap to reach. Cups, glasses, and bowls should be placed at an angle so water can reach from below. Forks and spoons should be placed in the cutlery basket handle down, and knives handle up (for safety). The key is to avoid overloading your dishwasher.
2. Use the pre-rinse cycle and save 9.5L of water
Scraping large food items off dishes followed by running a pre-rinse cycle, instead of leaving the tap running to rinse plates, saves time and water. The pre-rinse cycle runs for approximately 11 minutes and only uses 5 liters of water compared to 9.5 liters per minute under a running tap. The pre-rinse cycle can pre-wash your dishes and loosen any food particles left over.
3. Use your dishwasher programs to maximize results
Dishwashers have a variety of different cycle options and programs, according to your washing needs and are there for a reason. The ‘eco-wash’ cycle is a common cycle available on many new dishwashers and is environmentally friendly, using less water and energy as well as lower temperatures. If you only have a few items to wash, switching to the ‘half-load’ cycle will save you water, energy, and time.
4. Give your dishwasher some TLC to keep it running efficiently
Your dishwasher filters, drain hole, and spray arm should be cleaned regularly once a month, for efficient cleaning and wash cycles. Removing the spray arm is easy to do, and you can use a wire to clean out the holes and remove any hard deposits that can prevent them from working properly.
To clean the filters, remove them and soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. Give them a good rinse under hot running water and place them back in your dishwasher. You can also put half a cup of baking soda in the drain hole to freshen it up!
5. Use white vinegar to eliminate bad smells
Dishwasher odors and smells are generally caused by a build-up of trapped food particles or grease. Place a cup of white vinegar into the top rack of your dishwasher or pour directly into the dishwasher drain and run a short cycle. This will result in a cleaner, smell-free dishwasher, better cleaning cycles, and cleaner dishes.