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Home /  Appliance Maintenance / 16 Dishwasher Maintenance Tips
last_updated_date Last updated: November 13, 2020

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16 Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

PUBLISHED: November 7, 2018 6 MINS READ

In most homes, a dishwasher is one of the most appreciated home appliances. Apart from cleaning dishes and utensils, it uses considerably less water than if the dishes were washed by hand. Dishwasher must be maintained properly failing to which food debris and other deposits would build up after it being used for several times. This buildup can result in poor performance and the dishes coming out dirty. But how to maintain it? To help you, here, we have listed handy dishwasher maintenance tips. 

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

Proven Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

Regular cleaning and maintaining your dishwasher can keep your device running smoothly and provide you with spotless dishes every time it gets washed. Here are some dishwasher maintenance tips that you should follow:

1. Wash Regularly

 Wash Regularly

The best way to ensure that your dishwasher is free from excess buildup is by running it regularly. By running the dishwasher frequently, it will keep debris from settling at the bottom of the appliance. This can help reduce the amount of times that you have to give it a thorough cleaning throughout the year.

2. Citrus Drink Mix

This is one of the proven dishwasher maintenance tips. Fill the detergent holder with powdered lemonade and run an empty cycle. Not only does it freshen up the smell but it powers off mineral deposits.

3. Wipe around the dishwasher door seal

Another popular dishwasher maintenance tips is wiping the door seal of device. Use vinegar, water and a rag to clean around the dishwasher door seal.

4. Eyeball the holes in the spinning arms

If debris is clogged in any of them, use a toothpick or a needle-nose pliers to clear them but be careful not to scratch the arms.

5. Soak the filter

Soak the filter

Most dishwashers have a removable filter at the bottom. Soak it in soapy water for a bit, rinse it off and pop it back in.

6. Empty the Dishwasher

Empty the Dishwasher

It is important to run your dishwasher through a full cycle and empty all the dishes from the appliance This way, you will have access to the entire dishwasher and will be able to perform the necessary maintenance correctly.

7. Inspect & Clean the Spinning Arms

Dishwashers work by spraying water out of their spinning arms onto the dishes inside. When those arms do not spin properly or the holes in them are full of buildup, then you dishes would not cleaned properly. You need to check to make sure that the arms spin correctly and clean out any debris that has accumulated inside the holes with a small piece of wire, or use even a toothpick or small pliers.

8. Clean the Edges and Exterior

Many times the offending smells that you may find coming from your dishwasher may actually be coming from the outside areas around the appliance. This could be from the edges around the door that do not get washed during a regular cycle. This can end up with lots of spills and pieces of food debris that remain on it.

All you have to do is use a cleaner and a damp cloth to wipe up these dirty spots. You can also be used to wash off all of the buttons and the exterior door of the appliance as well. However, other areas and things that you can clean include under the door, the flatware basket, gasket and the detergent dispenser.

9. Unclog & Clean the Drain

Unclog & Clean the Drain

You should know that at the bottom of the dishwasher is the drain and this area can be a common place where food debris, buildup and matter end up. In time, by leaving these obstacles near the drain would end up in a clog. When the dishwasher is clogged, it becomes less efficient and it would make it harder to clean.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher Drain

If you don’t clean your drain properly standing water in the dishwasher can accumulate making it difficult for you to go about your daily activities. You can start cleaning the area around the drain by collecting the biggest pieces by hand, but you may have to disassemble the drain to get to some of the smaller pieces. Here’s how you can do this:

  • Unplug the dishwasher.
  • Take out the screws and remove the cover.
  • Protect the opening to keep debris out.
  • Clean out larger pieces by hand.
  • Clean out smaller deposits with a brush or cloth.
  • Reassemble in the reverse order.

After your done with that you should clean out around the dishwasher drain and ensure that dirty water is exiting the appliance adequately so that your dishes are cleaned well.

10. Use an Acid to Remove Buildup

Use an Acid to Remove Buildup

You can use acid to get rid of the water deposits and buildup in your dishwasher. This is an important step because it can result in dishes that are sparkly and not dingy after a cycle. Choose one of the following acids and run them through a short cycle to get rid of excess scale:

Use These to Remove Build-Up:

  • White vinegar
  • Tang
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemonade mix
  • Lemon-flavored Kool-Aid

Similarly, any powdered substances should be placed in the detergent dispenser and liquids can be left in a bowl on the top rack.

11. Get Rid of Mildew

One last cycle using bleach in the dishwasher can also be helpful if you are dealing with a mold or mildew problem. Unless you have a stainless steel door or interior, bleach can be the finishing touch for a spotless dishwasher that will provide you with completely sanitized dishes every time you run the appliance.

How to Care for Your Dishwasher

1. Clean and Deodorize the Interior

Clean and Deodorize the Interior

Use a warm rag periodically and a household cleaner to wipe the space between the door and the bottom of the tub. Food particles often collect and this leads to the growth of mold. This location remains untouched during the wash cycle. All you have to do is use a pipe cleaner or a sewing needle to remove food particles and other debris from the spray arms’ small holes. At no point in time, should you use a toothpick as the tip can break inside of the wash arm. A deodorizer is designed specifically for dishwashers to easily prevent mold growth and make the interior smell fresh. You can use a rust removing solution to eliminate rust stains.

2. Clean the Filter

The filter of the dishwasher is usually located near the bottom or under the lower spray arm. This filter should be inspected and cleaned. You can also follow the dishwashers owner’s manual for instructions on how to remove and clean this filter. If there are any holes, other damages to the filter then it should be replaced immediately to protect the dishwasher’s pump and motor seals from getting damaged.

3. Repair Dish Racks

If the plastic coating wears off of your dishwasher’s top or bottom rack, you need to make sure that you repair it as soon as possible. Use replacement tine tips, which are available in an array of colors to match your unit’s racks. Also, you can use touch-up paint to cover flaking paint. If it is left alone to rust, then the racks may corrode. However, this would allow small shards of rusty metal to enter your dishwasher’s pump and in time this would leading to expensive repairs.

4. Don’t Overload It

If you are cramming two loads into one load then it will restrict the water spray patterns. This will prevent it from proper cleaning and require you to have a rewash and this wastes water.

5. Repair Broken Components

You should look for the model number of the dishwasher and look for specific repair tips for your model online. There are replacement parts for dish racks, rollers, spinners, water inlet valves, gaskets, pumps and more. Moreover, all you have to do is search for the parts and replace it.

The Importance of a Home Warranty

When it comes to your home, as a homeowner, you would be worried about appliances and systems breaking down at anytime during the year. Finding the right technician can be hard if you moved into a new city. Similarly, you would have to go through so much trouble to find the right replacement parts and pay through your nose for replacements of entire appliances and systems if they cannot be fixed.

Need for a Home Warranty

This is when a home warranty comes into the picture and you can get the best of technicians look after your covered appliances and systems. There are times when you would wonder why you didn’t have a home warranty in the first place based on the amount of benefits that you stand to gain.

The peace of mind that you get with a home warranty is simply what most homeowners look for. Similarly, this will reduce the anxiety and uncertainty that accompany these unwanted events. The best thing about a home warranty is that it covers the costs associated with home ownership. All you have to do is pay for a trade call fee and the repair is free even if the item has to be replaced.

Benefits of a Home Warranty

Some of the list of benefits of a home warranty is as follows:

  • A dedicated, in-house customer service team
  • National network of pre-screened service professionals
  • 24/7 emergency service available
  • Several home warranty plans to suit every budget
  • Over a year of coverage
  • File claims online or by phone
  • No home inspections required
  • No age restrictions on appliances or equipment

If you are looking for a one stop destination for home for home warranty research, reviews, and ratings then you should head on to Here you can get your free home warranty quotes and compare home warranty companies. With over 65,000 authentic reviews, you can look at getting a hands on view of experiences that people like you had with home warranty companies. Moreover, this will help you decide whether these companies are worth your while.

Are you a first time home buyer or looking to upgrade your home? Then you would probably sign up with a mortgage to help you ease your financial burden before shifting into your new home. Try the interactive mortgage calculator and figure out the whether the principal and the interest that you are paying to is within your budget.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher?

    Follow these simple steps to clean your dishwasher:

  • Wash Regularly
  • Empty the Dishwasher
  • Inspect & Clean the Spinning Arms
  • Clean the Edges and Exterior
  • Unclog & Clean the Drain
  • Use an Acid to Remove Buildup
  • Get Rid of Mildew

Is it OK to run an empty dishwasher?

Run an empty dishwasher with vinegar: It’s the same concept as running a vinegar load in your washing machine. You simply toss a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of an empty dishwasher and run a normal cycle. It cleans out old food particles to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh.

How do you clean a dishwasher that hasn’t been used in a while?

Place a dishwasher-safe bowl filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. The vinegar will help to wash away the loose, greasy grime, sanitize, and help remove the musty odor. Using the hottest water setting, run the dishwasher through a cycle.

Why is my dishwasher not cleaning well?

Insufficient water in the dishwasher also can cause poor cleaning. If the float gets stuck in the raised position, the dishwasher won’t fill with water (Photo 3). Another likely cause is a clogged inlet screen or faulty inlet valve. The water should reach or come close to the heating coil.

Are dishwashers covered under home warranty?

If you purchased a home warranty that includes coverage for your dishwasher, the home warranty can cover its repair or replacement. But know that it covers cost only if the device fails due to wear and tear and not due to lack of maintenance. Therefore, make sure you follow the above-mentioned dishwasher maintenance tips and keep your device in good condition.

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