Especially if you have a houseful of people, your dishwasher probably seems like an essential appliance. You count on it to keep your favourite coffee mug stain-free and your pans sparkling. But when was the last time you performed dishwasher maintenance? Give back to your dishwasher—and get more years out of it—with the following dishwasher maintenance tips from Mr. Appliance® pros.
How to Know If It’s Time for Dishwasher Maintenance
Any time is the right time for dishwasher maintenance. But here are the signs that your dishwasher needs help now:
- Decreased effectiveness. If the dishes don’t look 100% clean after a cycle or you see detergent residue, your dishwasher probably needs cleaning and other care.
- Unpleasant odours. With all the hard work your dishwasher does, it can get stinky from time to time. But spoiled food odour and mustiness are not a good sign.
- Wear and tear. Visible damage and rust on dish racks, utensil baskets, or the door gasket indicate that regular use without maintenance is taking a toll.
- Leaks. If water is leaking outside the dishwasher, you likely need to replace the gasket or get professional dishwasher maintenance and repair.
- Drain problems. Does water pool inside the dishwasher instead of draining? It may be a plumbing issue. Our fellow Neighbourly brand, Mr. Rooter® Plumbing, explains what to do when your dishwasher won’t drain.
If it seems like you are experiencing continuous problems with your dishwasher, it may simply be failing. Keep in mind a dishwasher usually lasts about twelve years if it’s taken care of.
6 Dishwasher Care Tips to Increase Performance
Not impressed with your dishwasher lately? Run through these dishwasher maintenance tips every few months, and you should always have spotless dishes in the cupboard.
- Deep-Clean Your Dishwasher Once a Quarter
One simple cleaning method is to place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe, open-top container on the top rack of the dishwasher. Set it to run through a hot water cycle. The vinegar effectively washes away greasy residue and musty odours. We have full instructions for dishwasher cleaning right here.
- Fill in Chips with Special Paint
Over time, the rack in your dishwasher may show signs of wear and tear. Chips and cracks are unsightly, and they can also cause rust and harbor bacteria. Purchase special dishwasher rack paint online or at your local home improvement store to reseal the worn-out areas of the rack.
- Check the Door Gasket for Wear
Have you noticed that your dishwasher leaks water from the bottom or sides of the door? As the dishwasher ages, the rubber seal, also known as the door gasket, may weaken and allow water to leak through it. Check the condition of the gasket often and replace it if necessary. This dishwasher maintenance tip may help you avoid the expense of premature dishwasher replacement.
- Scrape Dishes Before a Wash Cycle
While it can be tempting to put super-dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher, scraping away food particles first can help with dishwasher maintenance. Too much solid food and greasy residue can clog the appliance’s drain, spray arm, and other components. Even worse, pieces of food can continue to recirculate and stick to dishes. Make it a habit to scrape each dish first to avoid overburdening your appliance.
- Freshen with the Power of Lemons
With no dishes in the dishwasher, try running a full cycle using powdered lemonade instead of detergent. The acid in the lemonade removes buildup and makes the appliance smell fresh and lemony. Lemons are useful for appliance cleaning, as you’ll see in our video.
- Schedule Pro Dishwasher Maintenance or Repair
One of the most effective dishwasher maintenance tips is to schedule professional appliance service when you need it. Local Mr. Appliance teams across the country solve a variety of dishwasher problems—from leaks to bothersome noises. We can also perform regular dishwasher maintenance to save you time and hassle.