Dishwasher care guide - mishaps to avoid

5 min read
Published on
June 18, 2024
Image shows a man in jeans and a blue shirt loading his dishwasher up
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Essential guidelines for optimal performance and maintenance

As a trusted appliance insurance provider, BIG Warranties understands the importance of proper appliance care. Just like any other appliance, your dishwasher requires regular maintenance to ensure it operates efficiently and lasts longer.

In this blog, we outline common mishaps to avoid when using your dishwasher, along with actionable tips to keep it in top condition.

Our top tips for dishwasher care

1. Proper loading practices

Loading your dishwasher correctly is crucial for optimal performance. Overloading can block the spray arms and prevent water from reaching all the dishes, leading to poor cleaning results. Ensure that larger items do not obstruct the spray arms and that all dishes are placed securely, avoiding any contact that might cause chipping or breakage.

2. Using the right detergent

Using too much or the wrong type of detergent can result in residue build-up and poor cleaning performance. Always use dishwasher-specific detergents and follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the correct amount to use. Avoid using washing up liquid, as it can create excessive soap suds and potentially damage your dishwasher.

3. Pre-rinsing or not?

While modern dishwashers are designed to handle food particles, large chunks of food should be scraped off before loading. However, avoid excessive pre-rinsing, as this can be counterproductive. Detergents need some grease and grime to work effectively, so a light rinse is sufficient.

4. Regular cleaning

Dishwashers need to be cleaned regularly to remove food particles, grease, and soap scum. Clean the filter at least once a month to prevent clogs and maintain efficiency. Wipe down the door seals and edges to prevent mold and mildew build-up. Running an empty cycle with a dishwasher cleaner can also help keep the interior fresh and odour-free.

5. Water temperature

Ensure that your dishwasher is connected to a hot water supply. Most dishwashers require a water temperature of at least 49°C for optimal cleaning. If the water is not hot enough, the dishwasher might not clean effectively. Running the hot water tap before starting the dishwasher can help ensure hot water enters the machine.

6. Avoiding hard water issues

Hard water can cause mineral deposits to build up in your dishwasher, affecting its performance. If you live in an area with hard water, consider using a water softener or adding dishwasher salt to prevent limescale build-up. Regularly using a dishwasher cleaner designed to combat hard water deposits can also be beneficial.

7. Inspect and replace parts

Regularly check the dishwasher’s spray arms, racks, and gaskets for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out parts promptly to prevent further damage and maintain efficient operation. Also pay attention to any unusual noises or changes in performance, as these can be early signs of a problem.

8. Don't ignore leaks

Even a small leak can lead to significant damage over time. If you notice water pooling around your dishwasher or any signs of leakage, address it immediately. Check hoses and connections for tightness and replace any damaged parts. Regularly inspect the area around your dishwasher to ensure there are no hidden leaks.

9. Energy efficiency

Running your dishwasher on energy-saving settings can help reduce your energy consumption. Most modern dishwashers have eco-friendly settings that use less water and energy while still providing excellent cleaning results. Additionally, only run the dishwasher when it is full to maximise efficiency.

10. Routine maintenance reminders

Staying on top of routine maintenance is essential for keeping your dishwasher in prime condition. Regularly run maintenance cycles, keep the filters clean, and ensure all moving parts are functioning correctly. Set reminders for these tasks to make them part of your regular household routine.

By understanding these common mishaps and implementing our expert advice, you can enjoy spotless dishes and extend the longevity of your dishwasher. Remember, investing in proper maintenance and care today can save you time and money on unnecessary repairs tomorrow. Trust BIG Warranties to safeguard your dishwasher as well as other essential appliances, and provide peace of mind for years to come.

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