With proper cleaning and maintenance a dishwasher will clean your dishes for many years. Learn to take care of yours.
Dishwashers are one of many wonderful time saving devices today. With proper cleaning and maintenance they will clean your dishes to sparkling shine for many years. But in order for a dishwasher to properly clean, it must be cleaned so that it can function to maximum capacity. The inside of your dishwasher should be cleaned every two weeks. Most spray arms will simply lift out for maintenance while other require that you remove the screws. Clear the ports with a pipe cleaner and shake out the arm. The filter screen and basket should be scrubbed with a stiff brush. The tub should be cleaned of all debris and the surface should be thoroughly wiped down. Clean out the detergent dispenser as well.
In many areas mineral deposits will form in your dishwasher. These can be dissolved by pouring a cup of vinegar into the empty tub and running the machine through a complete wash cycle. There is an epoxy coating made especially for repairing nicks in the enamel surface and on the racks of your dishwasher. This can be purchased at most local hardware stores. Go over the surface and racks of your dishwasher and cover any nicks with this epoxy coating. Doing this will keep rust from developing beneath the surface of your machine which is the main reason for leaks. If your dishwasher is not washing properly, begin by checking the water temperature. You can do this by running hot water from your kitchen faucet over a glass thermometer for two minutes. Dishwashers need a water temperature of 140 degrees fahrenheit to 160 degrees fahrenheit to properly clean. Other reasons for poorly cleaned dishes include, over loading the machine, improperly scraped dishes or the machine could be poorly loaded. Be sure when loading your dishwasher that you do not nest dishes inside one another. The water must reach all the surfaces in order to properly clean the load.
When your dishwasher is making a low grinding noise this is usually a sign of low or no water. The door can be opened during the wash cycle to check this out. There should be no less than 1 inch of water covering the sump area, which is the depression around the pump. If you discover that the water is too low, call a repair man to check the timer, inlet valve screen and over flow switch. If your dishwasher is leaking check to make sure that a bowl is not causing water to splash out around the door. If the water is trickling out through the door it could mean the door isn't tight enough. To tighten the door, loosen the screws in the lock strike and realign the strike with the latch to create a tighter seal. If you still have the leak, check the door gasket to see if it is brittle or worn. To replace the gasket remember that all gaskets are mounted with clips, screws or pop in fasteners.
If you notice water coming out from under your dishwasher immediately disconnect the power. Then you can remove the bottom panel which is held on by two screws and check all the hose clamps. If you find the clamps are worn, they should be replaced. When your dishwasher refuses to start first check to be sure the door is properly fastened and then reset the dial or push the buttons. Next check your circuit breakers to be sure the dishwasher is getting power. If everything is in order, you will need to call a repairman.