Home care tip: dishwashers

Is your home just a few years old and the dishwasher that you purchased with your new home is just not cleaning dishes like it used to?  If you feel like your dishwasher should have a few years of useful life left, there are several things that you can try before going out and buying a new one.  Refer to your owner’s manual.  It could be that a slightly different configuration in placing the dishes will give better results.

A general cleaning of the inside of the dishwasher may be in order.  Clean out the food trap.  Look for blockages within the jets.  Sometimes simply removing the blockages with tweezers will give your dishwasher new life.   Look for deposits in areas that may be partially blocked from the spray and clean those areas as best as you can.  Wipe down the door, particularly the edges, and the clean the door gasket.  Sometimes this is easiest to do just after running a load, as the dishwasher will still be warm and moist.

Mineral deposits left by the water can also restrict the flow.  There are several products on the market that are easy to use and effective for dissolving those deposits and passing them through.  With many of these products, you simply place them in the dishwasher according to the instructions and run the dishwasher.

Many dishwashers are simple enough that a mildly-handy person can disassemble the parts, give it a good cleaning, and reassemble with fantastic results.  If you don’t feel comfortable with disassembling the parts, call a service technician and they can do this for you.  Always consult your owner’s manual for proper procedures and recommended products for your particular model.