Your dishwasher may not be integral to the comfort and smooth operation of your home the way that your furnace or plumbing system are. But it sure is convenient. If you’re used to relying on a dishwasher to speed up the cleaning process, even going a few days with it out of commission can be a major hassle. The good news is that most dishwasher problems are preventable with proper maintenance.
Here are four DOs and DON’Ts to keep your dishwasher in healthy operating condition.
DO use designated dishwashing detergent.
Soap is soap, right? Not so much. Using soap not specially formulated for dishwasher use—even hand washing dish soap—can produce an overabundance of suds and foam that will overflow your dishwasher and leak out onto your kitchen floor. When you’re busying dishwashing detergent, opt for powders over gels. Gel formulas often contain chlorine bleach, which can dissolve the seals and gaskets on your dishwasher. They also don’t work as well in hard water and can clog the soap dispenser, impacting your dishwasher’s performance.
DO protect your home from power surges.
A power surge is a sudden, powerful surge of electric current that can damage or destroy any appliance plugged into your electrical system, including your dishwasher. Power surges are especially common during the severe storm season during spring and summer. Installing a whole house surge protector will not only protect your dishwasher, but all the electrical items and appliances throughout your home.
DON’T put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
Yeah, we know how it sounds. What’s the point of a dishwasher if you have to wash your dishes before you can use it? Your dishes don’t have to be sparkling, ready-to-eat-off-of clean. You just shouldn’t be putting dishes that still have food remnants on them into the dishwasher. The leftover scraps will clog the pump assembler, drain lines, and spray arms, preventing your dishwasher from operating properly and/or causing the buildup of harmful bacteria. Scrape any leftover food into the trash before you load your dishwasher. It only takes an extra couple seconds and it will save you a lot of money in dishwasher repair or replacement later on.
DON’T overload your machine.
While you should always wait to run your dishwasher until it’s full in order to conserve water and energy, overloading will prevent your dishes from being fully cleaned and will overwork the machine, causing unnecessary wear and tear that can eventually cause the dishwasher to break down. Overloading can also cause the dishwasher to leak by diverting water from the tank bottom to splash out under the door.
If your dishwasher does give up and go kaput, a Bonfe technician can get it up and running again before your hands even chap from too much hand washing.