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Plumbing Appliances: Dishwasher Maintenance

Plumbing Appliances: Dishwasher Maintenance

Cleaning your dishwasher might seem like a strange idea. Why should you clean an appliance that cleans dishes? Shouldn’t it be self cleaning? The simple answer is no. Over time the dirt, grime and food particles removed from your dishes can build up inside your appliance, reducing your unit’s effectiveness at cleaning your dirty dishes and reducing its lifespan. Cleaning your dishwasher from time to time can help ensure that you’re getting the most out of your appliance.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher doesn’t require any specialized cleaners or tools. Most of the time it simply requires common household supplies and a little bit of elbow grease. Start with the outside: grab a soft sponge with some soap and water and clean the outside of your dishwasher. If your appliance is stainless steel, use a cleaning product designed to clean the surface that won’t leave streaks. Use a toothbrush to clean in between knobs, buttons and other hard to reach areas.

When you first open up your dishwasher, begin the cleaning process by removing the various racks and holders and clearing them of leftover debris. You can hand wash the racks and compartments with soap and water. With the racks removed and cleaned it’s time to turn your attention to the basin of the appliance. Start by wiping away and loose grime, and food particles with a paper towel. Using a semi-stiff brush you can scrub the sprayer arms with soap. If you notice mineral deposits along the water outlets and spray arms use vinegar and a brush to help break up stubborn deposits, use a toothpick or toothbrush to get into those touch to reach spots. If your dishwasher is equipped with a filter or food trap follow the manufacturer manual to ensure it’s properly cleaned out. The next stop on our cleaning journey involves cleaning the door gaskets with hot water and soap. Using a brush, scrub along the entirety of the gasket, if you notice mold or mildew you can use a light bleach solution (typically 1 tablespoon of bleach combined with a ½ gallon of warm water) to scrub the gasket and rinse it away with freshwater.

With the hard part over it’s time to reassemble your dishwasher. Replace all the racks and trays to their proper place. Now fill up a cup with white vinegar and place it on the top rack and run your appliance through a full hot cycle. After the cycle is finished, give your dishwasher time to cool down a little bit so you don’t burn yourself. Using a towel, wipe away any remaining dirt and grime left along the walls and basin. When you’re finished, spread a thin layer of baking soda along the bottom and run your dishwasher on hot again.

Maintaining your appliances isn’t the most glamorous chore but it’s a necessary task if you want to maximize their efficiency and longevity. If you take care of your appliances, they will take care of you.

Keep An Eye Out For Potential Plumbing Problems

As you take the time to monitor your appliances, also take a look around for signs of water damage. Undetected leaks allow moisture to collect which can lead to excessive damage down the road. If you suspect a leak, contact the leak detection professionals at The Plumber today by calling (716) 894-4382 to schedule your next service call.