Dear Home Ec 101:
My dishwasher just isn’t doing as great a job anymore. I haven’t changed anything: same soap, I scrape the plates, I still use a rinsing agent. What could be going on?
My Dishwasher is a Dud
Did you know your dishwasher requires regular maintenance to provide consistently clean dishes?
- Check the trap for food particles. If food scraps have crusted onto the trap, remove it, soak it, and scrub it. Make it a point to regularly check and clean the trap.
- Examine the spray arm. Are the holes clogged with mineral deposits? Soak the arm in diluted vinegar and use a pipe cleaner aka chenille stem to clean out any gunk.
- Take a good look at the racks, are they clean or has the paint worn off in places? You can purchase dishwasher repair kits that contain vinyl paint and those tips that always seem to pop off the prongs.
- Occasionally, once a month or so, run the dishwasher through a full cycle with 2 cups of vinegar. Start the dishwasher, wait until it has filled, and add the vinegar.
- Alternately you can run a cycle with citric acid or lemonade kool-aid packets, the kind that does not already contain sugar
- Finally, be sure your hot water heater is set to the temperature recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer. If you have lost your manual try Googling the model; many manufacturers now have manuals available online.
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