How To Keep Your New Dishwasher In Tip-Top Shape

If you just bought a new home or just replaced your dishwasher, then you'll want to make sure this brand-new appliance stays in good shape for as long as possible. Dishwashers usually last between seven and twelve years, and with good care, you can maximize their working expectancy. Here are some tips to prevent dishwasher issues.

Eliminate Developing Rust

Since the metal components in your dishwasher come in to contact with water, they may develop rust. However, you need to stay on top of any rust issues since they can cause components to fail and may require expensive repairs.

Dishwasher prongs often have a "rubberized" coating over their metal, but these coats can wear down. This exposed metal not only rusts, but it can cause injuries to family members if they puncture their skin while loading dishes. The exposed metal can also ruin your dishes as they are exposed to rust debris. Thankfully, you can cover up these prongs easily.

First, be sure to scrub the prongs with some steel wool to eliminate any loose rust fragments. Then, you can purchase a liquid sealant and paint it right over the metal. Keep in mind that you won't be able to use your dishwasher for about 24 hours as the sealant dries. If you don't want to wait that long, you can easily cap the prong with rubber caps from an appliance store.

Take Care of Odors 

Obviously, your dishes aren't going to smell great going into the dishwasher, but if there are funky smells after a cycle, do some investigating. Sometimes debris from the garbage disposal can flow into the dishwasher drain hose, so your disposal may actually be the appliance with the problem.

If the disposal isn't the issue, you may have some components inside the dishwasher that need to be cleaned off. Soap scum, food debris, and grease can all build up and lead to foul odors. More importantly, this debris can cause extra wear and tear on your appliance since the dishwasher may have to work harder.

Check out the dishwasher filter for any gunk. This filter is usually at the bottom of the dishwasher in the center. Soak it in some warm, soapy water, set it out to dry, and replace it in the dishwasher.

To make sure the rest of the dishwasher is cleaned, put about a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher and run a heavy clean cycle. If odors aren't going away after this, you may need to sprinkle some baking soda in the dishwasher and leave it overnight before running a cycle the next day.

Invest in a Water Softener

Hard water contains minerals like magnesium and calcium, which wreak havoc on dishwashing components — plus, they cause water spots and make your dishes look awful. Not sure if you have hard water? There are some simple tests you can do. If you are seeing water spots on your dishes consider cutting down on detergent levels (to eliminate soap scum) and investing in a rinse aid. If you don't see improvements after these changes, you likely have hard water. Softeners can be attached to your main line and may require professional installation; but, a softener is worth it since it can decrease wear and tear on many appliances.

For more tips on how to take care of your dishwasher, contact an appliance maintenance service today.