How to Care for your Dishwasher
Common dishwasher problems:
Dishwashers have become a kitchen staple for some households and when it starts to conk out, it can be such an inconvenience. Here are some of the common problems and how to fix them in minutes:
1. Dishes not drying.
Likely Culprit: Not using rinse aid.
Dishwashers are designed to use a liquid rinse aid, which greatly improves drying. Rinse aid also keeps water droplets from forming, thus preventing spots or streaks on dishes during drying. Even if your detergent or tablet has a rinse aid built into it, liquid rinse aid in the dispenser is still recommended. The + dispenser will dole out the rinse aid at the appropriate time to have the best results.
2. Dishwasher not draining.
Likely Culprit: New disposal installed and drain plug not removed.
It’s common in a new installation of a garbage disposal to keep the knockout plug in place. For many dishwashers, the drain hose connects to the garbage disposal, so the knockout plug must be removed for the dishwasher to drain. Contact a licensed plumber to correct the issue with the knockout plug. After removing the knockout plug, make sure the drain hose is connected securely back to the disposal connection. If the disposal was professionally installed, contact the installer to correct the draining issue.
3. Dishwasher leaves spots or film on glassware.
Likely Culprit: Hard water conditions and not using a rinse aid.
White film (hard water) is caused by high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. People who live in areas that have hard water often struggle with white film on their dishes, glasses and the interior tub of the dishwasher. There are extreme cases where the rinse agent and soap aren’t able to soften the water enough in hard water areas to achieve desired cleaning results. In these cases, a dish detergent booster such as Lemi Shine has been known to drastically improve cleaning results.
4. Dishwasher running too long.
Likely Culprit: Low water temp and new efficient design.
Long cycle times can be caused by:
- Not running the hot water in the sink before starting the dishwasher. Turn on the hot water faucet nearest to the dishwasher for a couple of minutes to clear any cold water from the pipes.
- Choice in cycle selection and options: Some cycles run longer than others. Cycles such as sanitize and options like extra dry heat increase the cycle time.
- Household water temperature in the water heater is not set to at least 120ºF.
- It takes about two minutes to heat the water inside the dishwasher 1 degree. Most cycles require the temperature to be 135ºF. If the incoming water temperature is only 105ºF, for example, it would take an additional 60 minutes to finish the cycle.
- If the water temperature is under 120ºF, have a qualified person raise the water heater thermostat setting.
5. Crumbs and food on dishes.
Likely Culprit: Need to clean filter.
Not every model will have a removable filter. Check your owner’s manual. If the filters are clogged or dirty, it may result in food particles on dishes and affect overall cleaning performance. The filters need to be cleaned when:
- Objects or soiled spots are visible on the upper filter assembly.
- There are food particles or soil still present on the dishes.
- Dishes feel gritty to the touch.
- Enough time has passed based on the cleaning chart recommendations found in the owner’s manual.
Caution: There may be sharp objects such as broken glass in this area.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR DISHWASHERS
- Clean Filter – If your dishwasher has a filter, remove it and clean off any food or grime. Food can become trapped in the filter and impair cleaning.
- Clean The Door And Seals. – Dishwashers have seals around the door rim to prevent the machine from leaking while running. Wipe down the rubber seals and the door with a damp cloth to prevent soil and grime from building up. A drop of Dawn will do the trick.
- Use Cascade Dishwasher Cleaner. We recommend using a premium dishwasher cleaner at least once a month to prevent buildup of food residue and soap scum.
- Clean The Spray Arm. – Wipe down the spray arm with a damp towel. We recommend removing the spray arm to clear any blockages with a toothpick every six months. Refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions on how to remove and clean your spray arm.
If your dishwasher needs a repair or some maintenance, we can help.
Schedule a repair today