Simple fixes for 5 common dishwasher issues

Dishwashers are so helpful and convenient that they're hard to live without. Keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape with these easy fixes for 5 common troubles.

Simple fixes for 5 common dishwasher issues

1. Eliminate black marks

Black marks appear on china because of metal items rubbing against the dishware during the washing process. When loading your dishwasher, you can avoid this problem by separating metal items from pieces of china and securing lightweight aluminum objects between heavier objects so that they don't bounce around. That'll keep your china looking bright.

2. Remove stains and deposits

Yellow or brown stains on the inside of your dishwasher — as well as on your dishes — are probably an indication of heavy iron concentrations in your water. To remove these stains, add 125 millilitres (a half cup) of citric acid crystals to the water as the machine begins the wash cycle.  Another option is to use a special compound to remove rust from a water softener's resin beads; check your local appliance dealer and follow the manufacturer's instructions. A permanent solution would require installing an iron filter on your incoming water supply.

If you've discovered chalky deposits in your dishwasher, start the machine without dishes or a detergent, using the rinse-and-hold cycle. While the machine begins to fill, add 250 millilitres (one cup) of white vinegar and let the cycle finish. Then add detergent (just as you would for a regular load) and run the empty machine through a full wash-and-dry cycle to complete the cleaning.

3. Minimize unwanted odours

If you don't use your dishwasher daily, you can keep it from smelling by tossing a handful of baking soda into the bottom between washes. The baking soda will absorb any residual odours and keep your appliance smelling clean.

4. Unstick the dish rack

If your dish rack tends to stick, the rollers may be jammed. To fix this, turn the rollers by hand to loosen them. If they are worn or no longer round, replace them. Some rollers can be removed by taking out screws while others pull right off.

If, on the other hand, a rack is sticking because it's bent, you'll need to replace it. On many machines, you can lift out a rack just by pulling and tilting it. On others, however, you'll first have to take out the pins that hold the rack to the sides of the dishwasher. The rack should then move easily.

5. Repair chipped prongs

Over time, the prongs on a dishwasher rack can erode and chip. To fix this, check local appliance stores for a jar of liquid vinyl. It should come with a brush applicator for coating the damaged ends. Use steel wool to remove any rust before applying the vinyl.

If you need to replace the rack with a new one, your local retailer or service person will need the make and model number of your dishwasher to order one for you.

Have dishes that sparkle

Washing your dishes by hand is time-consuming and uses a lot of water. These easy fixes will help you steer clear of the sink and keep your dishwasher running at its best.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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