7 ways to help your dishwasher clean well again

You’ve just run the dishwasher only to find your plates and cutlery are still dirty. Before trading it in, try these 7 DIY ways to help your dishwasher clean well again.

7 ways to help your dishwasher clean well again

There’s nothing more frustrating than opening up the door, expecting to see your dishes sparkle but finding dirty dishes instead. First you question yourself – did you forget to turn it on? But once you dismiss the self-doubt you realize there’s trouble. There are several reasons your dishwasher could be having trouble washing properly.

1. Unclog the spray arms

One of the most common problems with a dishwasher is a clog in the spray arms. The new non-phosphate dishwashing detergents are partially to blame. Hard water is another common cause of these clogs. This is something you can definitely fix yourself.

  • Remove the spray arms and clear the clog using hot water or vinegar. It's as simple as that.

2. Clean your dishwasher regularly

It’s good practice to clean the inside of your dishwasher. Chunks of old food, broken dish pieces and other hidden culprits are often the cause of clogged filters. Old food and gunk will redeposit itself back on to your dishes if it can’t get through the filter.

  • Start by checking the bottom of the dishwasher for debris and remove any you find. The filter should be clean and the reservoir where the water drain is should be clear of any obstructions.

3. Scrub, scrub, scrub!

Clean around all the rubber seals on the door.

  • Any sort of cracks or dried-on food will prevent a proper seal and will cause problems with the dishwasher. You know that old toothbrush you were looking to re-assign? It makes the perfect seal scrubber.

4. Free your soap tray

Check to see that your soap tray is opening properly.

  • Sometimes residue from the soap can cause it to stick and won’t allow the soap to dispense. Your dishes may be getting a rinse, but not a deep clean.

5. Run a rinse

Dish detergent can build up over time and start to clog and cause problems.

  • You can clean out the machine by pouring vinegar into the dishwasher and running it on your ‘rinse and hold’ cycle. This will help clean out any scaling from hard water and detergent residue.

6. Drain the drain line

Locate the drain line on your dishwasher and check to see if there are any issues with the line itself. The drain line is connected to the trap on your sink or disposal.

  • Make sure you’ve disconnected the power to your dishwasher first. If this tube is blocked it won’t allow your dishwasher to drain properly and you won’t get clean dishes.

7. Use the appropriate cycles

If you choose the wrong cycle for the job, your dishes will suffer. Your machine may be working too hard on a cycle that’s too gentle for the task at hand.

  • Considering using a stronger setting only for harder jobs.
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