Whether your old dishwasher just doesn’t clean like it used to, or you have a new dishwasher that doesn’t seem to have the cleaning power of your old one, you can increase the effectiveness of your dishwasher with these quick and easy tips:
1. Use appropriate amounts of detergent. Putting too much detergent into your dishwasher can cause residue to stick to your dishes, leaving them with water stains and needing to be cleaned again. At the same time, using too little detergent leaves your dishes unclean. To determine the appropriate amount of detergent to be used, read the owner’s manual for your dishwasher, and follow the instructions on the detergent container.
2. Clean the drain. Your dishwasher may be clogged with remnants of food and other debris. Check the drain for blockages and clean as necessary. Run the garbage disposal and clear it out prior to using the dishwasher as they share the same drain.
3. Clean the inside of your dishwasher. Every few months or so, it is recommended to run a wash cycle while the dishwasher is empty. Grease, food, soap and calcium deposits can build up inside of your dishwasher over a period of time. When running an empty wash cycle, do not use detergent. Let the bottom of the dishwasher fill with water, then add two cups of white vinegar and finish the wash cycle. Keep in mind that detergents differ, and that a washer that does not clean well and has build-up frequently may be a sign that you should change detergents.
4. Check the sprayer arm. Some utensils may be too tall for the sprayer arm to function correctly. That sprayer arm has an important job, but the holes in it can fall victim to calcium build-up. Check to make sure the holes on the sprayer arm are not blocked. If they are, a strong toothpick can work for clearing them.
5. Check the water temperature. If you turn on your kitchen sink, you can easily assess the length of time it takes for adequately hot water to flow. If it takes more than a few seconds, your dishwasher is likely also struggling to clean at the beginning of the wash cycle. Use your dishwasher during a time that hot water will not be diverted through any other faucet for the best cleaning results.