I don’t know about you, but when it comes to doing the dishes, I throw the dishes in the dishwasher, add a tablet of soap, and hit the start button. I don’t think much more about it.
But did you know there are some things you should be doing before you run your dishwasher and between washes to keep your dishwasher running effectively? Here are some dishwasher tips everyone should know.
Always have a clean dishwasher.
My KitchenAid® Dishwasher has four dedicated spray nozzles in the upper rack that can be placed deep inside tall glasses and bottles to thoroughly clean them. This is a godsend for someone who has two kiddos still on a bottle.
Even though I’m obsessed with my Dishwasher, I wasn’t using it to its full potential until I started reading up and found these tips. First, you should always have a clean dishwasher. It seems counterintuitive that you would need to wash your dishwasher because you are washing dishes in there. However, you do in fact have to clean the appliance.
Soap scum, food debris, and grease can build up inside your dishwasher leaving a breeding ground for germs. A dirty dishwasher does not equal clean dishes, and a dirty dishwasher can reduce the efficiency of your appliance.
To clean your dishwasher, use a monthly maintenance product such as affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner. Place the tablet in the main wash compartment of the detergent dispenser or in the bottom of your dishwasher if you have dishes you’re washing concurrently. Select a cycle for heavily soiled dishes and hit start.
Hard water minerals can cause a white film to build up on dishwashers, especially on the inside of the door. To clean this, use a damp sponge or washcloth and liquid automatic dishwasher detergent.
Check the temperature of the water heater.
For best dishwashing results, the temperature of the water should be 120° F as it enters the dishwasher. Hot water dissolves and activates the dishwashing detergent. It also helps to dissolve grease and dry dishes spot-free.
If the temperature is too low, the dishwasher may not wash well. If the water is too hot, some detergent ingredients do not function and some soils are not removed well. To check the temperature of your dishwasher, turn on the faucet located nearest to your dishwasher. Place a meat or candy thermometer in a cup underneath the faucet. Let the water run into the cup until the temperature stops rising. If the temperature is not around 120° F, you may need to adjust your water heater.
Test your water and consider a water softener or rinse aid.
Hard water can lead to spotting on your dishes. To determine the hardness of your water, call your local water company. If you don’t have municipal water, you can use a home test kit.
If you have hard water, you might consider installing a water softener. A water softener can help your dishes come out sparkling clean and can lengthen the life of your dishwasher. A rinse aid also helps to mitigate hard water spotting and can help your dishes dry better.
Following these simple tips will help keep your dishes coming out of the dishwasher squeaky clean. What other dishwasher tips do you have?
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*