boise dishwasher repair

What to Do When Your Dishwasher Isn’t Cleaning

Is your dishwasher not cleaning dishes as well as it used to? Don’t despair! Before you call a technician, there are a few simple things you can try to get your dishes sparkling again.

Vinegar: Your Dishwasher’s Cleaning Ally!

Facing a grimy dishwasher with less-than-sparkling results? Don’t despair! For minor clogs and built-up gunk caused by food particles and hard water, a simple vinegar cycle can be your saving grace. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Empty the dishwasher completely. This ensures the vinegar reaches all the nooks and crannies that need cleaning.
  2. Pour 3 cups of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. Don’t use any detergent for this cycle.
  3. Run the hottest and longest cycle available on your dishwasher. The heat helps activate the cleaning power of the vinegar, while the longer cycle allows for thorough cleaning.

The vinegar works its magic in three ways:

  • Dissolving mineral buildup: Hard water can leave behind a white, chalky film on your dishes. Vinegar’s acidity tackles this buildup, leaving your dishes spotless.
  • Cleaning spray arm holes: Clogged spray arms hinder the dishwasher’s cleaning power. The vinegar helps clear these tiny holes, ensuring proper water flow to reach all your dishes.
  • Removing grease: Over time, grease can build up on the inner walls of the dishwasher. Vinegar cuts through this grease, leaving the interior clean and odor-free.

Voila! After the cycle is complete, your dishwasher should be refreshed and ready to tackle your dirty dishes effectively.

Maintaining a Happy Dishwasher

Now that your dishwasher is sparkling clean, let’s keep it that way! Here are some simple maintenance practices to ensure long-lasting performance:

  • Treat your dishwasher like it’s not a garbage disposal: While newer models might have macerators, they can only handle small food scraps. Scrape away leftover food and rinse dishes with hot water to remove large chunks before loading.
  • Clean the filter regularly: Most dishwashers have a filter that traps food debris. A clogged filter prevents clean water from circulating properly, leading to poor cleaning and potential odors. Locate the filter (usually at the bottom of the dishwasher) and consult your owner’s manual for cleaning instructions. Typically, soaking the filter in vinegar overnight followed by a scrub with an old toothbrush is recommended. Aim to clean the filter every month or two.
  • Load dishes as recommended by the manufacturer: Not all dishwashers are created equal. Some may have stronger water jets, while others rely on proper placement for optimal cleaning. Refer to your dishwasher’s manual for the recommended loading pattern to ensure all your dishes get a thorough washing.
  • Use quality dishwasher detergent and rinse aid: Dishwasher detergent contains a blend of ingredients that work together to break down food particles and fight hard water stains. Rinse aid helps prevent water spots on your dishes and glasses. For best results, use a reputable brand of detergent and rinse aid, following the manufacturer’s recommended dosage.
  • Consider a water softener: Hard water can wreak havoc on your dishwasher. It can leave residue on dishes, clog internal components, and shorten the lifespan of your appliance. If you suspect you have hard water, consider installing a water softener for your entire home. This will not only benefit your dishwasher but also reduce hard water deposits on sinks, tubs, and showers.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your dishwasher running smoothly and efficiently for years to come! If you need help repairing or servicing your appliances in Idaho we’re here to help with over 75 years of experience!