Q: How can I make my dishwasher clean better?
A: To begin, always read your user’s manual for their recommendations. We may not always agree, but it is a good place to start.
Do you have hard water? A good way to tell is if you see a white residue buildup around your faucets over time. Those are mineral deposits from hard water. If you have hard water, you absolutely must use an additive in combination with your regular soap. However, if you have a water softener in your home, use a little less detergent, as it tends to foam more.
How hot is the water out of your sink? Your water temperature will make a huge difference in how well your unit cleans. Typically, your water temperature should be around 140 degrees. Always run your water at the sink until it is hot prior to starting the machine.
Q: Should I use powder, liquid, or tabs?
A: Our first recommendation is to discontinue use of any liquid or gel-type detergent. It can actually gum up or build up in the appliance and cause damage to the machine.
Q: Do I need to wash my dishes prior to loading them into the machine?
A: No. You may have seen the commercials that show someone putting and entire cake in the dishwasher and everything comes out clean, but in the real world that is just not the case. Always scrape the debris off the plate prior to loading, and that includes every grain of rice! The food left on the plate actually activates the soap’s action! Note: If your dishwasher starts to smell bad, you probably have food debris in the sump and pump that needs to be addressed by a professional.
Q: Can I use liquid detergent (for hand washing) in my dishwasher?
A: No! No! No! Way too foamy! Even a little bit of hand-wash soap can cause intense foaming which can cause the unit to leak during its cycle. Which leads us back to the scrape only idea.
Q: Do I need rinse agent?
A: Whether you use the liquid, little hangy baskets, or tabs with the balls in them, rinse aid is important. As a matter of fact, some brands of dishwashers require it. It helps the water sheet off of the dishes, and viola, no spots! These units have no heating element and rely on the hot water at the end and the sheeting action to dry the dishes. I know some people feel that rinse aid may leave chemicals on their dishes. Not so! Studies show, the sheeting action actually takes away far more end-of-cycle debris, thus cleaner glasses and dishes, and any chemical residue was practically nonexistent.
Q: Is how I load the machine important?
A: Yes! Just make sure that the spray arms can spin freely and you can pretty well pack it in. Just use common sense in loading; if it looks like water wouldn’t get to it, it probably won’t. Sturdy stuff like pots on the bottom, dedicates on top, like glasses. And silver items should never be cleaned in the dishwasher. It will discolor them permanently.
Q: Is it okay to run the machine at night or when we are away?
A: Not advisable. Those units use a lot of water, and if something goes awry, it may leak all over your kitchen. And if you have experienced a leak and ruined your flooring, you know what a disaster that is. It is just prudent to be home to minimize any damage in case of failure. If you don’t like to run your unit during the day because it is just too noisy, there is probably a cause! Our company also has a fabulous little leak detector we sell that will screech when it comes in contact with water. (It also works for washers, behind refrigerators, or even the water heater.)
If your dishwasher is louder than is should be or does not clean as it used to, it is a good indication that it needs attention. As a workhorse in the home, it needs to be in peak condition. Call for professional service.