It is getting more and more expensive to have appliances repaired. The average cost rose from $254 to $275 in 2014 for projects ranging from dryer repairs to oven repairs and even washing machine repairs. When you buy a new dishwasher, it should last at least nine years before you have to think about it again. The problem is that within the first three to four years, one in five dishwashers will need some sort of repair. There are things you can do to keep yours running the way you want it to. Dishwasher repairs are not inevitable.
- Scraping is not the same as washing. If you have a dishwasher, you probably do not want to have to wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. What is the point of the dishwasher if you still have to do that? That does not mean you should not scrape excess food off of your dishes before you load them into your dishwasher. By scraping the food off of your plates and other dishes before loading the dishwasher, you can prevent the food particles from sticking to other dishes.
- Avoid overloading the dishwasher. You may think you need to cram as much into the dishwasher as you can. The problem becomes when the unit is too full. If the dishwasher is too full, the dishes will not get clean and you will have to reload the dishwasher and run it all over again. If you have to wash a few dishes by hand, go ahead and do that. It will take less work.
- Pay attention to the cycle. You may want to use a lighter and shorter cycle to save money on water bills and get it done faster but do not give into that temptation. You need to match the cycle with the level of dirt on your dishes. Think of it in a similar way as you look at your washing machine. If your clothes are really dirty, you put them in for a longer washing cycle.
- Before you run the dishwasher, run the hot water. This is one great way to get your dishes really clean and prevent needing any dishwasher repairs. Before you start up your dishwasher, run the water from the faucet until it is hot. This will make sure all of the water going into your dishwasher is hot from the start of the cycle. It takes a lot longer in the winter for your water to heat up so this is more important to do during that season.
- Use only the amount of rinse aid that is recommended by the manufacturer. Many dishwasher detergents have a rinse aid already included. Check your dishwasher detergent to see if it has it in it before you buy more rinse aids. You can also skip buying it all together by using white vinegar. That is also much cheaper than the rinse aids.
- Clean your dishwasher with vinegar. If you want to clean your dishwasher, always a good way to prevent needing costly dishwasher repairs, run the machine with no dishes but will white vinegar. Use a cup of it and use the normal cycle. This will get rid of any old food particles and will make sure your dishwasher will smell clean and fresh.
- Pay attention to the trap. Many people overlook their dishwasher trap and that leads to needing dishwasher repairs. You may not even know where it is. You should look by the lower sprayer. You should find a piece that you can remove.This is where food and fur that your dishwasher cannot remove will end up. If you have pets, you will find their fur there. You can use your finger or a sponge or towel to get rid of whatever has accumulated there. Be prepared for it to be gross. You may want to use a glove.
- Pay attention to your dishwasher seals. These need to be cleaned at least once every few months. You will notice some icky buildup. Use a damp towel to clean this area and the area around where you add the soap and rinse aid.
Who likes to deal with dishwasher or refrigerator repairs? No one. Taking a little time can prevent needing them.