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Dishwasher TLC

Dishwashers are the home’s unsung heroes. They take on the chore of washing, rinsing, and drying your dishes. Many of our customers have gotten so used to the privilege of not needing to wash dishes by hand that when their lean mean dish cleaning machine goes down, it’s an emergency situation.

There’s an ugly side to our little kitchen companion. Dishwashers can be really gross at times. Everyday we see dishwashers with their internal pumps and tubing gunked up with months or even years worth of food debris, hard water deposits, and unrecognizable gunk.

Perhaps the salesman at the store where you purchased your dishwasher  told you it was to leave chunks of food on your dishes because it has a disposal or macerator blade that chops up the chunks. It could be that the kids are the ones loading your dishwasher in a hurry. Whatever the reason, by the time we see it, many times there is a biological disaster deep inside your once healthy dishwasher.

Here are a few tips to avoid a Dishwasher Service Call - 

1. Rinse off the chunks. Even if your dishwasher has a “disposal” inside, remember, a dishwasher has a recirculating pump. You don’t want to chop up food and spray it back through the spray arm and onto your dishes.

2. Read your manual. Many dishwashers have filters that require periodic cleaning. 

3. Use dishwasher cleaner once or twice a month. We recommend Dishwasher Magic or Glisten. Both of these are citric acid based cleaners and leave your unit smelling lemony fresh.

4. Use the proper detergent.  In some areas, even the gel detergent designed for dishwashers will foam up. We recommend using a tablet like Finish and only one. 

5. Use Rinse aid. All dishwashers have rinse aid dispensers. Jet Dry, Finish, and Cascade are all good brands. Rinse aid creates a barrier that helps water “sheet” off your dishes leaving them spot free. Since modern dishwashers use less energy, they offer little heat for drying. Many just use the residual heat from the wash.

For more appliance tips and tricks, check our blog and archives at