Wednesday 20 July 2011

Dishwasher Tips

Just like all of our wonderful appliances, our dishwashers need a little TLC every now and then :)  My dishwasher hasn't been doing the best job of cleaning my dishes lately, and I was becoming frustrated with having to wash up a number of items that were consistently coming out dirty.

My friend, Melissa, recently moved into a house and apparently the dishwasher was left in a disgraceful state, and she said she was going to 'descale' the machine.  Hmmm.... that got me thinking.  I have lived here for almost 7 years and never once done anything to maintain my dishwasher - oops!

So, I did my trusty Google search and came up with some great tips, which I am going to share with you...

Firstly, I watched a few Youtube movies on how to clean out the drain.  Water had been backing up in my dishwasher drain, so this seemed like a good place to start.
This is revolting!  I am so embarrassed!
I put on my rubber gloves and pulled apart the drain/filter system.  I was absolutely disgusted with what I found!  I couldn't even photograph it for you, I am too embarrassed to post it!!  But anyway, I used a toothbrush and steaming hot water to scrub all of the bits that make up the filter and drain until they were spotless, and then I put them all back in place.  Note that I pulled out about 5 pieces that make up this filter/drainage system.  I didn't photograph it, but there were 2 cylinder filter parts, and these stainless-grid pieces come out too.  Just keep pulling out the bits until you get to the bottom.  The Youtube clip here shows you an example of how to do this.

Then I decided to try this tip, which I read on the ehow website here.  I simply poured some bicarb soda into the filter/drain part, and then added vinegar.  Magic!  All of the hissing and bubbling was great.  It indicated to me that my drain was getting a good clean out (and I wasn't scrubbing a thing!).  I added a big splash of vinegar 3 times, letting the bubbles subside each time, and then I decided that it was probably enough.

Finally, I added liquid bleach to my detergent dispenser, plus splashed a bit of bleach around that drain area for good luck, and ran a normal cycle (empty).

I will gladly share that my loads have since been coming out sparkling and I am super happy with the outcome!  And the drain has been emptying completely too!
Completely clean and clear of water after every load now!
I run my dishwasher every day, even though there are only 2 of us.  I do half a load by selecting just the lower level of my machine.  I find it so much better to do a load a day, like the washing.  It means that loads are smaller and more manageable for loading/unloading, and it prevents the 'smell' that occurs in the hotter weather when the dishwasher isn't run each day.

A few last tips I found in my research:

- Run the hot water tap of your sink prior to starting the dishwasher, as this gets hot water into the pipes and the first shot of water that the dishwasher sprays on your dishes is much more effective if it is hot.

- Adjust the amount of Rinse Aid you are releasing each wash - I had no idea I could adjust this, it is just a small dial where you add the Rinse Aid.  My glasses were going blue - so I turned mine down from 4 to 2, and now they are crystal clear!  (You can watch a Youtube clip on this here.)

I hope that you find these tips useful - they are all cheap ways to give your dishwasher a little lovin'!


Jill said...

Great tips. I use the finish cleaning agent my dishwasher. I am doing it this weekend. They get so gross inside. Thanks for all your great tips, I am really enjoying your blog. Thanks

Cassandra said...

I plan to check out what cleaners I can buy next time I am at the supermarket - will make sure that I check out the Finish one :) Thanks Jill!

kimbeez said...

I don't buy the rinse aids. I use vinegar. Just fill it up and the glasses come up beautiful and much better than the rinse aid stuff. Kim

Cassandra said...

That is a great tip! I will try it once my current lot runs out :) Thanks for sharing! xxx

Anonymous said...

Hey Cass you should try making your own dishwashing powder. We find it works a lot better than commercial stuff and it's much cheaper!

- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup bicarb soda
- 1/4 cup citric acid
- 1/4 cup salt
- a few drops of essential oil (I skip this)

Mix it all together. It'll go hard once it sits for a few days in an air tight container but just scrape a teaspoon out.

Cassandra said...

Wow! That looks easy! Thanks for the tip - I will give it a try :)

Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed reading this type Dishwasher . Many thanks.
Commercial Dishwasher

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