Dishwashers are one of those appliances that most people know how to turn on and not much else. They’re somewhat mysterious past their most basic use. However, did you know dishwashers require maintenance? Check out these types of dishwasher maintenance you’ve been completely ignoring.
The Food Trap
This is one of the most important parts of dishwasher maintenance – and one of the most ignored. Did you know you’re supposed to be emptying and cleaning the food trap in your dishwasher? It’s also known as the filter. You’ve certainly seen it before while loading dishes. At the base of the dishwasher basin, there should be a spot covered in mesh or a plastic strainer. This is where food bits collect and water drains. If you don’t wash your dishes completely free of food before loading them, your dishwasher’s food trap probably has a number of things collected in it by now.
The food trap in a dishwasher can be removed, then dumped into the trash and washed off in the sink. Keeping the filter free of food collection makes draining easier and keeps the dishwasher more sanitary. After all, do you really want the water circulating in your dishwasher to be running over month-old bits of food before being sprayed up onto your dishes? We didn’t think so.
The Door Seal
While door seal dishwasher maintenance isn’t strictly necessary for the dishwasher to function, it can help prevent the seal from breaking. Plus, it will also alert you to any damage in the seal before it gets bad enough to break or cause a leak.
If you want to maintain your dishwasher’s door seal, simply take a minute to wipe it down once a month. Ensuring no minerals or food particles are building up on it ensures it continues working its best.
The sprayer in your dishwasher is one of the parts that are vital to its function. Wiping the sprayer down every once in a while is a key part of dishwasher maintenance. Not only can food remnants get onto the sprayer, making it less sanitary, it can also get blocked up with hard water. Take some time once a month to wipe the sprayer down with soapy water and check for blockages. If one of the holes is blocked with mineral buildup, use a sewing needle of other pointy object to clear the blockage. To prevent future blockages, you may want to consider investing in a water softening filtration system for your home’s water.
Run the Dishwasher
Last, but not least, keep running your dishwasher. Did you know a month of no use can lead to problems with your dishwasher? Similarly to a car’s motor, continued use is an important part of dishwasher maintenance. Plus, your dishwasher saves on water. Running your sink continuously to hand wash dishes – or even filling multiple sinks and leaving running water out of the equation – uses up more water than a modern dishwasher. Do yourself a favor and keep your dishwasher in use.