Dishwasher Maintenance

by Audrey M. Smith


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The next time you find yourself reaching for the telephone to call a dishwasher repairman because the dishes are coming out dirtier than they went in, stop. For sparkling clean dishes load after load, a dishwasher needs monthly cleaning.

First, dump a quart of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a complete washing cycle without any dishes.

Next, clean the filter located on the floor of the dishwasher underneath the bottom rack. Some filters trap food residues on the outside surface so a simple wiping with a paper towel does the job. Other filters require unscrewing the cover to access trapped food residues. Consult your dishwasher owner's manual.

After every load, take a glance at the filter and in the bottom of the dishwasher, especially if you have children loading and running it. Picking up any food residues, labels, plastic wrap, stray silverware, lids, caps, straws, toys (you never know) will help the dishwasher clean more effectively.

Make sure the water going into the dishwasher is hot enough by running the kitchen faucet until the water is hot and using the water heating option on the dishwasher. In the short and long run, you save time and money by getting a full load of clean dishes the first time.

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