Dishwashers are extremely useful household appliances that can save you hundreds of hours of scrubbing over the course of their lifetime. If there's one caveat to these convenient machines, though, it's that they're fairly expensive to replace.
As such, the goal with any dishwasher should be to get the greatest possible return on your investment, and the best way to do that is to keep the appliance running as long as possible. To avoid having to make an unnecessary purchase of a new dishwasher, here are a few tips to help you prolong the life of the one you currently own.
One of the main culprits for clogs, either in the spray arms of a dishwasher or in the filter, is food debris that is allowed to build up over time. As such, check your dishwasher's filter – which can be found at the bottom of the appliance, near where the water drains – after each load to make sure that it's functioning properly. How often you actually need to clean the filter may vary between models, so it's always a good idea to refer to your appliance guide just to be sure.
An issue of contention regarding food-related clogs in your dishwasher is whether or not you should rinse dishes before loading them up. Leftovers should be scraped into a garbage disposal or trash bin, but that's all. Also, some detergents clean by affixing themselves to food particles, and then breaking them down. Without any "gunk," the detergent would run right over the dish without thoroughly cleaning them.
The other side of the argument is that most experts would recommend the opposite, claiming that the combination of soap, minerals and food gunk will eventually cause sludge that could lead to poor drainage, and possible even cause backups that will leave you washing your dishes with dirty water.
As a middle ground to the argument, always refer to your handbook for best practices that will prolong the life of your appliance without sacrificing the quality of each load.
The average life expectancy of your dishwater is around a decade or so. But even if the central components of the machine such as the drainage and the spray arms work just fine, it's also important to be mindful of the appliance's hardware, such as the fixtures on the inside of the door and the dish racks.
For example, forks and knives should be placed in the dishwasher with handles up. This is good for safety reasons, but it's also a smart way to prevent blades from dragging along the interior wall as you slide the racks, or sticking out and cutting into the door as you close it.
As a few final tips, it's important not to overload dishwashers, as this can add unnecessary wear and tear. Also, don't put any non-dishwasher safe items into the appliance.
Last but not least, if you experience problems with your dishwasher, don't hesitate to call your Port St Lucie Roto-Rooter. It's better to fix a problem the right way the first time than risk having to buy a whole new dishwasher later.