The dishwasher is arguably the most useful labour saving device in the kitchen. They replace hours of washing up by hand with a more economic, more hygienic cleaning process. However, like any appliance, dishwashers need to be used and maintained with care.
Starting at the beginning
Paying some attention to loading can save energy, preserve the condition of your machine and return cleaner dishes after the wash.
- Scrape or rinse crockery if necessary to remove any large food items or stubborn sticky bits before loading, particularly if they will be sitting in the machine for a while before the wash cycle starts.
- Load plates into the supports provided at the bottom of the dishwasher, facing towards the centre and angled downwards. Pans should be placed with the bowl facing downwards in the lower basket. Small bowls, cups and glasses go in the upper basket, along with plastic items to avoid warping from the heating element. Cutlery and utensils should be placed in the basket provided, handles down. Sharper knives should be placed with the blade downwards for safety. Larger utensils may need to be laid down in the top basket to avoid blocking the spray arms below. Similarly larger items should be placed to the back of the machine to avoid blocking the detergent dispenser.
- Don’t wash wooden or delicate items in the dishwasher.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the type and quantity of detergent that should be used, in addition to salt and rinse aid if necessary. Make sure these reservoirs are kept topped up for the best finish.
How to clean your dishwasher with dishwasher descaler
Cleaning the dishwasher itself may seem redundant, but a regular run through with dishwasher descaler or a special cleaning product can help to remove build up from debris and other deposits which can affect cleaning performance.
- Use dishwasher descaler and other cleaners only on an empty machine.
- Check the spray arms and clean any debris blocking the water distribution holes carefully with a pointed object.
- Wipe around the door and seal with a damp cloth and use an old toothbrush to reach into corners and remove any stubborn dirt. Don’t forget the underside of the door!
- Check and clean the drain in the tray at the bottom
Using dishwasher descaler
There will be instructions on how to clean your dishwasher on the bottle of dishwasher descaler or cleaner, which usually involves placing the cleaner in the empty machine and running a hot cycle. You will notice how fresh and clean your machine both looks and smells afterwards!