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How to maintain a dishwasher

Your dishwasher is a fantastic appliance that can help you clean the dishes much faster without using a lot of water. Using it correctly and keeping it clean will lead to cleaner dishes and faster cycle times, making your chores much easier. Keep these tips in mind when using and cleaning the dishwasher to keep it in top shape for many years to come.


[[[[Edit]Use the dishwasher correctly

  1. Place your water heater in between. Some water heaters start at a lower temperature, so you should double check yours before running your dishwasher. Try to keep it between for the most optimal washing temperature.[1]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 1 version 2.jpg
    • If your water is too cold, it will not be able to remove stubborn grease and food from the dishes.
    • If you set up the water heater too high, it will dry up your dishes instead of cleaning them, which means that the food gets stuck instead of rinsing off.
  2. Scrape large pieces of food from the counter before loading them. You do not need to rinse the dishes before loading them, but try to scrape off large food debris before putting them in the dishwasher. This makes it easier for the dishes to be cleaned and it reduces the risk of your dishwasher becoming clogged.[2]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • You can scrape leftover food in the trash, if you have one.
  3. Only load dishwasher safe items. Not all dishes can be washed in the dishwasher, especially metal or plastic dishes. Check the underside of the counter to see if it says “dishwasher safe.” If it does not, you may need to wash it by hand.[3]
    Maintain a dishwasher Step 3 version 2.jpg
    • Placing dishes that cannot be washed in the dishwasher can cause them to melt or distort due to the water.
  4. Fill your dishwasher, but do not overload it. Try to refill your dishwasher completely to avoid wasting water before starting a load. Place plates, bowls and large frying pans on the bottom, cups on top and cutlery in the cutlery basket. If you have to stack the dishes on top of each other, your dishwasher is probably too full. Try to divide your load into 2 smaller loads for the most thorough cleaning.[4]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • This also applies to cutlery. If you have to collect lots of cutlery in the cutlery basket, they will not be clean during the wash.
  5. Pour detergent into the dispenser up to the filling line. Grab a liquid detergent or dishwasher made specifically for dishwashers and place it in the soap container. If you use a liquid detergent, top it up to the filling line to avoid overloading the bike with soap.[5]
    Maintain a dishwasher Step 5 version 2.jpg
    • Never use ordinary soap in the dishwasher, as it may foam up too much and run out of the dishwasher.
    • If you notice water stains on the counter, you may have hard water or water with a lot of minerals in it. You can thin it out by adding a rinse aid to the detergent when you pour it in.
  6. Choose a heavy bike for extremely dirty dishes. While it may be tempting to choose a lighter, faster bike to save time, if your disks are super dirty, they will not be clean. Make an overview of how dirty your dishes are and choose a heavy, normal or light cleaning cycle.[6]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Most dishwashers have a rinse cycle if your dishes only need a quick rinse without soap.

[[[[Edit]Clean your dishwasher

  1. Wash the outside of the dishwasher to remove fingerprints. If your dishwasher is made of plastic, use soap and warm water to wipe the outside. If it is made of stainless steel, spray glass cleaner on a soft cloth or paper towel and use it to dry it.[7]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • The outside of your dishwasher can become cluttered from the common kitchen.
  2. Wipe the dishwasher trap once a week. Pull out the lower rack of the dishwasher and remove the lid under the lower syringe. Lift out the parts separately and clean them in the sink with warm soapy water.[8]
    Maintain a dishwasher Step 8 version 2.jpg
    • The dishwasher trap collects food residues that are not really able to drain. If the leftover food builds up, it can lead to a funky smell from your dishwasher.
  3. Scrape out the spray arm once a month. Pull out the lower rack of the dishwasher and pull the spray arm off the bottom of the dishwasher. Carry it to the sink and rinse it with warm soapy water. If there is food residue stuck in the holes under the spray arm, use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to scrape them out.[9]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 9.jpg
    • The sprayer arm is what sprays water in the dishwasher, so it is important to keep it free of debris and dirt.
  4. Clean the seal around the dishwasher door once a month. Open your dishwasher and take a clean towel. Run it along the rubber seal around the dishwasher door to wipe off food debris or dirt. This will help your dishwasher seal better to avoid future leaks.[10]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 10.jpg
    • You can also wipe the area around the soap door to remove soap suds.
  5. Run vinegar through your dishwasher once a month. Pour white vinegar into a clean bowl and place it in the center of the base. Without adding any detergent, turn your dishwasher to the hottest setting and let it complete the cycle. The vinegar smells and cleans your dishwasher so that it smells and looks fresh.[11]
    Maintaining a dishwasher Step 11.jpg
    • Vinegar also works to remove accumulation of hard water.
    • You can also get a bottle of commercial dishwasher cleaner instead of vinegar.


  • Cleaning the dishwasher regularly leads to shinier, glistening dishes.


  • If your dishwasher leaks or needs to be repaired, contact a professional immediately.

[[[[Edit]Things you need

[[[[Edit]Use the dishwasher correctly

  • Washing-up liquid

[[[[Edit]Clean your dishwasher

  • Soap or glass cleaner
  • Towel
  • Sponge
  • Washing-up liquid
  • bowl
  • white vinegar

[[[[Edit]Related wikiHows

  • Install a new dishwasher
  • Fix a leaking dishwasher
  • Empty a dishwasher


  1. https://www.thekitchn.com/10-tips-to-make-your-dishwasher-run-better-cleaning-tips-from-the-kitchn-104328
  2. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/dishwasher-reviews/a22031/dishwasher-tips-0306/
  3. https://www.thekitchn.com/10-tips-to-make-your-dishwasher-run-better-cleaning-tips-from-the-kitchn-104328
  4. https://www.thekitchn.com/10-tips-to-make-your-dishwasher-run-better-cleaning-tips-from-the-kitchn-104328
  5. https://www.thekitchn.com/10-tips-to-make-your-dishwasher-run-better-cleaning-tips-from-the-kitchn-104328
  6. https://www.thekitchn.com/10-tips-to-make-your-dishwasher-run-better-cleaning-tips-from-the-kitchn-104328
  7. https://www.consumerreports.org/dishwashers/how-to-clean-a-dishwasher/
  8. https://www.thekitchn.com/10-tips-to-make-your-dishwasher-run-better-cleaning-tips-from-the-kitchn-104328
  9. https://www.consumerreports.org/dishwashers/how-to-clean-a-dishwasher/
  10. https://www.thekitchn.com/10-tips-to-make-your-dishwasher-run-better-cleaning-tips-from-the-kitchn-104328
  11. https://www.consumerreports.org/dishwashers/how-to-clean-a-dishwasher/

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