Troubleshooting and Cleaning Tips to Protect Your Dishwasher

22 April 2016
 Categories: , Articles


Maintaining your home is imperative to protect its appeal, value, and function, but you may not be placing enough time and energy into your appliances. Your dishwasher is important for cleaning and sanitizing dishes, pots, pans, glasses, and even baby bottles, so you should make sure it is in proper working condition. Considering the cost to purchase and install a new dishwasher ranges from $250 to $1000, periodic maintenance on this appliance is key to reduce expensive replacement costs. Using this guide, you will understand the best cleaning and maintenance techniques to protect the function and value of your dishwasher.


You will most likely run into a few issues with your dishwasher at one point in time, but understanding a few common issues can reduce the stress of repairs. Here are a few common issues that may occur:

  • Water pools/dirty dishes—If you notice water on the bottom of your dishwasher after the cycle completes or your dishes appear dirty, the appliance is not rinsing and draining correctly. These issues may stem from a clogged drain trap or an issue with the drain hose, so first disconnect the power to your dishwasher. Locate the strainer at the bottom of the dishwasher basin. Undo the clips to remove the strainer and rinse out any leftover food and debris. Disconnect the drain hose, which is usually located under the lower front panel of the dishwasher. Straighten out a wire hanger and insert into one end of the hose, removing any clogs. Reinstall and make sure the hose is free of kinks.
  • Spotty glassware—If glassware appears spotty after being washed in the appliance, you most likely have hard water buildup. Consider hiring a plumber to install a water softener system in your home. If this is not feasible, use a dishwasher detergent and rinse aid designed for preventing hard water buildup on your glassware.
  • Noisy dishwasher—Most dishwashers will make noise while going through a wash and rinse cycle. However, if noises are overly loud, you may have an underlying issue. Spray arms that are loose, warped, or broken will bang against the dishes during the wash cycle, creating a loud noise. In addition, a loud revving sound during the wash and rinse cycles may stem from an issue with the dishwasher's motor. In most cases, hiring professional appliance technicians will be necessary for an effective repair.


While surprising to learn, simple maintenance will prevent 90 percent of dishwasher problems.

Cleaning the inside of your dishwasher periodically is smart for preventing heavy buildup of food and residue. To get started, remove any visible debris from racks and utensil holders and around the dishwasher's bottom. Be sure to clean food and debris from around the drain trap's strainer, as well.

Locate the rubber seal around the dishwasher's door. Use a sponge to wipe away grease, grime, and other residue from the gaskets and seals.

After removing the visible food and residue, pour a cup of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher. Set the dishwasher to run a normal wash cycle, allowing the vinegar to eat through leftover residue and possible bacteria.

If you notice foul odors inside your dishwasher, sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda into the bottom of the tub. Allow the dishwasher to run a hot water cycle. The baking soda will dissolve away stubborn residues while deodorizing the dishwasher.

Once the cycles are complete, wipe the interior of the dishwasher down with a clean microfiber cloth. This will remove any excess moisture, preventing the growth of mold or mildew.

Maintaining your dishwasher is essential to protect its operation and value. With these dishwasher troubleshooting and cleaning tips and the help of a specialist from a company like Automatic Appliance, you can protect your investment.