A dishwasher seems like a no-fuss kitchen appliance. You put dirty dishes in, you get clean dishes out: simple, right? Actually, your dishwasher should be cleaned regularly, and if it isn't properly maintained, it could stop cleaning your dishes. (Or just stop working all together. Hopefully if that happens, you have home warranty coverage.) So what happens if you're reading this article and you realized you haven't cleaned your dishwasher ... ever? Or maybe you've noticed that your dishes just aren't getting clean. Not to worry! In this article Landmark Home Warranty will teach you how to deep clean your dishwasher, and how to maintain it afterward. We'll also walk you through some of the repairs you might have to make if your dishes still aren't getting clean after a good deep clean. Let's get started!
If you want to know how your dishwasher works, go to our next post.
How to Deep Clean your Dishwasher
Have you noticed your dishes aren't coming out as sparkly clean as they used to? There's a good chance that you just need to clean it! Unfortunately, a dishwasher isn't self cleaning.
Clean the Sprayer Arms
Your sprayer arms in your dishwasher can get clogged with food particles if you don't regularly clean your filter and your dishwasher. It's fairly simple to clean them.
Clean the Filter
When your sprayer arms spray water on your dirty dishes, they dislodge food particles that are removed from the water intake by a filter. When this filter isn't cleaned it can push food particles into the sprayer arms, reducing cleaning efficiency. The best way to combat this is to remove and clean the filter. For some models, you have to remove the filter casing to get to the bottom sprayer arm too.Most models will require you to use a Torx Head screwdriver to remove the filter's casing.
Clean the Float
The float in your dishwasher makes sure that there isn't too much water coming into the basin of your dishwasher. When water reaches the appropriate level, the float rises and stops the water intake valve from pumping more water into the basin. However, sometimes the float can get dirty with food particles. You can clean the float easily:
Clean the door and inside of the dishwasher.
It's a good idea to wipe down the various components of a dishwasher with a multi-purpose cleaner.
- Clean the door.
- Clean the basin and walls.
- Soak the racks in a soapy mixture, then rinse.
How to Maintain your Dishwasher
Once you've finished these cleaning tips, you can maintain your dishwasher by following the manufacture's instructions (important for home warranty coverage!) and by running an empty cycle using a cup of vinegar to de-odorize the appliance. You should also be cleaning out your filter at least once a month to make sure no food is trapped in the sprayer arms.
If you're dishes are still dirty ... it's time for some repairs!
How to Repair your Dishwasher
Check the Water Inlet Valve
Your dishwasher needs a set amount of water to clean the dishes properly. Sometimes the float isn't the problem. The water inlet valve may be restricted and not letting enough water into the basin of the washer to properly clean your dishes. Luckily, you can easily find out if the water inlet valve is the problem.
- With a full dishwasher of dirty dishes, add an extra gallon of warm water into the bottom of your dishwasher.
- If the dishwasher works better, you may need to replace the water inlet valve. This is a job for a qualified appliance contractor. If you have home warranty coverage you can call your company and ask for a technician to replace the part.
Check the Heating Element
Another reason your dishwasher may not be working properly is because the heating element isn't heating up the water that is being sprayed on your dishes. You can do a simple test to see if this is the case:
- Start a normal cycle on the dishwasher
- After 20 minutes, stop the cycle and open the door. Feel the water on the dishes and in the bottom of the dishwasher's basin. If it is cold to the touch, you may need to replace the heating element. If you have home warranty coverage you can call your company to ask for a repair or replacement.
If your Dishwasher Stops Working with Home Warranty Coverage
No matter how much maintenance is performed, all dishwashers eventually fail. When it does, make sure you have home warranty coverage. With home warranty coverage, you can get your dishwasher's repair or replacement covered for a service call fee. Home warranty coverage can range from plan to plan. Make sure that you select coverage that includes premium repairs for appliances. It may cost a bit more, but it can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. With Landmark's premier home warranty coverage, the motors in the dishwasher and the racks, baskets, rollers, doors and hinges are all covered. No matter what happens to your dishwasher, you can be covered with a primer home warranty coverage plan.