A dishwasher is one of the best conveniences offered in the kitchen, especially if you are on-the-go like many families. Keeping the unit well-maintained or repaired will make it more economical and increase its life expectancy. It is advisable by some manufacturers to use the dishwasher daily to keep it in good running order, and free of any collectible debris. However, that is not the only recommendation.
Tip #1: Inspect, Repair, and Clean the Gaskets
Inspect and repair any gaskets that may have become cracked, and clean the debris that might have built up around them with time. A good all-purpose cleaner will clean much of the gunk away. It is also advisable to add a small layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to them to keep them flexible and watertight.
Tip #2: Take Care When Loading the Dishwasher
Be careful when loading the unit with sharp objects so you don't damage the racks because many are vinyl. In many cases, the racks are too expensive to replace versus the cost of a new unit. For example: a bottom rack could cost as much as $200, whereas the new washer would only cost approximately $240. You should try to avoid rough use to eliminate the added bill.
Tip #3: Use Vinegar For a Deeper Clean
Occasionally, add one cup of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and run an empty load. This should help remove any lingering food or debris that might have collected over time. The vinegar will leave the unit fresh smelling. Try to check regularly for the accumulation of trash in the filter.
Tip #4: Clean Up Hard Water Buildup
As time passes, you might notice a film has built-up on the inside of your washer. This can be caused by hard water, but don't panic; there are some ways to clean built-up debris:
Removing Water Stains: Stains can be removed by using one cup of white vinegar or baking soda added to the unit and running the unit for a full cycle.
Removing Mold: Mold can be removed and killed by placing a tablespoon of bleach at the bottom of the unit and running it for one complete cycle.
If it is affordable, you should purchase a home warranty that will cover many of the charges in maintaining a dishwasher. Not all situations will be covered, but in many cases, you might only need to pay the deductible for the repair or replacement of your unit.
For more information or if you are having more serious issues with your dishwasher, consider contacting professional plumbers in your area, such as those at Silver Creek Plumbing.