Tips for sparkling results from your dishwasher
Many homes now feature a dishwasher (cue jokes about who does the pots in your household!). Perhaps we should clarify that by saying ‘automatic dishwasher’? They are relatively easy to use, but unless you follow some simple advice, they can let you down. From milky glasses to a machine that won’t drain, problems can be prevented with some regular maintenance and following the usage advice.
There’s some great advice at this Dishwasher Care website, but here are our tips for clean dishes and sparkling glasses & cutlery.
- Always fill the salt reservoir (usually in the base) with dedicated granular salt. NEVER use food salt. ‘Salt action’ tablets do NOT replace the need for dishwasher salt.
- Use a dedicated rinse aid or white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment. This prevents water marks and keeps glasses clear.
- Scrape away food residue before washing, rinsing if necessary, but items don’t need to be spotless. Small items can work their way into the drain area beneath the filter and prevent it draining if the impeller gets jammed.
- Avoid mixing metals as one can deposit on another, turning them a dull grey.
- Remove and clean the dishwasher filter periodically to get rid of any scraps of food that can clog up the dishwasher. To clean the inside of the machine, remove limescale build up, and cut through odours, position two bowls of White Vinegar or Citric Acid on the top and bottom racks of the empty dishwasher, return the drawers and run the machine on a long, hot cycle. Here’s a video showing you how.
- Clean the hinges and seals occasionally with white vinegar or Liquid Soda Crystals as the water jets don’t reach there.
- Remember to clean the filter (usually in the base) regularly. They will also need replacing periodically. Liquid Soda Crystals are again ideal for cleaning the greasy gunk that develops
There are often misconceptions about dishwasher use, particularly surrounding the use of dishwasher salt.
- Spots of rust on silver cutlery is not caused by the salt. Dishwasher salt does not actually enter the wash chamber. It may be deposits from other metals.
- Streaky glasses are not salt deposits, but are limescale deposits or the sign of a dirty machine. A clean machine, coupled with the use of salt and rinse aid will ensure sparkling glasses.