Dishwashers are one of the hardest working appliances in many households. But when they’re used incorrectly or don’t get the occasional maintenance they need, they can waste energy and leave your dishes less than spotless.

In order to keep your dishwasher working at its best, you’ll want to avoid these common dishwasher mistakes:
  • Using too much detergent.
    Using extra detergent does not mean your dishes will come out extra clean. Instead, it can leave a film on your dishes causing you to have to re-wash them. Read the label on the package, and remember that the amount needed can vary greatly between different detergents. Some are so concentrated that you need only a few drops for an average load of dishes. Adding insult to injury, you’re also throwing away money if you’re using too much detergent and are constantly buying more!
  • Failing to read the owner’s manual.
    We know, reading the owner’s manual for a new dishwasher doesn’t sound like fun. But by investing just 20 minutes into this important task, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about the machine, which can lead to significant cost savings down the road.
  • Overloading.
    When dishes are overcrowded, the dishwasher can’t do its job and thoroughly clean them all. Furthermore, fragile items might bump into each other and break. Make sure there’s space between items so that water and detergent can circulate.
  • Having too much food on the dishes.
    Rinsing off dishes isn’t always necessary with many of today’s super-powerful dishwashers, but be sure to at least scrape off food before loading them into the machine. Large pieces can clog up the drain or block the sprayer, which can affect how clean this load and future loads come out.
  • Skipping routine maintenance.
    Like any large household appliance, it pays when homeowners give their dishwasher the routine maintenance suggested in the owner’s manual. In addition to following any instructions specific to your machine, you should clean and freshen up the dishwasher by running an empty cycle with just a cup of baking soda and 1 1/2 cups of vinegar at least every couple of months as well. Don’t forget to check the drain filter after every few loads and dispose of any food scraps that may accumulate there.
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