Tips for repairing and maintaining a clean dishwasher
Dishwashers are usually a high maintenance major appliance, even in today's high-tech world. Some of these tips will help you decrease the risk of needing costly repairs.
Dishwashers won't last long as garburators, using yours this way will run the risk of problems and expensive repairs. Food particles can get into the smallest areas inside your dishwasher, clogging the unit. Some models last longer than others under hard use, but eventually, in one area or another, parts will start to wear out.
Dishes do not all need to be rinsed, as most people think, but larger items should be scraped clean of residue before placing them in the dishwasher. Hard objects like seeds, toothpicks, paper labels and the like should ALWAYS be kept out of your dishwasher.
Use quality detergent in combination with hot water, temperatures should be set between 130 - 145 degrees Fahrenheit (54 - 63 degrees Celsius). At these temperatures, the dishes will end cleaner. We recommend "Finish" Electro-Sol tab detergent with power ball and "Jet-Dry" rinse agent.
We recommend you clean the interior of your dishwasher, periodically, using "Glisten" (Dishwasher washer). This can be purchased at Costco or Co-Op.
You can use liquid, solid or powdered detergents; it can be squirted, poured or placed in and if the soap is a quality product, it will get your dishes clean. When the dishwasher is engaged, water is pumped in from the hot water tank and sprayed around inside the dishwasher, spraying the dishes inside from all directions. The process is repeated, as the dish soap is released into the washer, scouring stubborn stains, dirt, and grease from the dishes. Finally, the dishes are left to dry at high heat, evaporating the remaining water off of the dishes, leaving a streak free finish.
Using a Rinse Agent
Dishwashers are an incredible timesaver, their efficiency lies in their ability to clean dishes quickly. Being clean and looking clean aren't always the same thing, especially if your area has hard water. Rinse agents are relatively new on the market, and they help your dishwasher give your dishes a streak-free finish.
Rinse agents are formulated to help remove filmy, spot causing residue from dishes, flatware, and glasses. Dishwasher detergents are meant to scour dishes clean and sanitize them and the detergent is released during the wash cycle. Spots aren't caused by soap residue, they usually form after the final rinse cycle, when the detergent is no longer present. Rinse agents are applied during the final rinse cycle, and they coat the dishes inside and out with a low surface tension solution that causes water to drip off in sheets, leaving nothing behind. It is the surface tension of the water that causes it to clean dishes, dry in place and leave it's residue behind, the rinse agent disrupts the water's surface tension.
If you've got spots on your dishes, this could be the simple fix you need to get your dishes cleaner.