There’s a Zen saying out there: “When washing dishes, simply wash dishes”.
And, though there is beauty in this approach, there are times you just need a good dishwasher.
As per the wisdom of another saying:
“To get the job done, sometimes you need a hammer, and sometimes a key”
So, below are a number of questions you may have in mind when it comes to a dishwasher—but probably never asked.
For your convenience, we have categorized them according to the topic—have a look, and feel free to check out what interests you
Dishwasher Setup, Features and Usage
How To Install A Dishwasher If You’re Planning For It
Installing something from scratch can get daunting—which is why technical help is often necessary.
But, this can also become a rather a good thing, as you can plan out ahead.
If you happen to want a dishwasher installed in your house, please take note of these tips on how to go about it.
First Step: Pick The Right Spot
- The ideal place to go about placing your dishwasher is near the sink, as it has easy access to connecting water.
- Not to mention, placing a dishwasher near the sink gives proximity to nearby drain lines.
Second Step: Make Room
- It is important to ask around beforehand, about the size of your dishwasher, and the location that it’s going to get placed.
- One thing to remind yourself is that since the dishwasher creates heat, it is not advisable to put it along with objects that also generate heat, like fridges.
Third Step: Assure The Connectors
- Depending on the type of dishwasher, the majority need their connectors and brackets as thoroughly attached as you can get them–this is why location and space are needed.
- Planning out some of these key considerations, especially with experts that you can consult with, is often more crucial than winging it.
How Does A Dishwasher Know How Dirty Dishes Are?
What is nifty about dishwasher machines today is they have these advanced technological advancements.
In particular, there are two things that make it stand out, at least compared to the years before:
- First, dishwashers today use sophisticated sprays that can get to areas that are difficult to enter, which saves you the inconvenience or trouble.
- Second, these sprays are prompted by a scanner system, which is able to detect dirty “particles” on objects, which makes for a thorough cleaning job.
So, How Much Water Does A Dishwasher Use In A Household?
Many products today use a lot of “efficiency-oriented” programs, which are nice.
The question is, does it apply to a dishwasher’s use of water?
Here is some interesting info about that:
- If you are using the more compact, efficient dishwashers nowadays, you can save up roughly 8 litres of water, since most of these machines use 15 litres on a basic wash cycle.
- If you are using the average machine, you can end up guzzling roughly around 23 litres of water.
Depending on the circumstances, certainly, efficiency is the more appealing solution.
How Often Should You Run The Dishwasher?
Machines for the most part, especially today, are fairly long-lasting—and, that’s a good thing.
But, they don’t last forever.
In the case of your dishwasher, you want these things in mind:
- A dishwasher’s lifespan is, on average, around 8 years or so, but it depends on your degree of care towards it.
- On average, dishwashers can take about 5-cycles of washing in a week, and this is appropriately so it can cool down, after creating heat—and this not even including the humidity of your home!
The important rule of thumb: keep your dishwasher in use for only five times a week, and it will last its expected years, or longer.
How To Unblock A Dishwasher When It’s Clogged
There are “areas” of dishwater that gets blocked, more often than necessary.
And, with blocking, comes bad performance.
Here are three of those areas:
- The Filter
- The Drain Hose
- The Spray Arms
And, here is what to do, to unblock them:
- Filters catch almost any kind of debris, which makes them easy to get blocked.
- You will locate the filter, at the bottom area of the dishwasher.
- To remove it, you pull out gently, or twist-pull it—clean it up with warm or hot water, clearing up particles.
- Make sure no water is running for this one, and no electronic power, too.
- Most hoses will have a screw inbuilt, so you will need to unscrew, before proceeding.
- After that, gently take the house out, either by pulling or twisting it.
- Removing blockages from it will require you to take the hose and use water with a high pressure
- Clean up afterwards.
- Along with the filter, the spray arm affects the cleaning time of your dishes.
- The appliance must have been unplugged, with no power.
- Take the baskets out of the appliance.
- Take the centre bolt of the spray arms by using tools like a wrench.
- Lift up the spray arms and run it through some warm, hot water—make sure particles are removed, before proceeding.
- You can put back these spray arms—remember to keep the centre bold tight, and put them back the basket trays.
How To Stack A Dishwasher Properly (And Elegantly)
Ideally, you can stack your dishes in whatever you think is right. In practice, there are times this is not a good idea.
The problem with many cleanup sessions when using the dishwashing machine is over-clunking.
That is, the stacking and piling of as many dishes as you can, in order to make the most of it.
There are two problems with this, of course:
- The sensor and spray will not have room to do their job, as they need space.
- The dishes, as a consequence, will not get thoroughly cleaned.
You want to avoid this by appropriate stacking:
- Dishes, bowls, cups, and other ceramics—keep the centre free, leave space between each object, let them face the centre.
- Spoons, Forks, and other silverware—keep them apart if you can, and avoid stacking them together.
While you can make do with a standard dishwasher, newer dishwashers are quite sparing of your time.
Dishwasher Cleaning & Maintenance
Two Approaches On How To Clean A Dishwasher
Depending on the severity of the issues, there is an approach that fits the problem you have, when it comes to cleaning your dishwasher.
If you are dealing with heavy grease and grime:
- For this, you can consider a bleach solution, as it has a potent dose for breaking out all kinds of grease-grime particles.
If you are dealing with mould and fungus growth:
- Bleach also works for this, too, but not as effective compared to something like Apple Cider Vinegar, when it comes to dealing with mould.
You can try either of these out, manually.
But, you might want to observes some pros and cons to them, too.
We refer to the pros and cons, below—make sure to read them.
Can I Bleach My Dishwasher To Clean It Up?
When it comes to the use of bleach to clean up a dishwasher, it becomes a bit tricky.
But, by no means, is it a bad thing.
As with other things, there are do’s and there are don’ts.
- Make sure to use bleach in order to clean difficult areas like those that have hard to remove grease and grime.
- Avoid using bleach if your dishwasher has a stainless design, as it affects the material via corrosion and other abrasive ingredients.
And, that is really the keyword here: abrasive.
If your dishwasher needs a cleanup or is probably just mouldy in some areas, you can use other solutions for that—we recommend some below.
And, as with any products that have abrasive ingredients:
- Remember to take safety, especially your eyes—use eye shields, if necessary.
- And for those with sensitive skin, utilizing gloves is not a bad idea.
How To Clean Mold From A Dishwasher Drain
A number of people know that “moulds” is a buildup of fungi due to its attraction to the bacteria in your house.
In particular, moulds growth seems to thrive in damp, wet, humid environments
And, of course, this is a bad thing if you are dishwasher drain, as the machine alternates between those three temperatures.
So, while you cannot do much about the moulds, you can do this for your dishwasher drain below.
- Your dishwasher must not have any dishes for this procedure—except the ones you will use below.
- You can use vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar, since it has compounds in it that attack mould, and make it less likely to resurface.
- Use 237ml of the vinegar and put that solution on a bowl that is small.
- You then put the bowl (with the vinegar) at the uppermost rack of the dishwasher.
- Put on a wash cycle on the “hot water” setting—the vinegar solution will then spread to the mouldy and greasy areas.
How To Add Rinse Aid To A Dishwasher
Although dishwashers today are fairly competent in utilizing much less water, there remain problems.
One particular problem is that water does not really form like drops, inside a dishwasher machine.
More accurately, it wheezes around spreading to different areas, moisture spots—this affects the dishwasher’s heating and drying function, in the long term.
Hence, it is important to “rinse”, or use rinse aids—along with your detergents.
It is especially important to fill your dishwasher dispenser with rinse aid.
- In particular, you’ll want to get at least 150ml, which can last you thirty days.
- To know if your dispenser level is full, using a coloured rinse aid—the standard is blue.
- And, below are steps to help smoothen this task out:
- You will want to leave the door of the dishwasher open, for this one.
- To lift the dispenser, push your thumb gently on the lid’s centre, then pull back to the edge.
- Then, pour your rinse aid solution, up until you get a “full”, on the indicator
- It is important to avoid overfilling.
- After such, you can use a cloth that is damp to clean out any spilled solution.
- You can now close the door of the dispenser, and gently push the lid back.
- Another note to mention is that your indicator will drop, and this is the time to add more of the rinse aid solution.
You can also adjust certain settings for a better dry–but adjust accordingly and gradually.
Popular Dishwasher Questions
Does The Dishwasher Dull Knives If I Put Them In?
Unfortunately, yes, a dishwasher can definitely lead your knife to ruin, but probably not as you thought.
Most common kitchen knives are particularly affected by your dishwasher’s detergent—many of which have abrasive ingredients.
This is one, out of various more, reasons not to put your knives in the dishwasher—another reason is also the space taken.
Aside from knives, avoid using items with these, too:
- Other malleable items
The detergents not only cause them to “dull” out but also render them virtually ineffective.
Does The Dishwasher Sterilise Baby Bottles?
It is understandable to argue that dishwashers can sterilize your baby bottles, and they should.
But, oftentimes, they will encounter problems that won’t get an effective job done.
Problems, such as:
- Plastics bottled that are not “heat-safe”, similar to a microwave
- The dishwasher spray not getting into the bottles due to its cylindrical shape
- Overcrowding with items
- Effective sterilization requires a particular degree of heat, which dishwater cannot supply
It is fine to put sterilized bottles in the dishwasher for cleaning, though.
Is Dishwashing Liquid The Same As Detergent?
This question sort of seems obvious, in that they both clean stuff.
But, with respect to their properties, they are not the same, which is quite a bummer.
And, below are reasons why you should not lump both these items in the same box
- A dishwashing liquid or soap comes in a semi-liquid, semi-gel form, and is normally used in tandem with the friction of the sponge when you clean out the dishes.
- Alternatively, detergents are often in powder form, and have a little bit more abrasive chemicals than other liquids or soaps—this is why they are used in laundry machines.
- Aside from the ingredients, dishwashers have a specifically formulated detergent standard that works with the spraying, and cleaning system.
Make sure to use the appropriate detergents when using the dishwasher—it also gets the job done faster.
Why Does My Dishwasher Smell?
This is a very common problem that actually applies to air-conditioners and laundry machines, not just dishwashers.
So, you’re in good company.
As to why this happens, below are a few reasons:
- The filter of your dishwashers does the separation from the detergent, and to the liquid sediments that come from the cleaning.
- If the filter is dirty, it produces a smell, often taking from the smell of different foodstuffs.
- If the filter is clean (relatively speaking), it can mean that the smell of food has lingered inside, partly due to problems in the actual cleaning.
Though the main reason your dishwasher stinks is due to a dirty filter, one cannot stress enough the importance of a thorough cleaning—a dishwasher needs some help, too!
What Is The Orange Build Up In My Dishwasher?
The orange-like stain that builds ups in a number of washing machines is likely due to two things:
- An Orange
- A Tomato
- A heavily pigmented ingredient
Most of these “fruits”(yes, a tomato is a fruit) have what are termed polyphenols and pigments, and these are bio-compounds that give these foodstuffs their colour and their nutritive value.
Sadly, they can leave stains, like the orange stain in question—which comes from tomatoes, oranges, or even a sauce.
This does not require you to get rid of your fruits or sauces, but it does mean a checklist during dishwashing.
So, as much as you are able to, please observe these takeaways:
- Make sure to use to not put whole foods—peeled tomatoes or orange peels are out!
- Check the filter if it has sediments stuck to it—clean it out if it has.
- Use “fresh” dishwasher approved detergent, preferably one that is good for 2 months.
Why Do Glasses Go Cloudy In The Dishwasher?
Now, this phenomenon is something people can expect from time to time, often suspecting a bigger problem that is brewing in the works.
But, more often than not, your dishwasher is getting the job done—it’s mostly your detergent that causes it.
- One of the main reasons dishwasher guides as you to put dirty dishes in the machine is because, well, they mean it! – – it’s part of the system.
- Cleanup is done via sensors, spray and detergent, and detergents most of all, require “dirty” particles on your dishes.
- Once these detergents cling on to the particles, they begin separating them, and eventually, the separated particles get washed off.
If you happen to rinse your cups or your glasses beforehand, the detergents will not have dirt particles to latch on to, which causes buildup or residue—that cloudy stuff.
So, let your dishwashers and detergents clean up dirty dishes, as they meant to!
In the near future, dishwashers can get better—and, no doubt, they will.
Until then, you need to observe proper maintenance—here are some takeaways.
- Never use too many dishes, and no knives inside—observe proper stacking
- Always use high-quality and fresh detergents
- Use that rinse aid, especially for consistent drying performance.
- Apple Cider Vinegar cleans moulds, but Bleach is debatable
- Remove peels or heavily coloured stuff!
- Keep plastics out, unless they are heat-safe
- Use the machine only 5 times a week—make them count!
- Plan ahead, if you have not had a dishwasher yet
Keep calm, and treat those dishwashers with some tender, loving care, friends.