How To Make Your Dishwasher Clean Better

How To Make Your Dishwasher Clean Better

None of us like doing dishes by hand, and there is nothing worse than washing your dishes after you have already just washed them in the dishwasher.  Over time dishwashers can start to not clean as well as they used to.  Was it something you did to it?  Possibly.  Here are some tips to keep your dishwasher running like new.

Don’t Use Cheap Soap
Did you go to the big box store and buy the largest and cheapest box of dishwasher detergent they had?  Cheap dishwasher detergent can leave your dishes cloudy and it can also stick to the insides of the dishwasher causing the dishwasher not to pump the water as well as it used to.  When shopping for dishwasher soap, buy name brand detergent and read reviews online to see what is working the best for other people.

Don’t Use Too Much Soap
The first thing that most people do when their dishwasher isn’t cleaning very well is they start using more soap.  This is NOT what you should do.  Dishwashers only fill up with a small amount of water and then recirculate this water to clean the dishes.  Adding too much soap can cause the soap to not dissolve all of the way into the water and it will start leaving deposits on the dishes and on the insides of the dishwasher.  Did you know that most dishwashers have two fill lines for how much soap to use?  Look closely, most have one line to fill up to if you have hard water, and another line to fill up to if you have soft water.

Test Your Water Hardness
Hard water is very hard on appliances.  Water hardness can vary by area, so it is a good idea to buy some test strips to check your water hardness.  If you have very hard water, adding a water softener can extend the life of your dishwasher and keep your dishes cleaner.  Soft water will help prevent hard water deposits from building up inside the dishwasher.

Run The Hot Water Before Turning On The Dishwasher
Dishwashers rely on hot water to properly clean your dishes.  If your hot water heater is a far distance from your kitchen, it may take a while for the water to get hot.  Here is how to to ensure that your dishwasher gets hot water right away when it first starts. First run the hot water at the sink next to the dishwasher until the water gets hot, and then start the dishwasher.  Also check to make sure your dishwasher is set at the proper temperature, most dishwashers need the water heater to be set at approximately 125° F to operate the best.

Use Vinegar To Clean Out The Dishwasher
The best thing to use to clean out the inside of the dishwasher is vinegar.  Never use any plumbing or drain cleaners inside dishwashers.  Place a small bowl or cup full of plain vinegar in the top rack of the dishwasher, and let it run through a complete cycle with nothing else in the dishwasher.  This will help to clean out the inside of the dishwasher by removing hard water deposits and soap build up.

Information provided by, an appliance parts retailer.

1 Comment

  1. one
    Comment by Best Dishwasher: Aug 28, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    Now I’m wondering what I might find in my dishwasher! I’ve never cleaned anything except the sides of the doors that get so gunked up, and the outside. (Yikes!!) Great idea to include a printable with the steps for cleaning, thanks!

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