Scrape items before loading
It might not be pleasant, but by scraping leftover food from your plate you reduce the likelihood of blockages occurring as a result of loose food matter in your machine. Of course, in an ideal world, the amount of food that you’ll be throwing away will be minimal and, depending on how good your cooking is, there should be no need to scrape at all!
Only use it for washing crockery or kitchenware
Although many online bloggers might purport the multitude of other
household items that you can also clean in your dishwasher, these kinds of ‘hacks’ are likely to damage your possessions and put undue pressure on your dishwasher. So before you start popping your shoes, hair brushes or...erm...toothbrush in the wash
: just think twice before taking any unnecessarily risky cleaning short-cuts.
Take care when loading your machine
Everyone has their own way of going about this particular task, but you’re probably not aware that there is a right way of doing this. There is a specific place for each piece of kitchenware and crockery in your dishwasher; keeping these in order and only using your machine when it’s full will save energy and keep your dishwasher in decent knick.
Larger pots and pans should be kept on the bottom; knives, forks and spoons should be mixed in the cutlery basket
to avoid them clinging together and plates should be alternated in size for the best results.
Keep it clean inside (and out!)
You can’t expect to keep your dishes clean if your dishwasher is filthy and, contrary to popular belief, your dishwasher doesn’t clean itself. Although the water in your dishwasher should be hot enough to kill the bacteria on your plates, you still need to keep an eye out for limescale build-up or any rogue debris that might create an unpleasant odour.
Pick bits of debris out and run a vinegar cycle to stay on top of odours and don’t forget to wipe the outside of your machine as well (our multi-purpose kitchen cleane
r can do the trick in a jiffy).
Essential cleaning tasks
Once a week you should run a cloth over your dishwasher; give the filter a good rinse and wipe down the seal. Topping up the dishwasher salt is a monthly job that is particularly important for anyone living in an area with hard water, without it your detergents will not work properly.
Rinse aid will help your plates dry without streaks, so your best crockery stays looking lovely. Every 6-months or so you should think about removing and cleaning your dishwasher spray arms, you can also run a hot wash whilst it’s empty to keep it fresh.
Mind the door!
Most dishwashers are built to withstand a fair bit of wear and tear, but there are still points in your machine that are particularly susceptible to damage. Don’t panic if your door starts dropping down heavily, you’ll just need to replace a few parts to get your machine back to working order. By taking care when you open and close the dishwasher door you can prevent damage to components such as the hinge springs