You should be aware that dishwashers and other appliances need routine maintenance to run at optimal levels. But how do you know when the time has come to call in the professionals? If you think your appliance is broken, but aren’t sure what the problem is, there are several telltale signs that your dishwasher requires professional repair.
1. Your dishwasher doesn’t wash your dishes
It may seem like they do, but dishwashers don’t actually remove the gunk and buildup that gets on your dishes while you’re cooking. To get dishes clean, you have to scrub them with a sponge. To get a dispenser clean, you have to wipe it down with a cleaning solution. Receipts and menus are the easiest to clean, but heavy duty models (such as those with a multi-stage flow control system) are also good for removing meat drippings, and dried food crumbs and sand.
Dishwasher-related chemicals are a big concern when it comes to keeping the peace in your kitchen. According to Everyday Health, which conducted an extensive study on kitchen cleaners, chloroform and other chemicals used in the anti-scale and steam cleaning process are “great for cooking and deep frying, but may cause harm when ingested.
Other cleaning chemicals to keep an eye out for include xylene, hydrogen peroxide, and Methylene chloride. Methylene chloride can cause eye and skin irritation and should never be used on baby or child-sized dishes.
So should you be worried? Probably not. Although you may see some of the signs listed above when upgrading your dishwasher to a high-end model, the cleaning process is relatively similar for all modern models. Buying a dishwasher doesn’t change which chemicals it’s meant to use, and there’s no reason to start precluding yourself from using dishwashing solutions that aren’t available from your local supermarket.
2. You hear a strange, loud sound coming from your dishwasher
It’s hard to know what to do when you hear a strange, loud sound coming from your dishwasher. You might think it’s a broken appliance and that you’re going to have to buy a new dishwasher. Alternatively, you might just be terrified to call the appliance company or schedule an appointment to fix it, since none of the common symptoms are immediately clear.
Either way, if you suspect your dishwasher is broken, and you can’t solve the problem on your own, call out your local outsourced appliance maintenance service. If they have enough experience, they can schedule a visit to the appliance for you, diagnose the problem and come up with the best solution short of buying a new one.
3. You see rust forming inside or outside of your dishwasher
If you notice rust forming inside or outside of your dishwasher, check the drain hose. The hose connects to the disposal unit and is located underneath the sink. If the hose is clogged, it could prevent water from draining out, which may cause rust to form inside the dishwasher. To fix this, remove the hose from the disposal. This will allow free flow of water through the dishwasher and fix the problem. If the problem persists, repair the dishwasher’s drain hose and call an professional expert.
If you notice rust splodging or wet spots on your floor or countertop, this is a prime indicator that the dishwasher needs servicing. This rust is citrus oil and deposits that had accumulated inside the dishwasher. If the rust leaves a white residue in its place, the spot needs to be re-sealed.
Dishwashers generate a lot of heat, and cleaning a dishwasher while it’s running can make for an unsightly “rust carpet” on the floor or countertop. To clean the inside of your dishwasher, use a soft cloth or paper towels saturated with a cleaning solution. They should leave no residue, be unobtrusive, and remove residual crud. If the dishwasher is equipped with a metal grate, you may also use a soft brush soaked in a solution of baking soda and water to clean the grates.
4. The door won’t close properly, or it gets stuck when trying to close it
When the door won’t close properly or gets stuck, check the floor. To be sure the floor is level, place a 2×4 (10×30 cm) between the door and the floor, then check the door. If the door doesn’t close tightly, shim the floor with a few pieces of wood under the door.
Pricing is the major factor in whether an appliance is worth buying used or replacing it entirely. For dishwashers, the price is often higher than the regular price, which means it’s yanked out of the manufacturer’s refurbished revenue stream. To determine whether a dishwasher is worth buying used or replacing for a new model, you can do three things:
Although most appliances require regular cleaning, dishes will inevitably go bad at some point. For this reason, it’s important that you quickly return the dishes when you’re done using them. Ideally, put the dishes in the dishwasher and then vacuum up the crumbs and spend 30 seconds drying them off. Secure the lid and turn it on. (Don’t forget to close the door, so the dishwasher runs quietly.) Immediately after the spin cycle, put the dishes in the dishwasher again, close the door, and turn it off.
When placing dishes in the dishwasher, always use a heavy-duty spatula (also called a bread knife) because it has a deep cleaning area that other knives do not. The heavy-duty spatula helps clean the surface of dishes as they go through the cycle, defeating one of the main causes of food poisoning, eroding countertops, and other microbial damage.