Stop rinsing the dishes first and don’t run the shortest cycle: The common mistakes people make with their dishwashers revealed
- If you have a dishwasher, making sure it functions as well as it can is a must
- While most are easy to use, understanding more than the basics can help
- Experts say there are several things you can to to ‘troubleshoot’ problems
- They also reveal some simple ways to ensure the machine continues to run well
A dishwasher is likely one of the hardest working appliances in the home.
Which can mean if something goes wrong, or your machine isn’t working as effectively, it can be costly to call a technician to get this sorted.
To help troubleshoot small problems, Australian experts have revealed some of the most common mistakes people make – and offered simple solutions for each.
If your dishwasher isn’t working as well as you’d like, there several things you can do to troubleshoot the problem (stock image)
1. Oily residue on plates after a cycle
There’s nothing more frustrating than opening the dishwasher after it has completed a cycle only to discover an unpleasant residue on plates.
‘A common thing people ask me is “why do my plates feel slick, like oil?”,’ said Laurent Salinge, a dishwasher mechanic at Aussie Appliance repairs, speaking to Domain.
He said while it’s easy to assume the detergent is the problem, it’s also probable you’re not running your machine for long enough.
Most dishwashers generally come with two or three spray arms, and to save water they work one at a time.
If the machine is set to the quickest cycle, there isn’t enough time to rinse off the detergent.
This means the hotter rinse cycle starts while there’s detergent still in the machine.
These days with advances in technology, it’s possible to select a cycle for your dishes which is far more intuitive than what was previously available (stock image)
2. Not selecting the most effective cycle
These days with advances in technology, it’s possible to select a cycle for your dishes which is far more intuitive than what was previously available.
Colin Jones, an appliance expert at Appliance Online, said his recommendation for the cleanest plates was to use the Auto 45-60 – if your dishwasher has this.
‘Auto 45-60 will wash your plates at the temperature according to how dirty your plates are. It tries to guess which cycle to use,’ he told the publication.
The auto function is unique in that a pre-wash cycle analyses the amount of food particles in the water and then adjusts the wash cycle and temperature accordingly.
How can you prevent a dishwasher tablet from becoming stuck in the dispenser?
* It’s possible to not bother using the dispenser at all, and simply place the tablet into the cutlery basket or onto the bottom of the dishwasher, though some companies say their tablets to do not work effectively this way
* Dishwasher tablets also work effectively in a dispenser when they’ve been slightly moistened with water
* Removing the plastic cover from the dishwashing tablet can help them to dissolve more effectively
* Stack dishes away from the dispenser so the door isn’t blocked and can open properly
* Make sure your water is hot by running the hot water in the sink until the water is hot just before you start the machine. If the water isn’t hot, it might not dissolve the detergent
* Leave the dispenser lid off
* When the remedies above don’t work, you’ll need to replace the entire soap dispenser
3. Rinsing the dishes in the sink before washing them
While it may seem counter-intuitive, you don’t always need to spend time standing at the sink rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.
Mr Jones said doing so, can potentially affect how well your machine operates.
This is because the auto function on the machine assumes your plates are ‘clean’ which means a lower wash temperature is selected.
If you are dealing with plates that have food properly stuck to it, then you do need to make sure the worst of it has been removed, however – most don’t require rinsing.
4. Overstacking and blocking spray arms
One of the most common mistakes both mechanics have come across is that of over-stacking.
While there are no hard and fast rules as to how a machine needs to be stacked to be most effective, packing it too full isn’t advised.
They advise being especially careful with items that are larger as if for some reason this gets in the way of one of the rotating arms, dishes won’t be cleaned as well.