Having the family over for the holidays? Think about all those dishes that will need washed. Yikes! Thank the “Dishwasher Gods” for gifting us this wondrous machine where dishes go in dirty and come out clean.  But, we must take care of it or the Gods will punish you with poor performance.

With all that extra work your dishwasher is about to undertake, now is the time to give it a little extra TLC to ensure it will be running strong in time for your big Thanksgiving feast. Here are a few things you can do to keep this running strong:

  • Make sure to run the longer and hotter cycles. Although some people might believe that this uses more energy you will use more energy if the dishes are not coming out clean and you have to run them again or wash by hand.
  • Clean the dishwasher debris trap and screens. This is where some pretty gross items can be hiding. In fact, some of the things I have found while servicing dishwashers over the years are toothpicks, bread bag ties, glass, clothing tags, screws, garden soil, batteries and, much to my surprise, an adult toy. These will clog water jets and destroy the pumps.
  • Scrape food off your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. DO NOT RINSE!!!  You don’t need to give it a complete clean off, but make sure that bite-sized pieces of food are thrown in the trash before tossed in your dishwasher. I don’t care what the salesman told you, it’s not a garbage disposer.
  • Don’t overcrowd. We’re all guilty of shoving “just one more plate” into the dishwasher, but it’s important that you don’t have too many items inside.
  • Insert a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack of an empty dishwasher and run the hottest cycle. This will help remove mineral buildup which is in the form of foggy or a white haze on the dishes and the dishwasher interior.
  • If you want to use a product that will address the mineral and grease build up use Finish Dishwasher Cleaner
  • Use good dishwasher soap like Finish Quantum Tablets. It is a soap I use and recommend. It has gotten me out of poor dishwasher performance jams for over two decades.

By simply taking time to complete a few routine maintenance check-ups for your major appliances, your appliances will be in better shape to run strong as the holiday season approaches.