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Don’t Waste Money! The Dishwasher

Posted by Johnine Larsen on January 22, 2015
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appliance-waste-money-drainMaybe it’s your first home. Maybe you did a cursory wipe-down and thought that was enough. Maybe you assumed all appliances had a five-year lifespan. Whatever the reason, don’t worry—we won’t judge.

Proper appliance maintenance happens pretty rarely, to be honest. We see a lot of ill-maintained ovens, refrigerators, and washing machines on a fast track to an early death. In other words: We see a lot of people wasting money.


Here’s how to save money:

5 Dishwasher Maintenance Tips 


1) More heat, less soap

First things first. Use hot water! Set your water heater to at least 120 degrees if you want clean dishes. And once you’re using appropriately hot water, you can use less soap. , according to most dishwasher repair pros.

“Most people use 10 to 15 times the amount of soap they need,” repairman Vernon Schmidt told the NY Times. “and they’re pouring money down the drain.”

Over-soaping is the #1 dishwashing sin, actually, because not only does it waste soap, but it also puts unnecessary strain on the spray arm, pump, and motor. Moral of the story? More heat. Less soap.


2) Spray arm

If you find gunk on supposedly clean dishes, odds are you’ve got a clogged spray arm. Food can easily get stuck there, or tapwater buildup can block those little jets. To clean it, pull out the dishracks and remove the spray arm. Soak it in vinegar to break down mineral deposits and loosen food debris, and then scrub that arm with an old toothbrush and pick out any stubborn food particles with tweezers or a toothpick.


3) Food traps

Dishwasher-appliance-2Before you replace the spray arm, clean the food trap. You’ll find it beneath the lower sprayer, and inside, you’ll discover all sorts of leftover food and grime and hair. That’s right—even hair winds up in your dishwasher. Gross. Cleaning the food trap will result in cleaner dishes and a more efficient dishwasher.


4) Door seal

Food will inevitably work its way into that black rubber seal around the door, which lets heat escape and makes washing inefficient. It’s up to you to take that gunk out by wiping the whole seal regularly. But if it’s too late, and if the seal is already ruined, don’t worry. A new one costs about $20, and you can install it yourself.


5) Vinegar washes

bottle-of-vinegarWash your empty dishwasher with a load of white vinegar once a week. This will clean out old food particles, keep your dishwasher smelling fresh, and restore its shine. This is one of the most low-effort tips on this list, and it’s one of the best preventative measures you can take.




Read More

Don’t Waste Money! The Refrigerator