Posted by: Elementary Home Inspections |

Common maintenance tips on getting your dishwasher to wash the dishes properly, and reduce the amount of detergent that you need to use.

The most common cause of a dishwasher not washing the dishes well is improper loading- so if you're letting the kids load pot on top of pan covered by a bowl, you might experience food and waste stuck on the dishes after the wash. If you load your dishwasher properly, and it still doesn't wash dishes quite the way you would like, read on! (You may even save some money on detergent by following this maintenance tip)

Assuming you home's water pressure is good, and that there's nothing blocking the water lines to the dishwasher, you may be putting too much detergent in your dishwasher. To determine how hard your water is, talk to a local water softener retailer. Most of them offer a free test, and will be able to tell you how many grains of hardness your water has.

If you have 12 grains of hardness or less, and you're filling the dishwasher soap cups completely full, you're using too much! Zero to three grains of hardness requires one tablespoon of detergent, four to six requires two tablespoons, seven to nine requires three tablespoons, and 10 to 12 requires four. Beyond 12, fill the soap cups completely.

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If you're still having issues, we recommend treating the dishwasher with C.L.R. Simply run the dishwasher empty- no dishes or soap- for two to three minutes. Open the dishwasher door, and you should find water pooled in the bottom of the unit. Add one cup of CLR to the water. Allow the dishwasher to run through its cycle, and then run it a second time to ensure all of the cleaning chemicals have been removed before washing dishes again.