As a kid, one of my chores was washing the dishes. I hated it. This was before dishwashers (or maybe just before most houses had one), so I scrubbed all the cutlery, plates, cups, and pots by hand. I have semi-fond memories of spending what felt like an hour every night with my hands in hot water.
Now I’ve grown up and we have a dishwasher. While I still wash some items by hand, I’ve grown quite accustomed to my favorite kitchen buddy. But when my pal breaks down or starts acting funny, my dishes pay the price. Since I’d prefer not to spend oodles repairing this tool, I’ve done a bit of research for ways to get my dishwasher back in top-shape on my own.
Here are a few ideas you can try
1. Clean your dishwasher
This may seem counterintuitive. If your dishwasher is cleaning your dishes, isn’t your dishwasher getting cleaned at the same time? Nope. Start by removing any loose debris from the bottom of the dishwasher. (Don’t forget to wipe down the filter at the bottom). Then run your empty dishwasher with a glass of vinegar on the top shelf.
2. Unclog the spray arms
If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning properly, one of the best solutions is to remove the lower spray arm (check your manual to see if and how this is possible). You’ll want to clean out each of the holes with a steel wire or wire hanger. Then soak the arms in vinegar to remove any excess debris before putting them back into the machine.
3. Stop feeding your dishwasher
Keep your dishwasher cleaner, longer, but scraping off excess bits of food from your plates. You do not need to prewash or even rinse them though. In fact, some dish soap actually works better with grease because it provides friction for the soap, according to Good Housekeeping.