Did you know that your Springfield MO plumbers are on standby to assist you with all of your plumbing needs? That includes dishwasher repair! Between Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, not to mention all of the additional holiday baking you might be doing this time of year, your dishwasher is likely working overtime right now. If you are starting to notice a performance drop in your most handy, household appliance, you may be missing out on some of these key tips for keeping your dishwasher from working too hard. If you still have questions regarding your water heater maintenance after reading this guide, call Roto-Rooter, your Springfield MO plumbers, at 417-203-0570.

Rinse (and scrape!) your dishes.

Taking the extra time to rinse, soak, and scrape the stuck-on grime from your dishes could be the difference between a working dishwasher and a cabinet full of dirty dishes. The last thing we want to do is wash all of our dishes by hand–that’s why we have dishwashers! But understanding that dishwashers aren’t miracle workers will save you a lot of money and headache.

Don’t crowd the dishes.

It took me a long time to realize that if I filled the bottom rack of the dishwasher with large bowls and pots, the water would never have a chance to reach the top rack. Since the water moves from the bottom-up, make sure you are only putting plates and lids (and other similarly shaped dishes) in the bottom rack. Anything goes when it comes to the top rack, as long as you keep from overcrowding. Any parts of the dishes that are touching are likely not being cleaned, so make sure there is ample space between each dish for water to get through.

Run hot water before starting the dishwasher.

Your dishwasher is automatically set to run hot water, but it will start running water as soon as the appliance is turned on. In order to ensure all of the water that is used to clean your dishes is set to the highest-performing temperature throughout the wash, take a couple of seconds to run hot water in your kitchen sink prior to starting the washer. (This may happen automatically if you are rinsing your dishes before loading them, but if you’re the type to fill the appliance over time, you may not be getting the most you can out of each wash cycle.) Remember that at any point during this process, should you wish to receive a professional’s help, your Springfield MO plumbers at Roto-Rooter Plumbing and Drain Service will be ready to take your call and offer you a free estimate on all of your dishwasher needs.

Rinse your dishwasher.

That’s right. If rinsing your dishes isn’t cutting it, it might be time to rinse the whole appliance with a vinegar bath. White distilled vinegar is one of the best natural cleaners that can be put to work in every room of your home. Fill a dishwasher-safe container with one cup of white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher (with nothing but this cup of vinegar inside) one full cycle. This should loosen and wash away old food particles and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh.

Clean the dishwasher trap.

We’re saving the best for last. If all else fails, it might be time to remove the grime and food particles from the trap below the sprayer. Remove the lower rack and locate the removable piece from the drain. If the drain is removable, take it out and dump/rinse it. If it isn’t removable, grab a towel to thoroughly wipe up all of the debris.

Check your water temperature.

If your water heater is set to anything below 120 degrees, your dishwasher will not be able to perform at its best. Check your water heater’s thermostat to ensure it is between 120 and 125 degrees. Don’t be tempted to make it hotter, however, because water that is too hot will dry too quickly. You want the water to run off the dishes, taking all of the food particles with it. Not sure whether your water heater is working as well as it used to? Check out this (DIY!) step-by-step guide to flushing your system. If you are still experiencing problems with your water temperature, call your Springfield MO plumbers at Roto-Rooter for a free estimate!

Combat Hard Water.

An easy way to tell if your water is too hard will be by the state of your dishes after a wash. When soap is mixed with water that has come into contact with high levels of calcium and magnesium, it will not mix together as well. This leaves a cloudy residue, or mineral build-up, on your dishes. There are a number of ways to combat this issue. If you wish to fix the source of the problem, consider installing a water softener in your home. This will travel throughout the entire house and reduce the hardness of your water in the shower and the washing machine–as well as the dishwasher. For this particular fix, you may be better suited to call your Springfield MO plumbers to come out and install the system for you, as the process has a tendency of being complex. If you are looking for a quick fix that will attack the problem of only your cloudy dishes, add a small amount of white distilled vinegar to each load. This trick will also work in your washing machine when cleaning particularly dirty or odorous clothing, as it cuts the smell and provides a deeper clean. This natural cleaning solution will counteract the hard water’s minerals, eliminating those pesky water splotches and producing a nice shine on your dishes. Use the vinegar as a rinse aid in conjunction with your detergent for optimal results.

Is it time to call your Springfield MO Plumbers?

If none of these tips seem to be doing the trick, it may be time to hire a professional. Roto-Rooter Plumbing and Drain Service is the industry leader, with only the most trained and professional Springfield MO plumbers. With years of service and expert technicians, we are your one-stop-shop for all of your plumbing and drain cleaning needs. As your Springfield MO plumbers, we strive to restore your home to its former glory, even after a pipe burst, a clogged pipe, or a water heater failure.