Dishwasher Care and Maintenance
Your dishwasher cleans by spraying a mixture of hot water and
detergent through the spray arms against soiled surfaces. Each cycle
begins with a pre-drain. Next, the dishwasher fills with water
covering the filter area.Water is then pumped through the filter and
spray arms. Soil particles go down the drain as the water is pumped
out and replaced with clean water. The number of water fills will
vary with the cycle being used. Some of these dishwasher parts are
capable of “seeing” the amount of dirt in the water, and can
therefore change the amount of wash time needed to clean the dishes.
In addition, many dishwashers now have a stainless steel interior
which can last for 20 or more years. In the early days dishwashers
were solidly built, but used tons of hot water and were very noisy.
In recent years, the most interesting advances have come from the
use of more sophisticated electronics.
Energy Saving Tips for your Dishwasher
1. Use energy-saving cycles whenever possible.
2. If your dishwasher has a booster heater, turn down your water
heater thermostat. Most dishwasher booster heaters can raise water
temperature at least 20 F, so a setting of 120 F for your water
heater should work fine. The washing cycle will take longer if the
dishwasher has to boost the temperature, but unless you need to wash
several loads in a row, this shouldn’t be a problem.
3. Use the no-heat air-dry feature on your dishwasher if it has
one. If you have an older dishwasher that doesn’t include this
feature, you can turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse cycle
is completed an open the door to allow air drying. Using the no-heat
dry feature or opening and air drying the dishes will increase the
drying time, and it could lead to increased spotting, according to
some in the industry. But try this method sometime to see how well
it works with your machine.
4. Don’t pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
Modern dishwashers do a superb job of cleaning even heavily soiled
dishes. Scrape off food and empty liquids—the dishwasher will do the
rest. If you must rinse dishes first, at least use cold water.
5. Wash only full loads. The dishwasher uses the same amount of
water whether it’s half-full or completely full. Putting dishes in
the dishwasher throughout the day and running it once in the evening
will use less water and energy than washing the dishes by hand
throughout the day. If you currently wash dishes by hand and fill
sinks or plastic tubs with water, it’s pretty easy to figure out
whether you would use less water with a dishwasher. Simply measure
how much water it takes to fill the wash and rinse containers. If
you wash dishes by hand two or three times a day, you might be
surprised to find out how much water you’re currently using. Whether
or not you will save energy by switching from washing-by-hand to
using a dishwasher depends on both the dishwasher and how you wash
the dishes by hand.
6. Load dishes according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Completely fill the racks to optimize water and energy use, but
allow proper water circulation for adequate cleaning.
Factors Affecting Performance
The hot water line to dishwasher must provide water pressure
between 20 and 120 psi. This is what the inlet water valve needs to
operate properly. Low water pressure may occur when laundry or
showers are in operation. Wait until water use is reduced before
starting dishwasher. Basically it's not good to run the Dishwasher
when somebody is in the shower.
Hot water is needed for best dishwashing and drying results.
Water entering dishwasher should be at least 120°F (49°C) to give
satisfactory results. To check water temperature entering
dishwasher: • Turn on hot water faucet nearest dishwasher for
several minutes to clear cool water from pipes. • Hold a candy or
meat thermometer in stream of water to check the temperature. • If
temperature is below 120°F (49°C), have a qualified person raise the
hot water heater thermostat setting. Important: Before starting a
cycle, run the hot water faucet to clear the cold water from the