Kitchen appliances today are more and more high tech; sometimes it’s easy to forget that they still need to be maintained regularly to run properly and efficiently. It might be weird to think about cleaning an appliance that cleans as part of its job, but just like a washing machine, dishwashers need a good scrubbing now and again, too.
Rental property appliances in Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Auburn in particular should be tended to routinely in order to ensure they last as long as possible. Regular cleaning and maintenance will not only help keep your dishes sparkling clean, but will also help to keep your dishwasher running smoothly for years to come.
First thing’s first: If you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs of the dishwasher, dig out the manual that came with it or look it up online so you can make sure it’s being used correctly. Then read on below for some maintenance tips to help keep your dishwasher running effectively.
1. Run It Regularly
It’s important to run your dishwasher at least once per week to help keep the motor seals lubricated. This will also help to prevent food debris from settling in the filter or in the bottom of the dishwasher.
2. Detergent and Rinse Aid
Be sure to use a good quality detergent and a rinse aid to avoid spotting. Check the manual to see if certain brands or liquid vs. powder is recommended for your machine.
3. Run a Cycle Without Dishes
After emptying the dishwasher, pour a cup of white vinegar in the bottom of the pan and then run a full cycle without any dishes. The vinegar helps to loosen any stuck food debris and remove mineral deposits making it easier to wipe down. It is also important to wash your dishes before placing them into the dishwasher. This will greatly enhance the life of your dishwasher.
4. Wipe Down the Inside
Using warm soapy water, wipe down all the walls and bottom of the dishwasher. You will also want to wipe down the spinning arms and sprayer nozzle. These can both get clogged with debris or mineral deposits so you may need to use a toothpick or brush to clean them thoroughly.
5. Clean Out the Filter and Drain
If you don’t clean your dishwasher regularly, this part can be a bit gross. Most dishwashers have a filter (check your manual) located on the bottom of the pan. Usually a simple twist and pull motion will remove the filter which can then be pulled out and washed in the sink. Filters can get clogged up with food and buildup if not cleaned often enough. They can also make your clean dishes smell, so be sure to check this frequently. The drain should be located on the bottom near the filter, as well. This is another culprit for smelly, unclean looking dishes after running a cycle. You will want to clear out any debris that’s blocking the drain to keep it working properly.
6. Wipe Down the Edges and Door Seal
During the wash cycle, the edges and door seal don’t get cleaned, but are a prime location for catching food spills and drips. Because of this, they tend to smell if not wiped down regularly. Use a warm soapy sponge and a toothbrush, if needed, to loosen and remove debris and odor causing bacteria from all the edges of the door and the sealing gasket.
7. Check the Temperature
The water temperature entering the dishwasher should be at least 120 degrees, but not more than 150 degrees. Check the water temperature using a candy or meat thermometer. Turn on the hot water faucet nearest the dishwasher, place the thermometer in a glass, and let the water run continuously into the glass until the temperature stops rising. Adjust your water heater up or down as needed.
To keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape, repeat the above steps approximately every 4-6 weeks. It’s also not a bad idea to run another full cycle on empty after completing all these steps just to give it one last thorough washing once all the internal parts have been scrubbed and debris has been loosened. Passing this information on to your tenants will help to prolong the life of your dishwasher and cut down on repair costs. Just like your Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Auburn rental property, appliances are part of your investment so it’s critical to keep them maintained to ensure they perform their best for years to come.
Written by Jessica Ornelas | Realtor/Property Manager | DRE# 02042367
Edited by Barrett Property Management, Inc.