Here’s how to make a dishwasher last longer

Dishwashers are the best kitchen assistants whether you are cleaning up after a feast or a Saturday night dinner, these appliances assist in making short work of your glasses, plates, and silverware. But at times dishwasher cycles can last more than you would expect. After investing in a washer, one question that comes to mind of every user is ‘how long does a dishwasher last?’ Dishwashers usually last nine to sixteen years, with an average life expectancy of twelve years. Dishwasher lifespan is comparatively predictable, but your machine is much more likely to reach that sixteen-year mark if you look after it properly.

Factors that can influence the lifespan of the dishwasher

  • The regularity of use: In most homes, the dishwasher is used five times each week. Those who use their appliance less often are likely to require fewer repairs and get more years out of their dishwasher.
  • Quality: If you invested in a premium washer from a trusted manufacturer, it might last longer than a model that does not have best-in-class parts. Plus, you are likely to experience fewer problems such as loud dishwasher noises and incompetent water use.
  • Maintenance: Maintenance, including periodic cleaning, can assist your dishwasher to stay perfect longer than one that has been ignored comparatively.
  • Repairs: The experts you appoint to repair your dishwasher make a disparity. If you appoint a repair technician who is not experienced and trained, or who uses aftermarket parts rather than OEM, your washer may break again sooner than you expect.

If you have invested in a dishwasher of late, and thinking ‘how long does a dishwasher last?’ then you must follow the maintenance tips that are mentioned below.

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Tips to extend the life of your dishwasher

  • Use Hot Water

The detergent and dishwasher are more effective at higher temperatures, and hot water is required to kill bacteria, odors, and germs.

  • Keep It Clean

The parts of the washer can become soiled, which can decrease the cleaning power and effectiveness of the appliance. Residue buildup can also cause your dishwasher to become broken or clogged. Wipe down the door seals and food spills using warm water, mild soap, and a soft cloth regularly. After every few months, clean the filter and food trap.

  • Do Not Overfill
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When you place dishes, leave enough space between dishes to avoid needless pressure on your dishwasher. If you are not sure how to load it properly, refer to the owner’s manual to assist maximize the cleaning power of every cycle.

  • Pre-Rinse

Scrape or pre-rinse your dishes before placing them in the washer. Place big food chunks in the garbage, particularly greasy foods and hard items such as bones.

  • Be Choosy

The dishwasher can be used to clean more than dishes, but before placing other items within, ensure they will not cause any damage to the unit. You may see videos that suggest using the washer to clean car parts. But this is not a good idea as car parts are greasy, and the dishwasher and detergent are not made to deal with this kind of grease. It can block the filter and damage the pump.

  • Remove hard-water residue

If you reside in an area with hard water, the interior of the washer is likely to develop discoloration and mineral films. These deposits appear like a cloudy layer on your dishes and the inside of the machine, and you might see the wheels and rack rails moving with resistance. To get rid of this, use a citric-acid-dishwasher cleaner. This helps to eliminate the deposits easily. Refer to package directions for eliminating the hard-water layer from your washer.

Tips for cleaning a stinking dishwasher

  • Clean the Drain Filter

Usually, dishwashers have a drain filter to stop food particles from clogging the drain. This is the most common cause of dishwasher odors.

  1. Get rid of the drain filter from the floor of the washer.
  2. Clean the filter in your kitchen sink with soap and hot water. Use a bottle brush if required to reach all the inner surfaces.
  3. Make sure the drain is clear and free of food debris before you insert the drain filter again. Clean particles with a sponge if required.
  • Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
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Both baking soda and vinegar can help to get rid of odor, but you will have to follow the below-mentioned tips to get the best result:

  1. Vacant the appliance completely.
  2. Place a cup of vinegar in a bowl on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  3. Run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle available. The vinegar will loosen deposits on the appliance interior and leave it smelling good.
  4. Take out the bowl from the washer after the cycle is done.
  5. Dust baking soda on the floor of the dishwasher.
  6. Run a short cycle at the hottest temperature setting to ensure all the baking soda melts. This must make your washer fresh.
  • Clean the Spray Arm

If the spray arm becomes congested with food, the dishwasher’s ability to clean cups, plates, and silverware reduces to a great extent. The debris also results in a smelly washer.

  1. Get rid of the lower and upper spray arms.
  2. Hold one spray arm over the kitchen sink and get rid of stray food particles with a cotton swab.
  3. Run water via the spray arm to ensure all the holes are clear.
  4. Repeat this with the second spray arm.
  • Check the Drain Hose

Suppose smell continues or returns quickly after following these steps. In that case, something can be incorrect with the drain hose, particularly if you see standing water at the bottom of the washer after every cycle finishes. A little troubleshooting should cure the problem.

  1. Pull the washer out from below the counter to examine the hose on the back.
  2. Ensure the hose is not restricted or bent, which can restrict the flow and result in standing water in the dishwasher.
  3. If water from the sink starts to back up into the washer, stop this by lifting the drain hose loop a bit elevated.

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Final Thoughts

So, if you are thinking ‘how long does a dishwasher last?’, do not worry as it can indeed last for more than a decade; provided you take care of it.