7 tips to maintain your dishwasher

Unloading dishwasher

Convenient and timesaving, the dishwasher is one of those appliances that makes chores a bit easier. Let’s face it, who wants to do the dishes when you have a dishwasher? With that in mind, let’s take a look at some handy tips for using your appliance effectively and efficiently!

Scrape food off dishes

You might not have to prewash dishes every time you load them but it’s a good idea to scrape most of the food off, to stop food deposits building up. It also means that there is less of a chance of food staying on dishes after the cycle has finished.

Know which items are non-dishwasher safe

It’s tempting to put all your dishes in the dishwasher but not all items are dishwasher safe and you could end up damaging them. Always check if items have a dishwasher safe label if unsure. Items made out of wood, copper and cast-iron are best to avoid. Most non-stick pans claim to be dishwasher safe but are best to wash by hand to stop damage to the coating. Be cautious with delicate glassware and refer to the manufacturer’s advice.

Clean at least once a month

Cleaning the dishwasher

It’s important to clean your dishwasher so it keeps working efficiently. Food builds-up and grease gets collected if it’s not cleaned and it can create problems such as strong odours and blockages, leading to dirty dishes. If you live in a hard water area it’s important to descale your dishwasher too, to stop limescale developing.

Use an old toothbrush for cleaning

Perfect for cleaning filters and crevices where food builds up, a toothbrush will allow you to scrub away grime and grease more easily in those hard to reach areas.

Don’t overfill the trays

It can very often be the case that there are more dishes to wash then can fit in the trays, in this case don’t overload the trays. This can result in unclean dishes as there is no space between them but also potentially cause damage as they bump along another when the cycle is on. Always make sure dishes have adequate space to get clean.

Organise cutlery before loading

Dishwasher cutlery basket

If you don’t already separate spoons, forks, etc in the cutlery basket, it’s time to start doing it this way. It might seem like the most logical thing to do but the habit is just to load everything in to get the dishes done. If you separate cutlery you will save yourself time when unloading.

Clean the outside too

Wipe down your dishwasher door and handle to keep it maintained from the outside and remember to clean the seals. The seals start to accumulate muck after a few months so give them a wipe with a damp cloth to keep them spotless too.


You can also remove odours in a dishwasher by placing one cup of bicarbonate of soda into the tray and running a normal cycle. Find out more of these hacks in our post on 10 bicarbonate of soda hacks for the home.

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