Your dishwasher should always be plugged into a grounded outlet. DO NOT use an extension cord.
If hot water has not been used in your house for more than two weeks or longer, open all the hot water faucets and allow them to run for several minutes before using your dishwasher or any other electrical appliance connected to the hot water heater. When you are doing this, be sure NOT to smoke or light any flame while the faucets are running as hydrogen gas which is flammable and explosive may have built up in the water heater and hot water pipes.
To help keep your dishwasher free of stains all you need is some powdered drink crystals. Use three to four ounces of the powdered drink crystals (orange or lemon work well). Be sure to read the back of the package to make sure there is citric acid in the crystals, it is the citric acid that does all the work. Place the powder in the soap dispenser. DO NOT put regular dishwashing detergent in the soap containers. Also make sure the dishwasher is empty when you run it with the powdered drink crystals. This will help you keep the inside of the dishwasher free of stains.
If you have hard water and need to remove the mineral build up you can try using white vinegar—but check the owner’s manual first to make sure the make and model will tolerate the vinegar. Then start your dishwasher on its regular cycle (be sure the dishwasher is empty). When the bottom of the dishwasher begins to fill with water open the door and pour two cups of vinegar on the floor of the dishwasher and close the door.
To make sure the water temperature is hot enough to clean your dishes properly go to the sink nearest the dishwasher. Turn on the hot water and let it run until it is as hot as possible. Place a meat thermometer in the running water to make sure the temperature is at least 140 degrees. If your hot water is not hot enough turn up the heat on your hot water heater or try insulating the pipes that run from the heater to the dishwasher.
If the outside of your dishwasher is white and you want to get rid of yellowing stains try mixing together ½ cup of bleach, ¼ cup of baking soda and 4 cups of warm water. Apply this mixture with a sponge and let it set for about ten minutes then rinse and dry thoroughly, this will work on other white appliances as well.
Do tipped glasses half full of water drive you crazy when you try to unload the dishwasher? Try to “catch” your dishwasher when it is between the wash cycle and the dry cycle. Open the door, drain the dishes and the pools of water from glasses and cups and then close the dishwasher and allow it to finish its regular cycle. Your dishes should be completely dry and ready to be put away when the dry cycle is complete. Or try this, run your dishwasher at the end of the day. In the morning drain the dishes and then reset the dishwasher to run on the dry cycle for a few minutes.
A dishwasher can clean more than just dishes. Many figurines, knick-knacks, baby toys and some of your shelves and bins from the refrigerator are safe to run through the dishwasher and come out sparkling clean. Also, to disinfect your sponges try running them through the dishwasher in the top rack.
These quick tips will help you keep your dishwasher clean as well as your dishes.