Few appliances do drudge work like the dishwasher. Day after day, the dishwasher acts as the kitchen’s backbone. Easy to take for granted, it trudges along performing the dirty work produced daily in kitchens everywhere. But it’s not invincible, and you want to make sure you maintain it properly. Here are four ways you might be damaging your dishwasher.

Failing to Rinse Before Loading

Regardless of the advertisements saying your dishwasher scrubs away food particles, do not place pots and bowls full of food in your dishwasher. After all, it’s not intended to take the place of a garbage disposal or a rubbish container. Remove uneaten food from plates before dumping them in the dishwasher.

Over time, food particles build up in the dishwasher drain or filter. Eventually, high heat and more particles can clog your dishwasher to the point of no return. With no way to drain properly, dirty water coats dishes and leaves a scummy film. Rinsing your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher eliminates a lot of problems.

Overloading the Dishwasher

After that big family dinner, it may be tempting to stuff every dirty dish and utensil into the dishwasher to get them out of sight. For the sake of your dishwasher, avoid this practice. Overfilling your dishwasher defeats the cleaning efforts.

Pans and large dishes piled into the dishwasher tend to block the sprayer. This leads to dirty dishes that now have baked-on food due to the dishwasher’s high heat. Eventually, blocking the sprayer leads to pressure build-up in the water lines and ruins them.

Loading the Dishwasher with Plastic

These days, many try to be thrifty and avoid waste. This is admirable. However, putting plastic containers or utensils in the dishwasher is a bad idea. Dishwashers clean items by using heated water and air. The high heat affects plastics in two ways. When plastic containers are exposed to high heat, they emit harmful chemicals. These chemicals can affect your breathing and make it unsafe to eat off the plastic containers.

The second way heat affects plastic is by melting it. Even when placed on the top shelf, your dishwasher degrades cheap plastics. Small pieces break off and end up clogging the drain and filter. When left in your dishwasher’s drain, these plastic pieces melt repeatedly until your drain is hopelessly clogged. Soon you are left with a ruined dishwasher and a wet floor.

Failing to Clean the Dishwasher

Appliances that clean household items eventually build up grease and grime. Using too much detergent ends up leaving a filmy residue on your dishes and your dishwasher. Do not make the mistake of thinking that dishwashing soap cleans your dishwasher.

Clean your dishwasher occasionally. If you notice odors, run a solution of baking soda and vinegar through your empty dishwasher to help clear out the residue and freshen it up.

Eventually, even the best-maintained dishwasher needs a replacement. When the time comes, get a skip bin hire for proper dishwasher disposal.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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