The average dishwasher lasts about 10 years. If you’re diligent about care and maintenance, you should be able to enjoy the next 10 years – or perhaps even longer – without any major repairs.
If you know your dishwasher needs a repair or check-up, call the experts at Top Shelf Appliance at
In the meantime, below are five tips our experienced technicians can share to help you lengthen the lifespan of one of your hardest working appliances: your dishwasher.
Keep It Clean
It may sound counterintuitive to clean an appliance that is meant for cleaning. However, the inside of your dishwasher can get pretty dirty. Here are some parts to pay particular attention to.
The spinning parts on the bottom of your dishwasher shoot jets of hot water to clean your dishes. The small holes, or nozzles, can be blocked by food, limescale, or other gunk.
Every few months, remove the bottom rack of your dishwasher, and use a flashlight to take a look and see if you can find any blockages. Use a small pin or toothpick to remove any obstructions.
In some dishwasher models, you can remove the spray arms. If you’re able to do so, give the spray arms a good scrubbing, then make sure to replace them correctly.
Food Trap or Filter
The food trap is exactly what you think it is: the part of the dishwasher that catches the food and debris that comes off your dishes. It is also called the filter or food filter.
The location of the food trap varies by dishwasher model, so check your owner’s manual (you may be able to find it online) to find yours. Clean it at least once per month to help keep your dishwasher cleaning at an optimal level and prevent mold.
A clean food trap or filter can also make sure your dishwasher does not smell bad.
Some dishwasher models have an additional food screen located under the spray arm at the bottom. This screen helps keep food and large pieces of debris out of the mechanics of your dishwasher. It also prevents hose clogs.
If your dishwasher has a screen, clean it at the same time you clean the food trap or filter.
You may notice the edges of your dishwasher or seal around the door get slimy. Give them a good wipe down about once per month. These are prime spots for mold and bacteria to grow.
Some dishwasher models have a high-temperature self-cleaning cycle to help keep the appliance clean and zap odors and bacteria.
If your dishwasher has a self-cleaning cycle, use it on your empty dishwasher about once per month (or more, if you notice your dishwasher is looking dingy).
Dishwasher cleaning agents are also effective in helping to clean the inside of the appliance.
If you have hard water, use a descaling cleaner. You can find one at hardware stores or major food and home goods retailers.
Limescale can build up, damaging the inside of the tub and clogging everything from the spray arms to the filters.
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Load It Right
The argument families have about loading the dishwasher the “right way” has been an argument since the invention of the dishwasher!
Whatever your dishwasher loading style, there is actually a right and wrong way to load the dishes.
The wrong way can shorten the life of your appliance, so check your owner’s manual to ensure you’re loading it right.
Just like a washing machine that’s packed too tightly, cramming too many dishes into your dishwasher is ineffective. Water will not be able to circulate and clean the dishes properly.
Overloading can also overheat the dishwasher or some of its parts.
While taking care not to overload the machine, you should always run full loads to help each cycle be more energy-efficient.
The Art of Loading Your Dishwasher Properly
The bottom rack of the dishwasher is designed to handle larger, heavier items such as platters and plates. The top rack is optimal for glasses, bowls, and mugs. It is also where more delicate items, such as food storage containers, are safest.
Make sure large items loaded on the bottom rack do not block the flow of water. Items on the top rack, like bowls and glasses, should be placed topside down so the water gets to and cleans their insides.
Don’t let the forks and spoons in the cutlery rack get stuck together. Mix and match the cutlery in each area to ensure the maximum surface area is getting clean.
Scraping and Cleaning
Always be sure to scrape large debris off plates and out of bowls before putting them into the dishwasher. Else, you could end up clearing it out of the filter in the best case scenario, or needing a pump or hose repaired in the worst.
There is no need to clean and scrub dishes before placing them into the dishwasher. However, a quick rinse never hurts and helps keep the filters clean.
Get a Check-Up
If you feel like anything is wrong with your dishwasher, contact us at
Drips, leaks, and standing water are all good reasons to call in the pros at Top Shelf Appliance.
Use It Right
If you have a dishwasher but don’t use it often, be sure to run it at least once per week. This helps prevent mold and mildew and keeps your dishwasher in good working order.
And remember, dishwashers are only to clean dishes. Using a dishwasher to clean anything other than dishes can cause it to break down before its time.
Keep the Parts in Tip-Top Shape
Check the spray arms and inspect the inside of the dishwasher tub for any rust or discoloration.
Make sure the coating is not worn off the dish racks, and don’t be sure not to put any pressure on the door itself. If you take good care of your dishwasher, it will take good care of you.
Schedule Your Dishwasher Check-Up Today
Call Top Shelf Appliance now at
We can check your dishwasher to make sure it is in good working order and help keep it that way for many years to come. We also offer same-day service for emergencies.
Click to contact Top Shelf Appliance Repair Services today