Appliance Roundup

10 ways to keep your dishwasher clean and efficient

Handwashing is a thing of the past thanks to dishwashers and these days, dishwashers use even less water and clean better than before. However, dishwasher manintenance is important in order to keep things running smoothly and at the optimal cleaning level.

1. Use vinegar on an empty load - fill a small cup with white vinegar, put in in the dishwasher and run an empty load on the normal cycle. It'll keep your dishwasher fresh smelling and remove grunge and grime.

2. Scrape excess food from plates and dishes before running the dishwasher - makes sense becuase those bits of grime will eventually clog up your dishwasher

3. Get the hot water right from the start - run your tap a few minutes before the dishwasher starts, as then when the dishwasher starts it'll be hot right from the get-go

4. Choose an appropriate cycle - being frugal by using the economy wash on really dirty dishes won't save you money in the long run as your dishes will not clean the first time around. Instead, try and group really dirty items together and run during the same load.

5. Get combo rinse aid and soap if it's cheaper - many soaps now offer rinse aid as well as soap, check if these are cost effective and banish rinse aid forever

6. Don't overload - you'll achieve less as the dishes won't clean and you'll need to rerun them again

7. Place dishes so they don't block water streams - see those rotating silver water jets and pipes? Those spray the water over your dishes, so make sure they're not blocked as then the water won't get to all places around the dishwasher

8. Clean the traps - you'll affect the rinse cycle if the water can't be removed from the dishwasher quickly enough

9. Clean the seals - soap will eventually accumulate around the rubber gasket in the doors and around the soap door, cleaning these with a damp cloth will keep things clean

10. Use salt regularly - many dishwashers require salt to keep the water soft. Check your manual and if you need to top up the salt, buy some from the store and fill it up - dishwasher salt is very cost effective and usually only needs topping up every 6 months or so