How to Look After Your Dishwasher

On the surface, a dishwasher looks like one of the simpler appliances to look after. Load the dishes, take them out and voila – clean dishes. However, this isn’t always the case. There are a number of things to consider if you want to keep your dishwasher functioning at its best; from understanding how to spot a problem, how to fix a dishwasher (within reason), and how to keep it clean and tidy.

Installing Your Dishwasher

This is definitely something you can do yourself, however it’s important to stress that if you’re going to install your own appliance you must carefully read the manual.

If you’re not comfortable following the instructions, we recommend hiring a professional to install your dishwasher for you.

Please note: this is a guideline to installing your dishwasher only. It isn’t an exhaustive list, and there may be more steps involved in the installation of your model.

  1. Connect your appliance to a power socket.
  2. Connect your appliance to a water supply. This is found under your kitchen sink.
  3. Make sure to turn off the water supply and connect your dishwasher’s cold water hose to your water supply pipe.
  4. Connect the hose to the rear of the dishwasher.
  5. To ensure there are no leaks, turn the water supply back on.
  6. Connect your appliance to your waste pipe.

Once your dishwasher is securely connected, slide the appliance into the desired position, turn on the power, and use the manual to ensure that everything is operational.

Make sure to check with your model of choice as you may be lucky to find a dishwasher with installation included in the price or as a free add-on. This is a great time saver and not something to pass on. Installing a freestanding dishwasher requires less work then an integrated dishwasher, so if you opt for an integrated model you may want to consider the cost of installation.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Keeping your dishwasher clean is one of the most effective ways to boost its lifespan and it’s not even difficult – if you do it regularly. However, if you fail to stick to a cleaning routine you will likely encounter a number of problems – odours, for one.  For example, over time you may find your dishwasher smells like mildew, food waste, or a number of other unfavourable smells. This is how to look after your dishwasher:

  1. Clear the drain. Remove the bottom dish rack and remove any waste within the drain.
  2. Place a container (dishwasher safe) of white vinegar in the upper rack of your appliance and run your dishwasher on a hot water cycle to remove any odours, grime and grease.
  3. Take a cup of bicarbonate of soda and sprinkle this across the bottom of your machine. Run another short hot water cycle. This should remove any stains inside the appliance.

Troubleshooting a Broken Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is malfunctioning the first thing you need to know is what’s wrong with it. We don’t recommend trying to fix an appliance yourself unless you 100% know what’s wrong, and are confident in your abilities.

The commonest causes of problems with dishwashers are:

  1. A malfunctioning door latch/switch
  2. Broken timer control
  3. Broken motor start relay
  4. Broken selector switch (for different available cycles)
  5. Broken drive motor

If you’re not sure what these parts of your appliance are, or how to fix them safely and correctly, then we do not recommend carrying out the repair yourself. Dishwasher repair can be a difficult task, but if your model is within warranty contact your manufacturer to arrange a new model or a repair call out.

How much it will cost to fix your dishwasher depends on the problem, so it’s always a good idea to consult a professional who can provide an estimate. If your dishwasher is beyond repair and you need to begin the hunt for a new model, then read our article on Finding the Perfect Dishwasher for some useful tips.

How to Fix a Dishwasher That Will Not Drain

If your dishwasher won’t drain it probably won’t be cleaning things properly, and if you keep trying to use it, it might break down altogether. Thankfully it’s quite simple to fix dishwasher drain blockages yourself:

  1. Turn off the power to your appliance.
  2. Remove the filters and clean them thoroughly. These can be found in the bottom of your dishwasher.
  3. Replace the filters (then try to clean them once a week).
  4. Check your waste hose for blockages.
  5. Check to see if there are any kinks in the hose or if it’s being squashed.
  6. Lastly, make sure that there is ample space behind the dishwasher for the hose to drain correctly.

How to Fix a Dishwasher Pump

Fixing a dishwasher pump is a difficult task. Only attempt this if you have experience with similar tasks.

  1. Turn off the power and water supply to the appliance.
  2. Remove the dishwasher’s spray arms.
  3. Remove the front access panel at the bottom, and the toe panel.
  4. Pull the dishwasher out from the wall.
  5. Remove the drain pump.
  6. Remove the motor assembly and pump.
  7. Install your replacement pump and motor assembly.
  8. Reinstall the drain pump.
  9. Reinstall the dishwasher.
  10. Reinstall the spray arms.
  11. Restore the power and water supply.

As you can tell from the list above, it’s not an easy task to carry out. We highly recommend hiring a professional to fix a dishwasher pump. For more information on how to unblock your dishwasher read our article on Dishwasher FAQs.

Bear in mind that prevention is better than cure, and the best way to prevent issues from occurring is to carefully decide which dishwasher is best for your needs and to look after it routinely. Try and create a routine for cleaning your dishwasher to prevent a build-up of stains and odours, and stick to it.