Dishwasher Tips:

–Leaking from under the door? Look right away for foam inside. Sometimes foam can get in a dishwasher from detergents we use to wash by hand or from rinse aids (Jet Dry). If there is foam (and it is safe to run it more without flooding the house or area underneath) try adding a tsp of cooking oil and running for a few minutes to mix the oil around and cancel out the foam. If there is still foam repeat until the foam is gone. I suggest trying this first in case it works and then you may not need an appointment.

Then to prevent it from happening again I suggest running the kitchen tap on hot to warm up the water and running any dishes sitting in the sink under the water to rinse off (in case someone had washed a dish by hand and got dish soap on the dishes when no one was looking). Also I suggest you avoid jet dry all together. If there is already Jet Dry in there then add water to it and run a few cycles then add water again to flush it out. Then you can use white vinegar (or cleaning vinegar) instead of jet dry in that dispenser.

Poor cleaning is usually related to water conditions, detergent usage and/or loading conditions…

Proper water temperature is needed to activate the dishwasher detergent, dissolve greasy food soils and warm the interior for good drying results.

Run the tap at the nearest sink (video link) to flush all the cold water from the pipe (between the hot water tank and the machine can be a long way so be patient). Once the water comes out piping hot start the dishwasher. Then avoid using hot water in the house for anything else that may use up all the hot water from the tank. This is a perfect time to scrape/pre-rinse the dishes to make sure no large bits an especially no other dish detergents on the dishes.

Make sure your hot water tank is set to 140F (60C) by reading the dial on the tank and/or using a thermometer to test the water itself. You can run the tap until it’s hot as it gets then fill a glass and drop the thermometer in. You could set your tank lower (120F / 49C) if your dishwasher has heating cycles ( a.k.a “sanitize”, “hi-temp wash”or “power boost”). However, it likely does not heat the water as efficiently (cheaply) as your hot water tank. The dishwasher will run the motor/pump splashing the water around until the water is up to temperature, then begin a countdown for wash time to run 20-60 minutes more.

If your detergent is clumped it has been absorbing moisture, it may not activate properly. The ingredients are moisture activated so the humid air in Vancouver gets in the package after it is opened and spoils it within a months or two. To test the dtergent place a small amount in the palm of your hand and add a small amount of luke warm water, then grind/stir it around with your finger. If it warms up then it’s good. If not, try changing the water temperature a bit and try the test again. Purchase fresh detergent and store it in a dry place (not under the kitchen sink).

In Vancouver the soft water means we cut the detergent amounts to 1/4 of what is recommended on the package. Usually about 1tsp-1tbsp. When washing very dried or greasy dishes extra detergent may be needed. As a general guide, use one teaspoon of detergent for each grain of water hardness, with a minimum of three teaspoons in soft water. However, when using a concentrated dishwashing detergent, decrease the amount by half. Soft (0-3 grains) *Vancouver* 2-3 Teaspoons (1/2 for concentrate). Medium (4-9 grains) 4-9 Teaspoons. Hard (10-12 grains) *Calgary* 10-12 Teaspoons. Do not use packaged water softeners they create excessive suds (can leak all over your floor).

No rinse aid for me thanks. I use white vinegar in the dispenser where the rinse aid goes. It’s cheaper, its a food (not harsh chemical) and most importantly it’s non sudsing. The dishwasher detergent has anti-foam agents because milk and eggs can create foam. So why add a foaming rinse agent? I have had quite a few people pay me to come clean up after a jet dry incident gone wrong (spill, leak or malfunction resulting foam all over the floor).

Load them so clean you can barely tell the difference before and after? Me too. Selecting a short cycle will save water and energy. Use less detergent to avoid etching of glassware.

Leave them on the counter to dry over night rather than soaking? Scrape rather than pre-rinse? A longer cycle and more detergent may be required. Put 1-2 tsp in the detergent dispenser and another in the pre-wash cup (or just throw into machine, same thing).

Check the User’s Guide for cycle recommendations. Basically the more powerful the phrase they use sounds, the longer it runs and more water it uses. It just means another fill/wash/drain cycle. So the difference between “light wash” and “normal wash” would be an extra fill/wash/drain, then “heavy wash” would add another fill/wash/drain and “pots/pans” would be yet another and so on.

Maximize the effectiveness by loading big items at the side and back so they don’t block water and detergent. Placing the dirty side toward the center of the machine and place items with dried up food facedown and toward the sprayer in the bottom rack.

Make sure the upper and lower spray arms are not blocked by items. Or, for some people the centre wash tower provides wash action for the middle of the dishwasher. Avoid placing large items over the wash tower. Check the holes for food blockages. Check the sump/drain/pump too. Food blocks holes and robs valuable pressure.

Make sure the dishes are not so close together they block water flow between them (plates, bowls and cutlery)

Cloudy Glassware Stains? Etching has begun? Too much detergent. This is a permanent film that occurs in unusual circumstances and causes glassware to pit or erode. In advanced stages, the glasses will appear frosted, spotted or cloudy. To verify that the film is etching, soak the glass approximately 5 minutes in undiluted white vinegar. Rinse and dry. If the film is not removed, it is etching. Etching usually happens in soft water (0-3 grains), adjust the amount of detergent to match the hardness of the water.