Big changes have taken place in environmental laws. The phosphates we have relied on for so many years have been banned from both dishwasher and washing machine detergent.  The result is that your detergent just does not clean like it used to. Great for the environment but changes what we need to do to get our dishes clean.

Dishwasher soaps are not created equal! There are two types of dishwasher soap, bleach based and enzyme based.  Bleach-based soap, like Cascade, is mainly for stains on glasses and dishes and are not great for cleaning food off the plates.  Enzyme-based soap, like Finish tabs, is for breaking down food particles.  Surprise!  Until now, no product had both ingredients.  Finish Quantum tabs is the first to combine the two cleaning agents.  It may seem a little expensive but as they do not have all the fillers most powders have, it actually costs the same as the box of powder. They combine the two, bleach and enzymes, with the added bonus of jet dry for sparkling clean dishes.

Remember to always read your user’s manual for their recommendations. We may not always agree, but it’is a good place to start.

If you have hard water, you’ll see a white residue buildup in your dishwasher or around your water faucets. Those are mineral deposits from hard water. If you have hard water, you absolutely must use an additive in combination with your regular soap. However, if you have a water softener in your home, use a little less detergent, as it tends to foam more.

Make sure to check your hot water temperature as this makes a huge difference in how well your unit cleans. Typically, your water temperature should be around 140 degrees. Always run your water at the sink until it is hot prior to starting the machine. Trust us, it will make a difference.

We recommend that our customers discontinue use of any liquid or gel-type detergent.  It can actually gum up or build up in the appliance and cause damage to the machine. The powder packets work just fine or powder detergent you pour into the receptacle.

You may have seen the commercials that show someone putting and entire cake in the dishwasher and everything comes out clean. Don’t do this!  Always scrape the debris off the plate prior to loading, and that includes every grain of rice!  The food left on the plate actually activates the soap’s action!  Note: If your dishwasher starts to smell bad, you probably have food debris in the sump and pump that needs to be addressed by a professional appliance repair technician.

Never use hand-wash detergent in your dishwasher or you will end up with a foamy mess!  Even a little bit of hand-wash soap can cause intense foaming which can cause the unit to leak during its cycle. Which leads us back to the scrape only idea.

Whether you use the liquid, little hanger baskets, or tabs with the balls in them, rinse aid is important.  As a matter of fact, some brands of dishwashers require it.  It helps the water sheet off of the dishes, and viola, no spots!  These units have no heating element and rely on the hot water at the end and the sheeting action to dry the dishes.  I know some people feel that rinse aid may leave chemicals on their dishes, but this is not the case.  Studies show, the sheeting action actually takes away far more end-of-cycle debris, thus cleaner glasses and dishes, and any chemical residue was practically nonexistent.

When loading your dishwasher, just use common sense; if it looks like water wouldn’t get to it, it probably won’t. Sturdy stuff like pots on the bottom, delicates on top, like glasses. And silver items should never be cleaned in the dishwasher.  It will discolor them permanently.

Not advisable. Those units use a lot of water, and if something goes awry, it may leak all over your kitchen.  And if you have experienced a leak and ruined your flooring, you know what a disaster that is. It is just prudent to be home to minimize any damage in case of failure.  If you don’t like to run your unit during the day because it is just too noisy, there is probably a cause, and would be advisable to have your dishwasher inspected.

If your dishwasher is louder than is should be or does not clean as it used to, it is a good indication that it needs attention.  As a workhorse in the home, it needs to be in peak condition. Call for professional service.