Pittsburgh Dishwasher Maintenance

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What Makes Pittsburgh Dishwasher Maintenance Different?

Can it be that something as basic as dishwasher maintenance is different from city to city? That some aspects of Pittsburgh dishwasher maintenance would make it somehow different from, say, dishwasher maintenance in a town in another part of the country?

The simple answer to this is yes; there is something about Pittsburgh that makes Pittsburgh dishwasher maintenance different.

It’s the hard water in the Greater Pittsburgh area, which means there are things that you need to address when you service and maintain your dishwasher. Things that you otherwise wouldn’t have to pay as close attention to it if you are living somewhere else.

The only solution to hard water in a home is a water softener. A water softener removes the dissolved minerals from the water that cause it to be labeled hard. They eliminate mineral buildup in dishwasher components and also make for a cleaner, better-looking dish when the process is completed.

How to Maintain Your Dishwasher Properly?

The best maintenance is preventative maintenance.

The nice thing about maintaining a dishwasher is that you don’t have to worry about appearance. That’s taken care of when you wipe off the door. So when you talk about how to maintain your dishwasher, you’re really talking about preventive maintenance.

The first hot tip here is to open the hot water faucet on your sink and let it run for about a minute before pressing the start button on your dishwasher.

This will give you better cleaning and a shorter run time. That translates into less wear on the unit. Then your second hot tip is it never use powdered dishwasher detergent.

Contrary to popular belief, no powder detergent for dishwashers or laundry machine will completely dissolve. This, in turn, leads to build-up and odor problems.

Then lastly, locate the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher and clean it in your kitchen sink at least once a week to remove any food particles lodged in it.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?

Yes, even dishwashers need to be cleaned occasionally.

Cleaning their dishwasher is something that most people just don’t consider. Think about it. Have you ever cleaned the inside of your clothes washing machine? Probably not.

Your dishwasher is different, though, because you’re dealing with organic matter in the way of small food particles and, for sure, a higher level of oils.

So the filter needs to be cleaned at least once a week. But also take the time to use a standard kitchen cleaner to wipe down the door seals. Then every year or so, use a thin metal object like a nail or a piece of wire cut from a wire coat hanger to clean out the spray holes on the spray arms both above and below.

If you look carefully at the center of them, you will see that they’re designed to be removed from the dishwasher by turning a small knob. The racks will also have small buttons or levers that you can push to remove them from the dishwasher for cleaning.

Are Any Special Tools Needed to Maintain Your Dishwasher?

The answer here is not really.

No special tools are needed to clean your dishwasher, and there’s a reason for that. That reason is that they were designed and built for the racks and the spray arms to be removed for dishwasher maintenance by simply manipulating a button or lever located at the back end.

So the only tools that are needed are your fingers and perhaps some good quality all-purpose kitchen cleaner.

CLR is excellent for removing built-up calcite deposits when you do Pittsburgh dishwasher maintenance. This is due to the high mineral content in the water.

Check the rollers on each side of the racks to ensure that they haven’t developed any cracks or chips. Also, make a point of going over the wire racks to identify any areas where the plastic coating may have chipped off.

Both are fixable because there’s a brush-on plastic touch-up product you can buy locally, and the replacement wheels can be found online.

What if My Dishwasher Has a Door Leak?

That you can repair yourself.

Part of your scheduled dishwasher maintenance in Pittsburgh should include examining the door gaskets. Look at them as you clean them to ensure they haven’t become misshapen or degraded.

But the one gasket that you need to pay close attention to is the stiff plastic door guard at the bottom. These gaskets tend to fail sooner, and once they become cracked, dislodged, or misshapen, they’ll allow a more significant amount of water to pass.

The good news is that each one of these door seals can be found online and don’t require any special skills or tools to replace them. Then if leaks are a concern, another item worth checking out online is a plastic floor mat.

They don’t come with dishwashers, so you may not have one. It’s a big plastic mat that you slide under your dishwasher to catch drips underneath your unit. The nice thing about them, too, is they have a back-to-front slope that directs the water upfront, so you can see right away if you have any water leaking from underneath.

Be Nice to Your Dishwasher, and It Will Be Nice to You

We talked to a Pittsburgh plumber at Kwiatkowski Plumbing by punching 412-681-9525 into our phone. He told us that dishwasher abuse doesn’t get the same level of press attention that people or animal abuse does. But it’s true.

Even folks who seem friendly when you interact with them in social settings can be abusive towards their dishwashers. Some of the things they do include overloading racks to the point they have to force them to shut as they push against the top of the unit.

Another form of abuse involves washing items other than dishes in their dishwasher. So never put jars with paper labels on them into your dishwasher because the paper will clog up the holes in the spray arms. Then keep in mind that the racks were not designed to hold heavy objects.

So if you wash heavy pots, don’t overload them, or you may pay the price with cracked wheels and misshapen racks.