How To Make Your Dishwasher Last Longer

A dishwasher could easily be your best friend in the kitchen. You spend time with it daily, and you've become reliant on it. Yet, it is a valuable appliance that needs a bit of attention and routine maintenance to keep it operating at its best.

Consumer Reports indicates that a dishwasher's average lifespan is about 10 years across the over 20 manufacturers they tested. However, they also note that some repairs could be needed during that time.

Before going further, take some time to find the owner's manual for your dishwasher. Hint: If you don't have it any longer, you can likely find a copy on the manufacturer's website. Check out the preventative maintenance tasks for your dishwasher's make and model. This will show you what you should be doing on a routine basis to keep your system operating at its best. At the bare minimum, focus on those tasks. That helps ensure that your system has the best chance. Here are some other ways to make your dishwasher last longer. 

Find the problems before they find you

Once you tackle the basics of required maintenance, you could do a few other things to extend the dishwasher's life even more. The key here is to get into your dishwasher and find out what's really happening.

For those dishwashers with spinning arms, be sure to inspect and clean them from time to time. They easily become clogged with buildup. If they've become loose, tighten them. According to Mighty House Construction, you also want to inspect the edges and exterior of the appliance. Look at the door, baskets, gasket, and detergent dispenser. While you are inside the dishwasher, now is also the time to unclog and clean the drain, a common place for food particles to build up.

Clean each of these areas with a damp cloth and a household cleaner. Be sure that all components are bolted into the system properly. If you see actual damage to any component, be sure to have an appliance technician take a closer look.

Fill it up properly

Another key step in extending the life of your dishwasher is simply to fill it and use it properly. If you don't load the dishwasher properly, it's not able to cycle through the cleaning process the way it should. This means that you'll have dirty dishes. Overloading could limit its ability to function at its best. According to Tom's Guide, that means that plates and bowls should not be touching, and glasses should be upside down in the dishwasher. The spray arm, as it turns, should not touch anything during the process.

Also, be sure to fill it to capacity. When you do, the dishwasher has fewer cycles to run each day. The more you use the dishwasher, the more wear and tear occurs on the components. That means ensuring that you are filling your dishwasher over time and running it just when it is full. Keeping your dishwasher clean will help reduce any smells from dishes that may sit there for a day or so.