The job of a dishwasher is to clean and dispose of the food residue you leave on your dishes. It’s a dirty job, indeed. But keeping your dishwasher clean is only part of your plan of action to keep it running at its best.
Fix the filter. Most new dishwashers use a filter system that traps food particles during the wash cycle. Ottusch says dishwashers that use a filter system are quieter and more energy efficient than older dishwashers that use a chopper system. Check and clean the filter regularly to prevent a buildup of food, pits, seeds and anything else that might get trapped there.
Rinse out mineral deposits. Hard water is tough on dishwashers as mineral deposits (as well as bits of food or other matter) can build up in the water holes in the dishwasher’s spray arm. Huntley says you can clean out the water jets in the spray arm with a toothpick. Also, the water inlet valve can begin to clog, which means your dishwasher won’t get the proper amount of hot water. You’ll need to replace a clogged water inlet valve. For general cleaning, Whirlpool’s Ottusch recommends a dishwasher cleaner such as Affresh to help remove some of the hard water deposits.