Have you been feeling like all your efforts are in vain when it comes to getting your dishwasher to clean your dirty dishes?
–You put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. (After scraping them off of course.)
–You add the appropriate amount of detergent. (The same detergent you have been using for years.)
–You make sure the rinse aid compartment is full. (You should, even if you have a water softener:)
–You run the hot water in the sink before starting the dishwasher. (Your parents never needed to do this.)
–Finally, you start the machine. (A dishwasher should.… Wash Dishes.)
Only to find…
So what’s the next step…
You toss the dishwasher or start eating off of paper plates?
Well before you go building a wine rack in the hole where your dishwasher used to be, lets look at a few recent changes that may be hurting your dishwasher’s performance.
1) The Great Algae Debate (Stay with me.)
I realize the question “What does algae have to do with my dishwasher not cleaning like it used to?” probably just popped up in your head.
Well, the short version of the story is that the phosphates that have been a key ingredient in dishwashing detergents to help fight dirt and grime have also been linked to increased algae growth in water bodies. The phosphates causing increased algae growth ultimately cause harm to wildlife and our water supply. As a result, the phosphates used in dish washing detergent has been banned in many states from being used in detergents meaning the grime isn’t being fought in your washer the same way.
2) The Great Energy Debate (Are you still there?)
In order for dishwashers to meet the newest Energy Star guidelines, new machines must use less energy and water than ever before. It’s not uncommon to have a new machine from a top manufacturer run for over 2 hours per load while using less water. (Some even run for 3.) In order to conserve energy, dishwashers spend less time heating the water once it’s inside the unit.
3) Hard Water
Hard water is hard on dishwashers. Hard water can block the spray jets with lime scale and cause deposits on the dishwasher’s heating element. This can and will reduce the cleaning power, efficiency and life of your dishwasher. Not to mention hard water can cause spotting on dishes and reduce the detergents ability to clean your dirty dishes.
Now you may be asking “What can I do to make my dishwasher clean my dirty dishes?”
Well, fortunately, Idler’s is here to help.
Here is the breakdown of what Idler’s recommends that you do to get the best performance out of your High-Efficiency Dishwasher:
1) Scrape off your dirty dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
If you are going to wait for more than a day before running a load of dishes, it is a good idea to pre-rinse your dishes. This prevents odors and bacteria from building up.
2) Use a high-quality HE dishwasher detergent.
Since phosphates are no longer an option. High enzyme count detergents are now recommended. We recommend Excelsior HE Dishwasher Detergent.
This HE Dishwasher Detergent is Enzyme Based, 100% Phosphate and Chlorine Bleach Free, Biodegradable and Septic Safe. One bottle does 66 loads and *Excelsior HE Dishwasher Detergent is available at all Idler’s store locations.
3) Use a high-quality Rinse Aid.
(You should be using rinse aid even if you have a water softener.)
Rinse Aid basically causes water to sheet off your dishes and leaves your dishes spotless.
Idler’s recommends Excelsior HE Dishwasher Spot Free Rinse Aid. Like Excelsior HE Dishwasher Detergent, this rinse aid is Biodegradable, Phosphate Free and Septic Safe. Just one bottle lasts for 133 loads! *Excelsior HE Dishwasher Spot Free Rinse Aid is available at all Idler’s store locations.
4) Use a hard water remover
(If you do not have a water softener). Idler’s recommends Lemi Shine.
Lemi Shine keeps hard water minerals such as lime, calcium, and iron from building up in the internal components of the dishwasher. Just a little goes a long way. (Ask us how we recommend using it in conjunction with HE dishwasher detergent.) *Lemi Shine is available at all Idler’s store locations.
5) Preheat the water before starting the dishwasher.
Run the hot water in your kitchen sink and let it get hot right before starting your dishwasher. This allows your dishwasher to fill with hot water, saving you money in energy costs while increasing your dishwashers performance. (For bonus points save the water from the sink and, once it cools, use it to water your plants or animals.)
6) Clean your dishwasher once a month.
A common myth is that your dishwasher cleans itself during the wash cycle. Cleaning your dishwasher will remove any grease and lime scale deposits which can build up on the inside of the machine. As an added bonus you will get that “New Appliance Smell” after each cleaning. Idler’s recommends Dishwasher Magic.
Dishwasher Magic removes hard water and rust build–up from spray arms, hoses and filters and is the only EPA–approved dishwasher cleaner certified to kill 99.9% of specifically tested bacteria. *Dishwasher Magic is available at all Idler’s store locations.
The team and Idler’s would like to thank you for taking the time to read our post. If you have any questions, please contact us.