I think it’s safe to say that the dishwasher is one of the greatest inventions of all time. That’s something that we can all probably agree on.

Nobody likes washing dishes. Without a dishwasher you have to add a solid five minutes to every meal you eat during the day cleaning up afterwards.

These days very few houses are without one of these miracle machines and I’m willing to bet that the average happiness of the world has gone up because of it.

Well maybe I’m going over the top, but I really do think that it’s an incredible invention and that we’d be lost without them.

Sometimes though, things don’t quite go to plan with your dishwashers. Things come out not as clean as we want them to be and it’s not uncommon for a dishwasher to just not turn on.

In most cases it takes about a half an hour for the dishwasher to work it’s magic, but we’ve all experienced a time when it inexplicably takes two hours.

These things don’t happen for no reason though. If something goes wrong there’s probably a logical explanation and you can probably fix the problem.

Here’s five things you can do to make sure that you’re dishwasher runs as smoothly as possible.

1. Don’t Overstuff

For the most part, you’re going to have plenty of room for your dishes. If you get your hands on one of the leading dishwashers, they usually have plenty of space for a variety of dishes.

But there also needs to be a certain amount of free space inside to allow for the machine to actually run.

You have various mechanisms in there. Certain things like the spinning blades and the hoses will be too squished for space to do their job if you overstuff.

If you’ve got a lot of people in your home this is and especially big problem. For a family of four, that’s four sets of dishes and cutlery for each meal.

That’s quite a bit of stuff and they’ll probably be using their dishwasher pretty much every single day. The urge to fill it up is definitely there.

It’s irritating when you’ve filled up the dishwasher and you still have one or two plates left over that then have to be washed by hand.

But the fact is, the machine either won’t run at all, or it will run and will just leave half of the plates still dirty.

Avoid this problem altogether. If you’ve filled every slot just leave it at that. Don’t try and squeeze extra things in between the jam-packed slots, it’s not worth it.

2. Keep the Trap Clean

You probably don’t even know what I’m talking about. And that’s fine because this is a part of the machine that you don’t always see.

The trap is a piece of rubber on the drain that is there to make sure that it doesn’t clog up with all of the food.

The only way to get to it is to open up the dishwasher, take out the lower rack and then find the drain that’s usually below the bottom sprayer.

Removing the trap can be a little bit tricky, but once you know how to do it it shouldn’t take too long.

Chances are one you take this out, you’ll notice that the trap itself and the top of the drain have a fair bit of excess food on them.

It’s not a place that will get naturally cleaned when the dishwasher is running so it needs to tended to like this.

A blocked drain means that a lot of the food is just going to stay in the dishwasher and get moved around while stuff should be getting cleaned.

It depends on how often you use the dishwasher, but if you’re using it on the daily then you should probably do this once every couple of weeks.

3. Scrape Your Dishes

The more that you do this part, the less likely you are going to have to deal with a clogged drain and a clogged trap.

The purpose of a dishwasher is to wash your dishes, it’s not equipped to deal with larger particles of food.

Of course, you’re never going to be able to remove every single big piece of food on every plate, and some of it will go down the drain.

But not scraping is how your drain will get clogged more quickly, and unscraped dishes probably won’t end up clean at all.

It seems like an extra job, but it really isn’t. It takes a matter of seconds per dish to give it a quick scrape.

All of those seconds are nothing. Having to clean the drain more often and clean plates after they’ve come out of the dishwasher will take you way longer.

4. Don’t Overuse Powder

You know what can happen if you put too much powder in? You guessed it, it will block your drain. It might also not dissolve and then you’ll end up with powder all over your dishes.

It’s a pretty easy thing to solve. Just don’t put a ton of powder in there. It sounds like common sense but you’d be surprised.

Some people just pour the powder in absentmindedly and then there’s too much of it in there. Also, there’s those that assume they need a lot of powder to effectively clean their dishes.

And on the other side of the coin, some of us don’t actually put in enough powder and then the dishes don’t get cleaned either.

There should be a recommended dose listed on the bottle, but I think a better solution is to just avoid the powder altogether.

Go for the alternative route of using capsules or pods. By design they have the perfect amount in them to where you won’t be overdoing it.

They won’t be that much more expensive either so it’s a good decision to make.

5. Utilize Hot Water

This is also a really easy solution. Something that can be causing a less efficient cleaning, is the fact that the water is a little cool.

As you know, the water is coming from the same source as the water in your faucet, and if the last time you used your faucet was with cold water, that will run over.

So just let your faucet run until it gets hot. It sounds like nothing at all, but it will make a significant change.

The first cycle of cleaning will have warm water which will of course be more effective in cleaning your dishes.

Small tip for sure, but a valuable one.

Conclusion

Dishwashers can make your life a whole lot easier, especially if you’ve got a big family and have a lot of cleaning up to do.

And you might not be getting the best out of yours. Sometimes these really simple solutions are the best ones.

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