Dishwasher maintenance checklist

While your dishwasher may not be the most indispensable appliance in your home, it can definitely be a major headache if it breaks down. Fortunately, TotalProtect service technicians have some easy, do-it-yourself maintenance steps for you that can help keep your dishwasher, whether a Bosch, Frigidaire, Kitchenaid or otherwise, clean and problem-free.

Steps to Clean and Maintain Your Dishwasher

  1. Clean the outside of your dishwasher with a little soap and a damp sponge.

  2. Clean the gasket, or rubber seal, around the outside of your dishwasher with soap and water.

  3. Clean and deodorize the inside of your dishwasher:

    • Walls — toss a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher and run a normal cycle. This will not only remove hard water deposits and soap scum from the walls of your dishwasher, but also deodorize your unit.

    • Sprayer arms — clean the nozzles of the sprayer arms, which can get clogged with food particles or dried soap over time. Use a metal pin or wire to clear them out — DON'T use a toothpick as the tip could break inside the hole.

    • Filter — most dishwashers have a removable filter or tray under the bottom sprayer arm that should be cleaned at least twice a year. Follow your owner's manual for specific instructions on how to safely remove and clean the filter. If your filter has any holes or other damage, it's important to replace it immediately to protect the dishwasher's pump and motor.

  4. Check if any of the plastic coating on your dish racks has worn off.


To Pre-Rinse or Not to Pre-Rinse?

Some older dishwasher pumps require you to scrape and pre-rinse dishes and utensils before running a cycle, while new pumps need those scraps and grease to lubricate them. Refer to your owner's manual to make sure you're operating your dishwasher appropriately.


TotalProtect: For the Responsible Homeowner

While DIY dishwasher maintenance can help prevent smaller problems, it's no guarantee against more serious breakdowns or malfunctions. A TotalProtect Home Warranty helps protect your budget in those unexpected situations. It covers all your major home appliances and systems, including your dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, A/C system and more.

If you don't already have a warranty in place, get your instant quote today.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.