Of all appliances, the humble dishwasher is the most misunderstood. In the course of servicing and repairing all types of appliances for our customers, I’ve heard more crazy myths about dishwashers than any other appliance. This article will shine the light of truth on some of the more common dishwasher myths I’ve heard.
Myth #1: You can clean your dishes better by hand.
Truth: Dishwasher wash dishes and utensils at 140ºF, which kills many bacteria. Try doing that by hand.
Myth #2: For best performance, you should rinse your dishes clean before loading them in the dishwasher.
Truth: Removing all food soils from the dishes and utensils prior to loading increases the alkaline concentration of the dishwashing detergent and increases the possibility of etching your glassware. Etching is a permanent pitting or eroding of the glassware surface. Initially, etching appears as shades of blue, purple, brown, or pink when the glassware is held at an angle to the light. In more advanced stages, the glassware appears cloudy or frosted. To avoid etching, you should only scrape the food chunks off the your dishes and load them into the dishwasher with the remaining food residue still on them.
Myth #3: If your metal utensils are showing signs of pitting after washing in the dishwasher, it means you have "corrosive water."
Truth: When two different metals (such as silver and stainless steel) contact each other in the hot, wet dishwasher environment, electrolysis can occur and cause pitting. This is not caused by "corrosive water." To prevent the problem, load silver and stainless steel in the silverware basket so they do not touch each other.
Myth #4: If your dishwasher isn’t washing the dishes very well, it means the pump is bad.
Truth: The most common causes for poor cleaning in a dishwasher are:
- using old detergent that doesn’t dissolve all the way;
- water temperature too low to dissolve detergent or remove soils;
- debris caught in the spray arm holes, impairing proper spray action of the spray arm;
- insufficient water fill in the basin from a variety of causes;
- improperly loading the dishes into your dishwasher.
While a defective pump would certainly prevent proper cleaning in the dishwasher, it is a far less common causative factor than the aforementioned list. Even if the pump really is defective, they can usually be rebuilt for much less cost than buying and installing a whole new dishwasher.
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