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In today’s homes, the dishwasher takes away the drudgery, conserves water, saves your hands, and keeps counters both clutter and germ-free. It is a valuable tool, whether you use it in your North Las Vegas home every day or every week. However, if your dishwasher fails, it can leak 20 gallons of water onto your kitchen floor. Up to 30% of home water damage is caused by an appliance failure. We at Design Builders know the importance of familiarizing yourself with the best practices for using and maintaining this appliance.
Rinse, Scrape, Or Just Load?
To save water, energy and time, do not pre-rinse dishes by hand. Energy Star says an average consumer uses 20 gallons of water per load pre-rinsing dishes. So scrape but don’t rinse. Scrape as much food into the garbage quickly because the longer food stays on your plate or bowl, the tougher it is to remove. Plus you can avoid getting leftovers stuck in your dishwasher’s filter. However, if you notice your dishes aren’t coming out completely clean, try pre-rinsing and see if that improves your results. If you run the dishwasher once every 2 or 3 days, you might find cleaner dishes after the cycle.
With thousands of detergents on the market, use trial and error for your habits and situation. For example, occasional usage vs everyday use, hard water vs. a water softener, greasy foods vs. lighter cuisine, large/ bulky loads vs. delicate dishes. As you shop, look for the greenest option that gets the job done for you. A rinse agent is designed to aid in the drying process which reduces water spots. It might be a great help if you have hard water and mixed loads (dirty pots and lots of glasses). Also, try using vinegar instead of a store bought rinse agent.
Always use the recommended amount of detergent. Extra detergent doesn’t make the dishes any cleaner. Suds overflow is one of the most common causes of a kitchen flood and water damage.
Rule # 1- Don’t cram it in! It’s better to wash a few dishes by hand than it is to rerun an entire load because things were too tightly packed. Plates and bowls go on the bottom with the soiled side facing inward. Be sure to stagger large and small plates. Cups, glasses, containers, and bowls go on the top rack, facing down – the top rack is also where you would put your plastic containers, large utensils and serving spoons. Pots and pans go on the bottom rack, facing down. Big items like baking sheets, cutting boards, and platters go around the parameter of the bottom rack. Cutlery goes in the cutlery holder face up. Sharp knives face down.
What Doesn’t Go In The Dishwasher?
Anything silver or gold plated
Disposable aluminum trays and disposable plastic containers
Cast iron and non-stick cookware
Wood utensils – which can crack and split
Use The Built-In Features
Modern dishwashers have many functions and feature; learn your unit’s capability. A longer cycle is not ‘better’, run a cycle that cleans your dishes, but doesn’t waste extra water. Use the correct cycle. Just like doing your laundry, keep soil levels together when washing to end up with the best performance. Delay the start of your dishwasher for off-peak utility hours (many units have timers that will start the cycle at a programmed time). Some utilities even offer reduced rates for energy used during this period.
Pre-warm The Water?
Most modern dishwashers have booster heaters to heat the water that comes from your home’s water tank. Turning the water tank thermostat down to 120 degrees saves energy without compromising on cleanliness. In winter time, however, you might want to run some hot water in the sink right before you run a load. Your first dishwasher fill cycle will be hot instead of cold, which will clean up greasy residue better.
Use a damp towel to remove grime and food bits from the seals. Clean the removable dishwasher trap. Check all drains, filters, and sprayer arms regularly to ensure efficient operation. Use vinegar or a commercial cleaner to clear build-up of grease and limescale once a month. Simply toss a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of an empty dishwasher and run a normal cycle. It cleans out old food particles to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh. Be alert to any residual dampness. If you suspect a leak or water damage, call a professional team to investigate and avoid a flood.
Water Damage Cleanup In North Las Vegas
Kitchen floods can have a devastating impact on any type of property. Water damage can occur due to leaking or broken pipes, major storms and flooding, and malfunctioning appliances like your dishwasher. Design Builders has a team of emergency water damage restoration professionals in North Las Vegas that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that we are able to remove the water and dry any affected property as quickly as possible to minimize damage.