5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Dishwasher

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A dishwasher can be a very convenient appliance that not all apartment dwellers are fortunate enough to have. Nevertheless, if the appliance dies while you live in the apartment, chances are you may lose all or part of your deposit so that the landlord can replace it with a new one. Learn a few tips to extend the life of this convenient appliance so you can keep your deposit intact:

1 – Use Alternatives at Least Once a Week

While using paper plates often can be wasteful of both money and environmental resources, you can help extend the life of your dishwasher by using paper plates and plastic utensils for at least one day a week. This saves at least one running of your appliance each week. You can either cook and serve yourself with disposable dinnerware or get food from a restaurant to-go and eat out of the containers with which they provide you.

A more environmentally-savvy alternative to this is to simply promise yourself you’ll take the time to wash your dishes by hand once a week. Use a little dish soap, a scrubbing pad and a towel or drying rack. It may be cumbersome, but you’ll find it’s not that much of a time-waster, especially if you only do this once a week to give your overworking appliance a break.

2 – Use a Dryer Rack

The dryer cycle on your dishwasher is convenient but completely unnecessary. Not only does it burn through more electricity, but it also shortens the lifespan of your appliance. Instead, catch your dishes before they go into the dryer cycle (after rinse) and cancel the dryer function. Take out the dishes and either wipe them dry or leave them in a dryer rack to save yourself the effort and let them dry over time.

3 – Use Hot, Not Warm Water

If you’re able to select a temperature option, make sure you’re running your dishwasher on maximum heat. While it takes more energy to heat up the water, cleaning dishes at less than 125 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to a greater chance of detergent residue building up in the appliance over time. The faster detergent residue builds up, the shorter lifespan the appliance has. If you have delicate dishes that need a cooler water (delicate cycle), just wash them by hand instead.

4 – Use Powder, Not Gel

Gel-based detergents often have chlorine bleach, which can damage your machine over time. Use powder-based tablets or powder instead of gel to decrease chlorine bleach damage.

5 – Clean Your Filters Regularly

Dishwashers have filters, usually located at the bottom of the appliance. These filters catch excess food and can become clogged, which can wear down the lifespan of your machine. Check and clean the filters regularly, at least once per week.

Taking just a few small steps to extend the life of your dishwasher means that you won’t have to worry about losing any of your deposit to having it replaced–or worse, have to pay for the replacement out of pocket if your landlord determines you were using it too heavily. With most of these tips, you’ll also be doing your part to decrease your energy consumption, which has both environmental and financial benefits.

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