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Like most appliances, dishwashers often get neglected (until, of course, they suddenly stop doing their job). With a bit of routine maintenance, though, you can prolong the life of your dishwasher long after its sticker date. Here are a few easy tips for keeping your dishwasher in tip top shape:

1. Keep your hot water heater set to the temperature recommended by your dishwasher's manufacturer; you can locate this info in your user manual. Forgotten where you stashed that old manual? Try Google-ing the model of your appliance; many manufacturers post their product manuals online.

2. Run a monthly cleanse cycle on your dishwasher. Simply empty a packet of sugar-free lemonade where you normally place detergent and run the dishwasher through a normal cycle.

3. Check the interior racks of your dishwasher. If the paint is wearing off, consider investing in a dishwasher repair kit to prevent scratches on your pots and pans.

4. Soak the spray arm with diluted vinegar monthly to clean off any scum build-up.

5. Be sure to regularly check the food trap for any residue that may have been acquired in a few weeks time.

So go ahead, show your dishwasher a little TLC -- and avoid those dreaded prune hands!

  • Robert

    Item #1 doesn't apply to many dishwashers that take a single cold water input. This allows them to do cycles in cold water, then quickly heat the cold water when needed. Same heating element is used for optionally drying).

    How about plain vinegar instead of sugar-free lemonade? I will admit it's a better use for the stuff than ingesting it.

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