February Newsletter

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in newsletter | Comments Off

By far, the most common problem I see with dishwashers is the use of too much soap. We as Americans have been conditioned to think more is better, and when it comes to soap we think if I don’t see suds then it’s not getting clean. Think about when you are washing your car, you try to get as much soap as you can on the sponge because the more soap you have on the car the better it will clean it. Well, that may be good for washing your car, but the same principle does not hold true for your dishwasher (or your washing machine but that’s another blog for another time). Your dishwasher detergent manufacturer has uniquely designed that soap to clean your dishes without the use of suds. That is a foreign concept for most of us because we’ve been conditioned to believe, “no suds, no cleaning”.

In actuality, soap suds are public enemy #1 when it comes to dishwashers and I would say 90% of the customers that I service are guilty of using too much soap.
“So how do I know how much soap I should be using?” Well, I’m glad you asked! If 90% of consumers are using too much soap, it’s probably a safe bet that you may be in that group of excessive soap users. When it comes to filling your dishwasher’s soap cup please get away from the “one size fits all” approach. When you wash your clothes do you use the same amount of detergent to wash your satin, delicate table cloth as you would to wash your son’s soccer uniform that has grass stains and mud all over it? Of course not. Just like your tablecloth needs far less detergent because there’s hardly anything on it to clean; on the other hand that filthy uniform will need much more soap to penetrate through those
tough stains.

The same rule should apply for your dishwasher; most people do a fairly good job of rinsing off their dishes before placing them into the dishwasher so most of the heavy debris is already removed before the dishwasher starts. Besides that your dishwasher will start with a 5 minute rinse cycle to get off any remaining debris followed by another cycle to clean the dishes before your soap dispenser opens about 30 minutes into the cycle. That means by the time your dispenser opens, your dishes are practically clean just by the force of the hot water spraying your dishes for up to 30 minutes. Therefore, very little soap is needed at that point and if too much soap is used it will begin to form suds which will not drain. Once the drain cycle finishes and the rinse water fills, where does all of the residual soap go? Right back on your dishes and dishwasher components, causing cloudiness on the dishes and soap scum build up in the filter and pump housing which eventually develops into mold and mildew….and it’s gross.

If you’re still asking for the solution by this point, I’m questioning how much you’ve actually read here. USE LESS SOAP. Most dishwashers have lines in the soap dispenser indicating how much soap to use; I usually encourage consumers to just fill the detergent to the 1st line or no more than 1⁄2 full. This is about equivalent to 2 tablespoons of detergent. As a side note, make sure your rinse agent is full also.
I hope that helps improve the performance of your dishwasher and lessens the buildup in your machine. Look out for our next “tip of the month” coming soon!

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