Dishwasher maintenance!

How To Maintain Your Dishwasher

Who knew? Not a rhetorical question. How many of you do this, and when?

I vaguely remember doing this once, when my dishes weren’t getting clean. More research led to me changing my dishwasher detergent (to Cascade Platinum ) and I haven’t thought about it much since.

Not long ago I started seeing ads for different t dishwasher cleaners ers, and while researching THEM, found the above link.

The link suggests the cleaners don’t take the place of cleaning it by hand.

I clean the filter pretty regularly. The other stuff is unfamiliar to me, but I’ll probably do the toothpick/spray arm thing. I take the once-a-month Use Cascade advice with a grain of salt, considering the source of that advice.

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Our coffee maker and dishwashers get a vinegar bath every three month on hot and steam.


Pretty much do this every two months or so. Also run on hottest cycle, empty except for an upright cup of white vinegar on each shelf. 15+ year old “Miele 645 sc plus” model which has never been serviced or failed, and runs like a dream.

Our washing machine gets similar attention.


I just did this and am excited about cleaner dishes in my future.


I do all those except the Cascade cleaner - like Dan and RobinJoy I run the dishwasher with vinegar.

I have a maintenance cycle first weekend of each month for the dishwasher, vacuum exhaust and HVAC ducts, sump pump filters and some other odds and ends. Takes a bit over an hour. As valuable as anything is focusing on the house and seeing other things that need attention. Gutters cleaned, screens cleaned, hinges or slides lubricated. It also means I pay attention to repair and maintenance consumables including vinegar, bleach, lubricants, etc.


Thanks for participating everyone! I am at work, but yesterday tried to find a “filter” with no success. I will pull out my owners manual.

On most dishwashers it is down in the bottom of the unit. Usually there is a strainer (the cover) and a filter (the element). Generally you can take them apart without tools. It’s part of the drain that lets water out of the dishwasher throughout the cycle.

Thank you!
I recall seeing it before, not sure if it was on this machine. I gave what I’d call a cover a tug, but it wasn’t immediately obvious that it was a good idea, so I decided to procrastinate.

Try twisting the cover counter-clockwise. If it doesn’t move, soak it with vinegar and try again.

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I am so slovenly! We had our last dishwasher over 35 years and never did this once. it was working perfectly the day it was hauled away but we knew we were on borrowed time.

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Instead of checking the manual? grin

But seriously, I do appreciate the suggestion.

I’m a big fan of RTFM.


Somehow I missed this.

I wash the filter every other week, more often if lots of food debris and oily dishes. Run empty machine once every 2 months with a machine wash liquid.

About 6 years ago, I took the seal out and washed it throughly, and when put back, the machine kept leaking. We had to call the service guy to come to fix it. The guy looked at it for at least half an hour, unscrewing, unlocking everything and still couldn’t find any problem with the machine. Eventually he suggested to take out the seal and had a good look at it and put it the other direction and bingo, it was put in reverse! There is a very slight difference in angle between the 2 faces! Shame, that “maintenance” costed us 80 euro and I never ever touch that seal thing again!

The machine is now 10 years old, more noisy than before but works well.


I have to admit that i’m one of those ditses who prewash, at LEAST thoroughly scrape dishes before putting then in the dishwasher. In truth, I’d be happy to use the dishwasher as a drying rack, a clean out of sight place for clean dishes to drain. :blush:


Had a friend who used hers that way exclusively @pilgrim. She had a very nice one for back in the 70’s with a SS interior - nearly unheard of then, at least in my world…

Same here. Actually most things we put in the machine are rinced with water.


Marry me, Auspicious…

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold