The humble dishwasher is a household appliance that some Australians may take for granted. As the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone – and if you don’t take good care of your dishwasher, you might not enjoy the mile-high stack of dishes you’ll have to clean yourself!
Canstar Blue’s 2015 Dishwashers survey found that 42% of households lucky enough to own one use their dishwasher every day, but the majority fail to clean it regularly. And many fail to rinse their dishes before loading them into their machine.
So to get some tips on how we should be treating our often overlooked dishwashers, we asked someone who knows a thing or two about it – Elisha Malcolm, Dishwashing Product Manager for Miele, our customer satisfaction award winner in 2015 and three out of the last four years.
Q: Before buying new dishwashers, our survey respondents owned their old machines for an average of 7.7 years. In your experience, how long should we realistically expect a new dishwasher to last and will its level of performance reduce over time?
A: This varies greatly dependant on brand, quality, maintenance, etc. Miele’s dishwashers are built to last 20 years equivalent usage, and we carry out extensive testing to ensure our dishwashers will deliver this. A dishwasher’s performance won’t reduce over time if the machine is maintained. If the dishwasher is not maintained, performance will reduce over time.
How often should you clean your dishwasher?
Q: What tips can you offer for keeping a dishwasher in good health? How important is it to rinse dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher and can you ‘over-stack’ a dishwasher or use it too frequently?
A: Maintenance is very important in ensuring a dishwasher stays in good health. Cleaning of the filter and cavity are essential to ensure dishes are cleaned to the highest possible level. A dishwasher cleaner should be used if wash performance is impaired, particularly if using low temperature programmes and/or grease and dirt particles appear or unpleasant smells are apparent.
Miele recommends the use of a dishwasher cleaner 1-3 times per year (depending on dishwasher use frequency). The use of a conditioning agent will remove grease and limescale that builds up over time, in addition to keeping door gaskets supple and maintaining a tight seal. Miele recommends the use of a conditioning agent 4-5 times per year (depending on dishwasher use frequency). Maintaining a dishwasher in this fashion extends the life cycle of the machine and ensures good wash performance is achieved. When using a Miele dishwasher, no pre-rinsing is necessary.
A dishwasher can definitely be ‘over-stacked’. Dishwashers are designed to clean a certain number of place settings. If over-stacked, the wash performance will be influenced.
You can never use a dishwasher too frequently.
Q: Most people prefer the convenience of using a dishwasher to washing dishes by hand. But as technology continues to improve, have you noticed a change in what consumers are looking for – are people now demanding even quicker and cleaner results?
A: Consumers are more aware of WELS water ratings and energy ratings now with the recent drought and increase in energy costs. Consumers aren’t demanding quicker results as most machines do offer a ‘quick wash’ function, but certainly the expectation to have the cleanest results possible is always there.