Monday, March 12, 2012

Design Tips: Dishwasher Tips and Secrets!


Our dishwashers! When they're working we take them for granted. We use them frequently but otherwise completely ignore them until they stop working. Talk about piece of mind. A nice little relationship that we really don't need to work on one bit. Joy!

Well a couple of years ago, my fabulously quiet Bosch dishwasher started acting up. On its seventh birthday, almost. Not much at first, it was just trying to get my attention. I used it plenty, overfilling it at least once a day. I love that it washed plastic stuff, even on the bottom shelf, and seemed to get everything really clean.

But then suddenly things didn't seem to get really clean. Oh, of course. I just ran out of rinse aid, which my dishwasher seems to appreciate. That was easy. I used a liquid dishwashing fluid, I liked how it rinsed really well and didn't leave crusty white residue all over the inside of the dishwasher. I liked that I didn't need to overfill the soap compartment, my dishes seemed just as clean even if I only filled the compartment half to two thirds. Cool! Save some soap!

And of course I needed to clean the filter once in a while. No biggie, that's just maintenance. So, really, no problems, my dishwasher was just trying to train me to treat it well.

Then the soap compartment stopped wanting to stay closed. This was a problem, causing a mess as well as unwashed dishes. That defeats the whole purpose. Do I need to buy another dishwasher? Ugh. I like mine just fine. Do I need to spend time to look for a replacement part and spend who knows how much getting it fixed? Do I dare try to fix it myself?

Nope! Instead I found a new dishwashing soap. I've been averse to the tablets, packets and other pre-portioned amounts of product, since I believe a lot of times, those are too much soap and the manufacturers are just trying to get us to use more of their product. More soap will not necessarily get things cleaner. But...

Ecover's Automatic Dishwasher Tablets ZERO had a blurb on the box that said I could place the tablet in the cutlery basket if the tablet does not fit into the soap compartment. That's it! Perfect! That seemed to be the answer to a lot of my problems, if it didn't end up being too much product. And I love Ecover's dish soap and other products. They're highly effective and low scented. So I bought some.

I tried one out, removing a tablet the size of a large square of chocolate but thicker. I took it out of its little recyclable plastic wrapper and carefully placed it into the cutlery basket. I bypassed the soap compartment altogether. And, it worked! My dishes were super clean, probably the cleanest they've been in years! There's a light lemony scent which dissipates quickly. Or, get the ZERO which has no scent. I'm buying that next. With either, you don't taste the detergent on your coffee cup or glasses. Ick. And the inside of my dishwasher stays nice and clean too.

So, truce! I can go back to ignoring my dishwasher, hopefully, for at least the next six years. Until I can buy my new dream Bosch dishwasher!

And I learned about many other things you can wash in your dishwasher. I've already cleaned pet dishes, light fixtures, appliance parts (greasy metal range hood parts, oh yeah!), dish sponges and brushes. I have not tried baseball caps! Or hair brushes. Or... bathtub drain plugs! Women's Day Magazine published "10 Things You Can Clean in Your Dishwasher" by Arricca SanStone on Yahoo's "Shine" pages. Check out this article for all the handy tips!

And make your poor dishwasher work even harder, so you don't need to!

Until next time!
-Elaine Bothe

Photos courtesy of Ecover and Bosch.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 

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