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Angie's List Report: 4 Tips to Keep your Dishwasher Running

Many households fight over the dishwasher. How to properly load it – should you pre–rinse the dishes or not? Should you put bowls on the top or bottom? In this Angie's List Report, the four secrets to spotless dishes.
Dishwashers are supposed to make life easier, but in kitchens across the country, they're a point of frustration.

"Your dishwasher, just like any other appliance you have, does take some care and maintenance along the way to make sure you get the full life out of it, especially if you have hard water. Many people may not realize the kind of build–up you can get from the hard water in your dishwasher and that needs to be cleaned to make sure your dishwasher operates properly," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

So how can you get cleaner, spotless dishes out of the dishwasher?

Tip number one: check your detergent.

"If you have hard water, the only thing you should be using is a powder. A lot of people like to use the tablets or the little packets and actually that is too much soap," says Appliance Repairman Chris Sublett.

Tip number two: know when to pre–rinse.

Chris says you should remove any food particles that are the size of a nickel or bigger.

The rest, don't need to be rinsed off.

Tip number three: load dishes correctly.

"If your dishwasher is one with one spray arm, you should only stack vertical dishes on bottom rack. No bowls, glasses on the bottom rack – leave those for the top rack. That way the water is spraying around and the bottom spray arm can reach the dishes up top. Now if you have a dishwasher that has two spray arms, you can pretty much put them in there however you like," say Sublett.

Tip number four: clean your dishwasher.

Any white film build up inside should be cleaned off.

You can find products to do that, at any story that carries cleaning products.

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