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Category: Appliances and Electronics

A Primer On Dish Washers

 A Useful Home Appliance 

by Daniel Smith  

Today there is rarely any modern house hold that does not possess a dish washer. Often the service companies are flooded with complaints about faulty or less efficient service of dish washers as a result of wrong handling and inefficient use of the machine by the home maker. Poor cleaning is always not the result of a faulty machine but mostly because of poor usage. The major factors that influence the performance of a dish washer includes among others , the temperature of the water, the use of appropriate detergent, timely refilling of rinse additives, the loading practice and proper maintenance.

Let us examine these factors in detail.

Water Temperature:-

The ideal water temperature suggested by most of the manufacturers of this utility is a minimum of 120 F to begin with and around 140 F for removal of food soiling and to end up at 150 degree Fahrenheit to ensure bacteria free utensils. In restaurant conditions the temperature is usually set to 180 degree Fahrenheit as per the statutory health requirements. It is commonly observed that as against the above standards most of the home makers set the temperature at about 100 degree Fahrenheit or less presumably to reduce the energy consumption bill.

The ignorance of the basic requirement of optimum water heating leads to various consequences. Low heating of water reduces the cleaning efficiency of the machine leading to unclean dishes left with food particles and bacteria. The concept of low heating of water in dish washers claims to ensure the safety of children by avoiding the possibility of scalding in bath.

The argument put forward for keeping the water temperature lower is the safety of children and low consumption of electricity; however the same has a negative impact on the cycle length of the machine. In due course the normal washing cycle of 40 minutes may stretch to 2 hrs or more. The sensible home maker is well advised to follow the standard water temperature requirement of dish washers suggested by the manufacturers exploring other methods of safety for their children.

Rinse additive:-

The refilling of the rinse additive is often forgotten by the users. The purpose of the additive is to help the dishes dry faster. Poor cleaning with water stains on dishes especially on glasses is the result of low rinse additive level. The gap between 2 refills is normally months apart and as such the need for the refilling of the rinse additive is conveniently forgotten.

Some of the dish washers provide a useful rinse additive indicator, usually seen as a plastic eye beside the soap dispenser that changes its color when the additive is low or empty. Proper Loading:-

The user is well advised to read the instructions for loading of the dish washer. Proper loading helps the water to reach all the nook and corner. The dishes and utensils are to be arranged inside the dish washer in a systematic and orderly manner instead of cluttering the inside of the machine, to help a neat and healthy wash.

Use of Proper Detergents:-

A good and popular brand detergent is all the more essential for the machine to give its best service. It may not be wise to save a few dollars at the cost of the life of the machine or a good wash.

One can choose either a gel or a crystal dishwasher detergent; the only difference found in the former is that it dissolves quicker and as such suitable for low temperature of water. The crystal detergents may absorb moisture and may harden up making dissolution difficult. Normally a box of detergent needs to be exhausted within a period of 60 to 90 days. Hence, it is wise to buy an ideal quantity of detergent to avoid any wastage; one needs to understand that the detergent used for washing the utensils in the sink cannot be interchanged with dishwasher detergent. Each one has different formula.

In spite of all the precautions and better usage practices should the machine develops any mechanical problems the same need be immediately attended to. Normal complaints include problems in draining, blocked filters, erratic water pressure or broken parts. It is wise to go through the manual in detail before reaching the service provider.


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