Home Improvement

All About Dishwashers

If you’re like most families in Oakland, you probably take your dishwasher for granted. Most homes and apartments have one, and we rarely think about these appliances unless they stop working. Read on for everything you ever wanted to know about dishwashers and how to keep yours going.

Dishwasher history

The first real automatic dishwasher was invented in 1886 by a woman named Josephine Cochrane. Her grandfather had been the first to successfully trial a steamboat, and as a result, she was both rich and very good with machines. Tired of servants breaking all her dishes, she decided to invent a way to clean dishes safely and automatically.

Her invention worked well and her production factory eventually became KitchenAid, which is still one of the biggest names in dishwashers and kitchen appliances today. The dishwasher wasn’t widely used by individuals until the 1970s, but now they are a must-have for every home.

Saving water and energy

Here in California, we care deeply about the environment. In some ways, we know better than anyone how important it is to be conscious of our water and power usage. Dishwashers are great for that. When you wash dishes with a dishwasher instead of by hand, you get them cleaner while also using less water.

If you run your dishwasher at night, you can also save some money if you are on a plan that rewards you for using energy outside of peak hours. You’ll also add a bit of humidity back into air-con dried kitchens when temperatures are at their coolest.

Getting the most from your dishwasher

We’re all interested in getting the best performance out of our appliances, and particularly dishwashers. Gone are the days when you practically had to wash your dishes before you put them in the device. Here are some things you can do to improve your dishwasher’s efficiency:

Load wisely:

The way you load has a lot to do with how well your machine will work. Always start loading from the back so you don’t have to rearrange too much. Put largest items at the back and pots and pans with their open sides down in the bottom. Don’t let glass items touch each to minimize that chance of breakage.

Run hot water:

If you run your hot water at the kitchen sink before you turn on the dishwasher, you’ll ensure that the dishwasher starts out nice and hot right from the beginning of the wash cycle. This makes for better and more efficient cleaning.

Use vinegar:

If you find that your dishwasher is getting that special smell, or if your dishes are starting to look dull, you could buy expensive dishwasher cleaner and rinse. Or, you could just fill the soap container with white vinegar instead of soap and run it. Everything will be sweet smelling soon.


There will be times when you have to start searching Google for “dishwasher repair Oakland” because only a professional can fix a problem. Other times, a simple adjustment might do the trick.

A dishwasher isn’t running:

If nothing is happening and no lights are coming on, make sure the plug hasn’t come loose. Then check that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. If you have a GFCI plug, it may have a reset button.

No water:

The first thing to check is that the hot water valve didn’t get accidentally turned off. This should be under your sink. Turn it counterclockwise to make sure it’s fully open. If that isn’t the issue, then wait til the appliance is cool and then check the float. Clean it out until it moves freely.

If you are unsure about what to do or uncomfortable undertaking a fix by yourself, be sure to call a professional to get your dishwasher back up and running quickly.

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