Dishwasher Disasters: Things That Could Damage Your Dishwasher

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If you've just gotten a new dishwasher and want to keep it shiny, new and, above all, operational, you'll need to be a little careful about the things that you place in it. Too often, people just load their dishwasher with everything they've got, turn it on and hope for the best. But the worst that can happen isn't just some food spots stuck on dishes -- it's actual physical damage to the machine.

Small, Lightweight Items

Small, lightweight items such as caps and bottle tops should never be casually thrown into the dishwasher. When the water turns on in the dishwasher, these items will get propelled throughout the machine. This could damage your dishes as well as the dishwasher itself. There is usually a place inside of the dishwasher rack where small items can be placed and then contained. 

Soft Plastic Bottles

Any soft plastics are dangerous, but soft plastic bottles tend to be the most susceptible to this problem. A soft plastic that is not dishwasher safe (it will say if it is on the bottom) will often melt inside of the dishwasher, potentially damaging anything inside. The melting will be worse the closer the bottle is placed to the hot water source inside of the machine. Even hard plastic items, like water bottles, should be placed at the very top of the machine. Melted plastic should always be removed by a professional, like Terry Rickner Appliance Service.​

Hot (Or Very Warm) Items

Any items that have just been heated -- especially glass and ceramic items -- should never be placed in the dishwasher just following. This often happens when a hot item is taken from the oven, emptied and then loaded. Going from one temperature extreme to another can shatter an item. Once shattered, the pieces will usually fall into the food outlet at the bottom of the dishwasher, where it can jam up the machine and the associated pipes. You should always let dishes cool down completely before even putting them in the sink, as this will greatly reduce the risk of shattering. 

If you have loaded any of the above items in your dishwasher, don't fret. An affordable appliance repair center can usually restore your dishwasher to working order, though they may need to order a few parts to replace the ones that were damaged. In general, you should make sure all items are carefully placed and that they are all marked specifically as dishwasher safe.