How to Extend the Life of Your Dishwasher

How to Extend the Life of Your Dishwasher

Most people don’t think about cleaning their dishwashers. After all, the appliance is used to clean your dishes on a daily basis. It is easy to assume that your dishwasher will get cleaned at the same time as it is washing your dishes, but the reality is that food debris and other deposits can build up over many uses. That buildup can result in a poor performing dishwasher and dishes that come out dingy and looking gross.

Regularly cleaning and maintaining of your dishwasher can keep it running smoothly and can provide you with spotless dishes every time they get washed. The following is a step-by-step process to extend the life of your dishwasher and keep it performing at its best.

 

1. Wash Regularly

One of the best ways to ensure that your dishwasher is free from excess buildup is by running it regularly. Using your dishwasher frequently will keep debris from settling in the bottom of the appliance and can help reduce the amount of times that you will have to give it a thorough cleaning throughout the year.

2. Empty the Dishwasher

In order to perform the following tips, it’s important that you run your dishwasher through a full cycle and then empty all of the dishes from the appliance. This allows you to have easier access to the entire dishwasher and be able to perform the necessary maintenance correctly.

3. Inspect & Clean the Spinning Arms

Dishwashers work by spraying water out of their spinning arms onto the dishes inside. When those arms aren’t spinning properly or the holes in them are full of buildup, your dishes won’t be getting thoroughly cleaned. Check to make sure that the arms spin correctly and clean out any debris that has accumulated inside the holes with a small piece of wire, a toothpick, or small pliers.

4. Clean the Edges and Exterior

Many times the bad smells that you may find coming from your dishwasher may actually be coming from the outside areas around the appliance. The edges around the door do not get washed during a regular cycle and can end up with lots of spills and pieces of food debris.

A bit of regular household cleaner and a damp cloth should be enough to wipe up this dirty spot and can also be used to wash off all of the buttons and the exterior door of the appliance as well.

Other Parts You Should Clean:

  • Under the door, on the inside.
  • The flatware basket.
  • The gasket.
  • The detergent dispenser.

5. Unclog & Clean the Drain

At the very bottom of your dishwasher is the drain, and this area can be a common place where food debris, buildup, and other matter can end up. Leaving these obstacles near the drain will eventually create a clog. When your dishwasher drain is clogged, it will become less efficient and have a harder time cleaning. And nobody wants to find their dishes are not-so-sparkling clean.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher Drain:

You can start cleaning the area around the drain by collecting the biggest pieces by hand, but you may have to disassemble the drain to get to some of the smaller pieces. Here’s how you can do this.

  • Unplug the dishwasher.
  • Take out the screws and remove the cover.
  • Protect the opening to keep debris out.
  • Clean out larger pieces by hand.
  • Clean out smaller deposits with a brush or cloth.
  • Reassemble in the reverse order.

Cleaning out around the dishwasher drain can help to ensure that dirty water is exiting the appliance adequately so that your dishes are cleaned well.

6. Use an Acid to Remove Buildup

Getting rid of the water deposits and buildup in your dishwasher is an important step because it can result in dishes that are sparkly and not dingy after a cycle. Choose one of the following acids and run them through a short cycle to get rid of excess scale:

Use These to Remove Build-Up:

  • White vinegar
  • Tang
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemonade mix

Any powdered substances should be placed in the detergent dispenser and liquids can be left in a bowl on the top rack.

7. Get Rid of Mildew

One last cycle using bleach in the dishwasher can also be helpful if you are dealing with a mold or mildew problem. Unless you have a stainless steel door or interior, bleach can be the finishing touch for a spotless dishwasher that will provide you with completely sanitized dishes every time you run the appliance.

Green Pathways Provides Opportunities in Social Justice

Green Pathways Provides Opportunities in Social Justice

Got Green’s Young Leaders in the Green Movement steering committee won a resolution in 2015 to create 100 living wage green internships for low income young workers of color in Seattle. Since then, they have expanded to nonprofit and private environmental employers through the inception of the Green Pathways Fellowship Program.

The Green Pathways Fellowship Program was created through a partnership between Got Green and Rainier Valley Corps to provide opportunities in the green sector for low-income young adults in living wage entry-level positions in the environmental justice movement. With the City Council Approval of the 2019-2020 Seattle City Budget, Green Pathways Fellowship will be receiving $100,000 in 2019 and $164,000 in 2020.

If you are a community-based organization and may be interested in hosting a fellow, please visit this page. Or if you know someone who would be a great fit for this program, please recommend an applicant here.

FREE Tickets to NW Remodeling Expo: Jan 18-20, 2019

FREE Tickets to NW Remodeling Expo: Jan 18-20, 2019

Join us for the best home remodeling show of the year on January 18, 19, and 20, 2019 at the Washington State Convention Center! The NW Remodeling Expo brings together hundreds of local and regional home improvement companies for one weekend only. It’s the perfect way to jumpstart your remodeling project — come chat with us face-to-face! We’ll be hosting two companies (Mighty House + Mighty Energy Solutions) at one great booth! Just download our free passes to print or save on your phone. See you there!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE TICKET(S)

Friday January 18 | 12:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Saturday January 19 | 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Sunday January 20 | 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Washington State Convention Center – Halls 4EF

800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA 98101

Plus, there will be a ton of great seminars! Here are some we’re most excited about:

How to Incorporate Sustainability into Your Next Remodelwith Sandy Campbell – Entero Design LLC
12pm Saturday – Left Stage – Come learn from NCIDQ certified and LEED accredited Interior Designer, Sandy Campbell, about how to incorporate sustainable design practices and materials into your next remodel to improve the health of your home and reduce your impact on the environment.

Designing Backyard Cottages, with Sheri Newbold & Doug Elfline – Live-Work-Play & Mighty House
3pm Saturday – Stage Right – Thinking of creating a backyard cottage? Check out this class on the why, what, where and how of building a DADU (detached accessory dwelling unit) taught by Sheri Newbold of live-work-play Architecture and Doug Elfline of Mighty House Construction.

Salvage Simplified: How to Incorporate Salvagewith Mary Anne Carter – Second Use Building Materials
4pm Saturday- Stage Right – Architectural salvage is more than a buzzword: it is a practical opportunity for any remodeling project. Join Mary Anne Carter of Second Use Building Materials to discover how you can incorporate reuse into your next project, from deconstruction to decoration!

Big Heat for a Small Footprint, with Laura Elfline – Mighty House Construction & Mighty Energy Solutions
12pm Sunday – Stage Left – A discussion of innovative and efficient heating solutions for small and multi-use spaces that tread lightly on the planet, this seminar will look at backyard cottages, ADUs, additions, and whole homes.

Register for these seminars and more here.

Tiny Houses for Women, By Women

Tiny Houses for Women, By Women

The Whittier Heights tiny house village consists fo 15 colorful tiny homes that house women who have experienced homelessness.
“Located on city-owned land, it is one of nine tiny-house villages in Seattle that serve as emergency shelters for the city’s homeless population. It is operated by the Low Income Housing Institute, which develops and operates housing for low-income and homeless people in Washington state. Each house costs about $2,500 to build, and the labor is mostly provided by volunteers.”
This particular village was also built by a team dozens of women in the trades from across the state, who came together as the Women4Women project. Creator of this project, Alice Lockridge, hoped to make a space for tradeswomen to come together and make a difference while also finding camaraderie and a break from their male-dominated workplaces. Read the full article from YES! Magazine here.
Green Lake Kitchen + Bathroom Transformation

Green Lake Kitchen + Bathroom Transformation

This Green Lake Tudor home was in desperate need of some updates. The kitchen and two bathrooms were severely lacking in function and style – making it hard for Steve to live happily in these heavy uses spaces. Team Mighty House to the rescue!

BEFORE:

old kitchen cabinets and stove

AFTER:

Canyon Creek’s Katana line of cabinetry and Ceasarstone countertops provide an entirely refreshed look for the kitchen, while also maintaining its classic aesthetic. The cabinets are locally manufactured, and both companies provide products with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

BEFORE:

AFTER:

bathroom is dark with bright blue toilet and shower 

Cutting the shower wall down to half-height and adding a glass enclosure, gave the upstairs bathroom a huge boost in natural lighting. Colorful tile accents and a bright blue marmoleum floor, gave the space a new feel while also maintaining some of the original room’s pop of color. Marmoleum is a natural linoleum, that is durable, resistant to bacteria, and free of toxic byproducts.  Plus, this custom tile work was done in house by our resident Mighty House tile expert!

 

Another important element of maintaining the classic Tudor charm, was working with what we already had. Updating, reusing, and salvaging existing elements is also a great way to cut down on waste and extend the life of those items and save them from the landfill. In the first floor bathroom, we left the tub and checkered floor in place and found updated finishes to match. The vanity countertop material is also salvaged PaperStone, a material made from compressed recycled paper.

old shower with yellow walls new bath and shower with white tile

What kind of updates does your house need? Let us know and check out more images in our Flikr gallery.

Save Money on Heating + Cooling Costs

Save Money on Heating + Cooling Costs

As summer heat sets in, here are some simple, but effective ways to save money on your cooling costs now and heating costs during the winter:

  • Keep blinds and curtains closed to keep heat from the sun out during the summer
  • Leave the thermostat alone or install a programmable one, to avoid frequent temperature changes
  • Keep conditioned air inside – don’t run your kitchen and bathroom fans too often
  • Make sure your home is airtight – seal leaks in drafty doors or windows and add insulation where needed
  • Use nature’s energy to heat your home during the winter by opening blinds and curtains to let sun in during the day
  • Keep your HVAC system clean – change filters, and keep leaves and debris away from outdoor units
  • Replace or update your system if it is over ten years old – invest in Energy Star appliances

Read the original list, from Angie’s List here.