Dishwasher staying power

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Consumer Reports' expert testing helps you find the best-performing dishwashers.

Consumer Reports' expert testing helps you find the best-performing dishwashers. But you also want that dishwasher to last for many years. Now, CR experts reveal the secrets to getting sparkling clean dishes for years to come.

There are many factors that can affect the life of your dishwasher, but there are lots of things you can do to keep it running longer. The good news is that these things are really easy.

First, only put items in the dishwasher that are supposed to go in the dishwasher. You might want to put that glass jar with a label into your appliance, but the label could come off and clog the filter or jam the pump.

Be sure to only load "dishwasher safe" plastics on the top rack. Some plastic pieces can melt and break off, and that can also clog your filter. And keep strong chemicals like bleach and degreasing agents out of the dishwasher, too.

Show your dishwasher some TLC with regular cleanings. If you have a manual filter in your dishwasher, you should take it out regularly and rinse away any food or debris caught in it. You can also wipe down the space between the door and the gasket.

Another tip: Skip the partial loads and fill the dishwasher completely before you run it. You should run full loads because this cuts down on the number of cycles the dishwasher has to run. It has mechanical parts, and the more you run the dishwasher, the faster those parts wear out.

Finally, here's a tip that might sound weird and counterintuitive: Stop rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. JUST scrape! Today's appliances have soil sensors and if there's no detectable soil or debris on your dishes, your dishwasher might set itself to a lighter setting and won't wash them as well.

A lasting dishwasher might be a top priority for you. Consumer Reports' latest survey asked CR members about the nearly 75,000 dishwashers they purchased in the past decade. Bosch and Thermador received the highest ratings for reliability and owner satisfaction.
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