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Table of Contents

Step-by-Step Guide for a Spotless Dishwasher

Schedule Expert Dishwasher Maintenance

Rely on Sears for Dishwasher Solutions

Holiday Peace of Mind with Sears

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Get Your Dishwasher Ready for Holiday Use

7 min readUpdated Mar. 08, 2024Kimberly HillegassDishwasher
Get Your Dishwasher Ready for Holiday Use

Preparing your dishwasher now for the holiday festivities can let you unwind and savor time with your family and guests after a delightful feast. With your dishwasher in like-new condition, you'll have peace of mind knowing it's equipped to manage the increased demand.


  • Prepping your dishwasher for the holiday rush contributes to a more relaxing, enjoyable time with friends and family.
  • Addressing minor rust, clearing clogs and improving general aesthetic issues is an easy DIY task that will increase the dishwasher's longevity.
  • Annual professional maintenance by a Sears Technician is crucial to prevent unforeseen breakdowns and guarantee peak performance.

Getting your dishwasher ready for the holidays will help you relax and enjoy your company after an entertaining meal. You’ll be confident your dishwasher will be ready to easily handle the extra workload when it's in top shape.

Many guests may be anxious to help clean up after a holiday meal. The first place they’ll likely go is to the dishwasher. You’ll want them to pull open the door and see clean racks, spray arms and tub. Make that reality happen by following these practical steps.

Step-by-Step Guide for a Spotless Dishwasher

Address Rust on Dishracks Promptly

Guests may be inclined to lend a helping hand with cleanup–avoid the embarrassment of rusted dishracks by tackling this issue first. Severe rust may require replacement racks. Racks for most major brands and models are available through Sears PartsDirect. Simply input your dishwasher model number for the perfect match.

If replacements are cost-prohibitive, consider upgrading your dishwasher. We’ve consolidated all help, financing offers and savings into one location on our Upgrade page to make it easy for you to replace your dishwasher now. No hassles and no waiting. Check out Quick Delivery options from top brands and get a replacement dishwasher installed in a matter of days.

For minor rust repairs, a Dishwasher Tine Tip Repair Kit and our YouTube DIY tutorial can guide you through easy refurbishments.

Unclog and Clean Spray Arms

Remove the spray arms from the dishwasher and use a bamboo skewer to clear hard water deposits and debris from spray arm holes. Rinse the spray arms in the kitchen sink by holding them under warm, running water.
Reinstall the spray arms in the dishwasher.

Dishwasher Filters: A Clear Path to Cleanliness

Access your filters, typically located in the tub's sump, by removing the bottom rack. Exercise caution—sharp objects like broken glass may be present.

To remove food debris, clean as advised in the owner's manual. Soak the filter in distilled white vinegar for stubborn hard-water deposits then gently remove the deposits with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse the filter with clean water before placing it back in the dishwasher.

Enhance Your Dishwasher's Aesthetic Appeal

Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for cleaning the control panel and front panel of the dishwasher. Many manufacturers recommend wiping off deposits and debris using a cloth moistened with water and dish detergent. After cleaning, wipe the surfaces with plain water and dry with a towel.

For stainless steel dishwashers, apply a small amount of stainless steel cleaner to a non-abrasive cloth and wipe the cleaner across the outer door panel, working with the grain. Then, polish with a dry, non-abrasive cloth, removing any dirt, smudges, fingerprints and cleaner residue.

Clean the inner dishwasher door panel using a cleaning cloth moistened with sudsy water. Clean dishwasher detergent residue from the dispenser on the inner door panel, then wipe the surfaces with plain water and dry with a towel. Make sure the rinse aid dispenser is full. The rinse aid will help keep the tub and inner door panel clean and free from hard water spots while improving the overall performance of the dishwasher.

Ensure Adequate Water Temperature

For sparkling clean outcomes, verify that your water heater supplies your dishwasher with water at or above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the water temperature, follow this procedure:

  1. Run the hot water from your kitchen sink faucet for 1 minute.
  2. Fill a glass with hot water.
  3. Measure the water temperature in the glass using a cooking thermometer.

If the temperature is less than 120 degrees, carefully increase the temperature setting on your water heater. Make small, incremental increases and don't set your water heater temperature above 120 degrees to avoid scalding.

Employ a Dishwasher Cleaner

Products like Affresh can eliminate limescale and mineral buildup. Simply drop a tablet in the bottom of your empty dishwasher and run a normal cycle. Use the cleaner monthly for ongoing cleanliness.

Technician maintaining a dishwasher

Schedule Expert Dishwasher Maintenance

Don’t risk the embarrassment of an unexpected dishwasher malfunction during the holidays. Schedule professional dishwasher maintenance by a Sears Technician every year to help avoid unexpected breakdowns and make sure that you dishwasher performs at its best.

During professional dishwasher maintenance, the Sears Tech will:

  • Check the electronic control board and sensors. The electronic control board is the "brains" or motherboard of the dishwasher; it starts and stops all the dishwasher's functions — filling, washing, drying and draining. It receives a signal from the control panel when you select a button and displays the cycle status, time and other information on the control panel. The control board also receives signals from temperature sensors, water level sensors and water quality sensors to help control the dishwashing cycle. Electronic control board and sensors not operating properly can lead heating failures, damage to the dishwasher or dishes from overheated water/air, dishes that don’t get clean, water leaks that could damage kitchen cabinets or flooring or excess water/energy use.
  • Examine and clean pumps. The technician will check the wash and drain pumps for proper operation and leaks. Failure of either pump prevents dishes from getting clean during the wash cycle. Leaks from a pump can cause expensive damage to kitchen cabinets and flooring.
  • Test the detergent and rinse aid dispenser. Because dishes won’t get clean if the dispenser doesn’t open when it’s meant to, the technician will check for proper detergent and rinse aid dispenser operation.
  • Check the control panel. You may not know when an infrequently used button on your dishwasher control panel isn’t working properly. A faulty control panel button can eventually cause the dishwasher to stop operating. The service technician will check all control panel buttons for proper operation during dishwasher cleaning and maintenance.
  • Test the heating element. The heating element is mounted on the bottom of the dishwasher tub and heats the water during the wash and rinse portions of the cycle. Raising the water temperature improves cleaning, and in some situations, sanitation. Dishes won’t get clean and/or dry properly if the heating element fails. During this check, the technician inspects the condition and operation of the heating element.
  • Check and clean dishwasher door gaskets. Door gaskets, also called door seals, prevent water from leaking out of the dishwasher, possibly damaging kitchen flooring and cabinets. Your Sears technician will check for loose, damaged or dirty door gaskets.

Comprehensive maintenance not only readies your dishwasher for holiday use but also extends its lifespan and enhances its efficiency.

Combine Services for Comprehensive Care

Take advantage of Sears Cleaning & Maintenance services to have your kitchen and laundry appliances checked and maintained in one visit, saving time and ensuring all your home appliances are functioning flawlessly.
female technician repairing a dishwasher

Rely on Sears for Dishwasher Solutions

When your dishwasher experiences failures, especially during the bustling holiday season, having a reliable solution at your fingertips is important. With Sears's expert repair services, you can rest assured that any issues with your appliance will be resolved efficiently and effectively. Whether it's a minor glitch or a major malfunction, our trained technicians are equipped to diagnose and fix the problem quickly, allowing you to focus on enjoying the festive season with your loved ones.

Holiday Peace of Mind with Sears

Sears Home Services is here to support all your appliance repair and maintenance needs, ensuring that your home functions seamlessly throughout the season. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that expert appliance assistance is just a call away, ready to tackle any issue that may arise. Our commitment to excellence and customer care means that you can rely on us to keep your dishwasher—and your holiday preparations—running smoothly. So, embrace the festive spirit with confidence, knowing that Sears is by your side to handle any appliance concerns, letting you focus on what truly matters: celebrating with those you cherish.

Schedule your dishwasher maintenance now!

Regular dishwasher maintenance can help prevent costly breakdowns, reduce energy costs and extend the life of your appliance.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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