10 Essential Tips to Maintain your GE Dishwasher for Peak Performance

A reliable, sparkling clean dishwasher is a kitchen necessity for most busy families. GE dishwashers are known for their durability and cleaning power. But like any home appliance, some basic maintenance is required to keep your GE dishwasher running efficiently for the long haul and avoid common problems like a GE dishwasher not draining.

Neglecting minor care steps can lead to major problems down the road, including draining issues. Use these 10 essential tips to maintain your GE dishwasher so it operates optimally for years of spotless washing results. Just a small time investment in regular upkeep pays off to maximize the lifespan and performance of your GE dishwasher and prevent frustrating problems like a clogged drain.

1. Use the Correct Detergents

It’s crucial to use only detergents made specifically for dishwashers, never hand washing detergent that causes excessive suds. Cascade and Cascade Platinum powder, liquid, or pack detergents are recommended by GE for optimal cleaning and to prevent soap buildup. If using detergent packs, place them in the main wash compartment, never in the detergent dispenser.

Check your owner’s manual, as many newer GE models require detergent packs for proper wash action. Avoid overuse of detergent and don’t use “spot treatment” additives which can damage interior parts.

2. Clean the Filters Weekly

GE dishwashers have a triple filter system to capture food particles. It’s critical to remove and rinse these filters weekly to prevent clogs from trapped debris. Clogged filters impede water circulation.

To access the filters, remove the lower rack first. Twist off the large cylindrical filter from the floor of the tub and rinse it out. Then lift out the flat fine filter underneath and the microfilter from the bottom of the tub, rinsing away any grime.

3. Check Spray Arms for Obstructions

Spin the upper and lower spray arms monthly to ensure they rotate freely and nozzles are clear of any blockages. Use a toothpick to gently clean out any food particles or mineral buildup clogging the small holes. Proper spray action is vital to washing results.

Also verify that nothing is blocking the spray arm path or preventing rotation, including oversized dishware loaded incorrectly in racks. All water jets must be unobstructed for complete coverage.

4. Clean Interior and Gaskets

About once monthly, give the interior tub and door gaskets a thorough cleaning. Wipe away grease and grime using a soft cloth with warm water and mild soap. Pay extra attention to inner door and along the bottom of the tub where grime collects.

Make sure to remove all soap residue and allow gaskets to completely dry to prevent any musty odors from lingering moisture getting trapped. A clean, dry interior prevents growth of odor-causing mold and mildew.

5. Deodorize with Vinegar

For odor elimination and an occasional deep clean, run a hot vinegar-only cycle. First remove all dishes, then pour 2 cups of plain white vinegar into the bottom of the empty dishwasher tub. Run a heavy cycle, then do a second rinse cycle to flush away vinegar. The vinegar breaks up grease and limescale buildup while deodorizing.

Repeat vinegar washes monthly or whenever soap scum, mineral deposits or musty smells develop. It keeps the wash system fresh between deeper cleans.

6. Use a Descaling Detergent

Hard water results in limescale buildup that can clog jets, coat heating elements, and leave white film on dishware. Monthly, use a formulated dishwasher descaling detergent like Citric Pro or Lemi-Shine to remove mineral deposits and maximize washing action.

Alternately, run a hot vinegar cycle followed by a hot rinse cycle with 2 cups of vinegar added to the tub to naturally dissolve limescale buildup. This prevents any hard water issues from compromising cleaning performance.

7. Check the Drain Hose

It’s easy to forget about the drain hose, but it can get kinked and obstructed. Every couple of months, pull out your dishwasher to inspect that the drain hose running from the pump along the back has no crimps impeding draining.

While you have the unit pulled out, also check for leaks around water supply connections. Catching any drain obstructions or leaks early prevents water damage. Arrange drain hoses to avoid traps and kinks.

8. Test Heating Element

If dishes aren’t drying completely or are still dirty looking, the heating element may be compromised. Feel inside the dishwasher tub after a wash cycle to verify it feels warm to the touch. Run a short empty cycle allowing time for the tub to heat. Open mid-cycle and use an instant read thermometer to confirm it reaches 130-155°F.

Lower heat means the heating element needs replacement. Low water temperature prevents proper detergent activation and soil removal.

9. Level Front Feet if Unstable

If your dishwasher is rocking on the floor or vibrating, the front leveling feet likely need adjustment. Easily turn the two front feet clockwise or counterclockwise until the unit sits level and stable on the floor. Use a wrench if the feet won’t turn by hand.

Make small adjustments of about 1⁄4 turn at a time until level. Test by opening then closing the door to ensure the dishwasher no longer rocks. This prevents noise and movement.

10. Replace Old Door Seals

If your dishwasher fails to fill with water or leaks from the door, worn door seals are likely to blame. With regular use, door gaskets get compressed and cracked over time. Test the main tub door gasket by placing a dollar bill half caught in the door – it should offer slight resistance when pulled out.

Replace any gaskets that appear cracked, flattened or no longer sealing. Doing so prevents water leaks and restores cleaning power.


Like any home appliance, GE dishwashers require some minor care and maintenance to stay in peak operating condition for years of reliable service. By incorporating these important tasks like regular filter cleanings, inspecting spray arms, descaling, drain hose checks, seal replacements, and more into your routine, your GE dishwasher will run optimally long-term. A little preventative attention goes a long way.

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