Your dishwasher is probably an underappreciated appliance in your kitchen because it doesn’t produce food or store it for later. All it does is ensure that you have clean dishes on which to serve the food. However, without the dishwasher, your restaurant would not be able to function efficiently because you couldn’t serve the food unless you had someone manually wash all of the dishes, a huge task. In order to ensure that your dishwasher remains functional at all times, consider these three maintenance tips.

1. Check the Filter Every 20-25 Cycles

The filter is what keeps any unwanted food particles from going down your drain. It is important to check this regularly because if the filter is clogged, then water will not be able to leave your dishwasher easily and you will end up having your dishes sitting in dirty water for an extended period of time. This completely negates any cleaning that you may have done beforehand. In order to keep this from happening, thoroughly clean the filter every 20-25 cycles. This will allow you to not have to spend a ton of time on maintenance, but will still make it easy for you to keep your dishwasher working efficiently. If you notice water build-up, however, check the filter earlier.

2. Clean the Spray Arms and Nozzles

The spray arms and nozzles are the main reason why water can be applied all over the dishes and ensure that they stay clean. However, these parts of your dishwasher can also become clogged. At the end of every day, you should make sure that you thoroughly clean out these parts. This will keep the cleaning solution from building up and for food particles being sprayed back onto the plates. If you notice that the spray is weaker than it should be, or more concentrated than usual, consider cleaning the spray arms earlier.

3. Hire a Professional

Even the best employees can’t keep a dishwasher totally clean. Because of this, you need to hire a commercial maintenance professional to clean your dishwasher. If you have a professional come in twice a year to tune up your dishwasher, you can be sure that you will be able to extend the lifespan of your dishwasher for as long as possible.

For more detailed cleaning and maintenance instructions, consult your owner’s manual. Some dishwashers will have specific actions you can take to make sure that they remain functional.