How to Prepare Dishwasher for Vacation Before Going on Vacation

How to Prepare Dishwasher for Vacation Before Going on Vacation

Are you getting ready to go on vacation and starting to think about all the preparations you need to make before you leave? As you put together your vacation packing list and make plans to board up the house, turn off lights, and alert the post office to hold your mail, don’t forget about your household appliances. Properly preparing your dishwasher before leaving for an extended trip can save you from coming home to unpleasant surprises like leaks, mold growth, or even flooding.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to prepare dishwasher for vacation. We’ll cover tips for cleaning, inspection, maintenance, and adjustments to make before you go so you can relax and focus on enjoying yourself while you’re away. Following these simple dishwasher vacation tips will give you peace of mind that your appliance will be safe and sound while you’re gone.

Why It’s Important to Prepare Your Dishwasher for Vacation

When you head out of town for a week or two, the last thing on your mind is probably your dishwasher. But there’s quite a bit that can go wrong if you leave your appliance sitting unused for an extended period:

  • Water leaks and flooding: If a hose or valve fails while the dishwasher is unattended, it could leak gallons of water and cause major damage.
  • Mold and mildew growth: Any moisture left sitting inside provides the perfect breeding ground for mold.
  • Door seals drying out: This allows bad odors to develop.
  • Food debris rotting: Even the tiniest scraps left behind decompose, leaving nasty smells.
  • Higher energy bills: Newer units continue drawing a small amount of power when not in use.

Taking simple precautions before vacation helps prevent problems like leaks or mold growth so you avoid coming home to big headaches—or even appliance repairs. A little dishwasher TLC goes a long way toward giving you true peace of mind while you relax on your trip.

How to Prepare Dishwasher for Vacation 

Preparing your dishwasher properly before leaving town involves just a few simple steps. Here is your pre-vacation dishwasher checklist:

Clean Inside Thoroughly

The first thing you’ll want to do is give your dishwasher a deep clean inside and out to remove any debris, food particles, grease residue, etc.

  • Remove dishes and removable parts like racks and filters and wash by hand.
  • Check under and around the edges of the door for any gunk buildup and clean thoroughly.
  • Use a dishwasher cleaner like Affresh or run a vinegar rinse cycle to remove grime and limescale.
  • Use a small brush and vacuum crevice tool to remove debris from nooks and crannies.
  • Check door seals for signs of mold/mildew and scrub clean if needed.

Removing all traces of soil prevents odors and keeps pests away while you’re traveling.

Inspect Parts for Damage

It’s a smart idea to do a visual inspection of hoses and key components before you leave as well. Addressing any maintenance issues now prevents bigger problems later.

  • Examine the control panel for damage and make sure buttons/switches function properly.
  • Check along hose connections for leaks or cracks and tighten if needed.
  • Ensure racks, filters, and spray arms move freely and are correctly positioned.
  • Verify door opens and closes properly and that the latch secures tightly.

Making minor repairs pre-vacation gives you confidence everything will operate smoothly when you return.

Leave the Door Slightly Open

To allow air circulation and prevent odor buildup inside the empty appliance, prop the door open a couple of inches before vacation using a wedge or folded towel.

Take care not to open too far or a pet could sneak inside while you’re gone. The right-sized wedge keeps pests out but allows fresh air in.

Turn Off the Water and Power

Shutting off water and power supplies is one of the most important steps in dishwasher vacation prep. This prevents leaks plus eliminates any electrical draws.

  • Turn off the hot water supply line attached behind/beneath the unit.
  • Unplug the cord or shut off the breaker supplying power to eliminate standby electrical loads.
  • Verify appliance cannot operate during your absence by pressing Start/Reset.

These preventative measures give you maximum peace of mind that nothing can activate unexpectedly in your absence.

Tips to Keep Refrigerators and Washing Machines Ready for Vacation Too

Tips to Keep Refrigerators and Washing Machines Ready for Vacation Too
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Preparing other frequently used appliances before leaving on vacation using similar precautions is also wise. Here is what we recommend for keeping your fridge and laundry equipment vacation-ready as well:

Refrigerator Tips

  • Set the temperature to the warmest acceptable level to minimize energy use.
  • Dispose of any perishable foods that could spoil while you’re gone.
  • Turn off icemakers to prevent cubes from spilling during power outages.
  • Leave a box of baking soda inside to absorb odors from any gases released.
  • Place a cup of dry coffee grounds inside to eliminate any lingering food smells.

Washing Machine Tips

  • Clean inside by running an empty cycle with bleach or vinegar to prevent mildew.
  • Wipe down the exterior and leave the lid open for airflow.
  • Unplug the unit or turn off the wall switch/breaker supplying power.
  • Ensure hoses connecting the washer to supply lines are secure.
  • Inspect for leaks and detach hoses if concerned about rupture.

Extending appliance vacation prep to include your refrigerator and laundry equipment gives them the same protection and peace of mind.

What to Do When You Return from Vacation

Once you arrive home following your well-deserved break, reverse your dishwasher shutoff by:

  • Turning the water supply back on and restoring the power connection.
  • Do a visual check of the exterior for any leaks that might indicate a hose or valve problem developed while you were away.
  • Removing door wedge and verifying interior maintained fresh odor without any buildup of residue.
  • Running empty Normal or Heavy cycle with heated dry to flush interior and refill components.

You’ll likely be reassured that your appliance looks and operates just like you left it thanks to taking a little time for proper vacation prep.

Common Dishwasher Problems that Occur During Vacations

Common Dishwasher Problems that Occur During Vacations
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While the right vacation preparations minimize appliance issues in your absence, problems can still occasionally arise. Here are the most common dishwasher faults owners discover when returning from a long trip:

Mold Growth

Tiny bits of debris provide food for mold. Spores need moisture to develop, which builds up rapidly in stagnant humid air inside an unused appliance. Using a dishwasher cleaner to sanitize just before vacation prevents this.

Water Leaks

Hoses, valves or fittings can fail over time. If a small leak arises with no one to notice, major flooding can occur. Turning off water and power before you leave reduces this risk substantially.

Strange Odors

Food particles trapped under filters or along door seals decompose slowly while you’re away, creating horrible smells. Doing a thorough interior scrub before leaving prevents odors.

Standing Water

A full tub or failure to run the drain cycle after the final load leaves water to become stagnant. Draining appliances eliminate this nuisance which can also contribute to corrosion over time.

Higher Energy Bills

Many modern units constantly draw a small load even while idle. Unplugging the cord stops all power consumption so you don’t pay for unused standby energy all month long.

While you may feel anxious about problems arising in your absence, the good news is that nearly all common dishwasher vacation issues can be prevented through proper preparations before leaving home for an extended getaway.

FAQs: Preparing Your Dishwasher for Vacation

Do you still have questions about getting your dishwasher properly prepped before heading out of town? Here we answer some frequently asked questions about vacation preparations:

Should I run my dishwasher before leaving?

Yes, run a final Hot cycle to clean and dry the interior thoroughly before leaving. This eliminates all food debris and moisture.

What’s the best way to prop open the door?

 Use a thin rubber door stop wedge slipped underneath or a folded hand towel. This allows airflow without permitting pets inside.

Is it necessary to turn off both power and water?

Yes, you should disable both supplies for maximum protection against leaks or accidental operation while unattended long-term.

What if I’m only gone for a week

Follow all of these same procedures even for shorter vacations up to 2 weeks. Issues can still arise in just days if appliances sit unused with residues inside.

What if I have a smart dishwasher app?

Disable any apps connecting your dishwasher WiFi or voice control features to prevent remote activation while away.

Should I add dishwasher cleaner before leaving?

Yes, use an appliance cleaner like Affresh to remove grime and sanitize just before you go to prevent odor buildup.

Key Takeaways: Readying Dishwasher for Vacation

  • Clean inside thoroughly and inspect door seals/parts
  • Leave the door ajar for airflow using a protective wedge
  • Shut off both hot water and power supplies
  • Also, prep your refrigerator and washing machine
  • Address any small leaks or damage before leaving
  • Verify normal empty operation when you return

Following these simple pre-vacation dishwasher tips gives you confidence your appliance will be ready to welcome you home without any unpleasant surprises after your stress-free holiday!

So next time you’re packing your bags for a fabulous getaway, be sure to include readying your dishwasher and other frequently used appliances on your master vacation prep checklist. Taking just a few minutes for proper cleaning, inspection, and shutdown makes all the difference in preventing problems like leaks, strange smells, or even floods!

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