Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

March 20, 2013

Mourning the death of the dishwasher

By Jill Pertler

We’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship for more than a decade. I guess if I’m going to come clean, I shoulder most of the responsibility for the spotty patches. Relationships require a certain amount of effort; I wasn’t consistent about the maintenance needed to keep things running smoothly. I realized I was being lax, but just sort of took things for granted. It happens to the best of us – when it comes to our appliances.

My dishwasher and I existed harmoniously for months – even years – at a time. He did the job he was purchased to do. I supplied him with dirty dishes and 97 minutes later relieved him of clean ones.

We had a perfect relationship – from my perspective. Until spots appeared. Not in front of my eyes, but on cups, plates and silverware. The first time this occurred, I learned spotty dishes are often caused by a phenomenon known as clogged dishwasher jets. The remedy for unclogging jets involves cleaning the dishwasher – which is perhaps the most counter-intuitive task I’ve encountered in years. Since I’ve never considered myself pro-clog (unless we’re talking about footwear) I vowed to stay on top of my maintenance duties by flushing my jets on a regular basis.

This was a great theory – with one massive leak.

As long as the dishwasher kept up his end of the cleaning bargain, I forgot about the gunk building up in his jets – until they started spewing white spots on my cutlery and I knew I better initiate a therapeutic dishwasher intervention – again. (Cycle complete, and then repeat.)

One thing I’ve learned over the years is the best way to solve a problem (besides ignoring it until it goes away) involves peeling back the layers until you get to the core of the issue. In my situation, this meant dismantling the dishwasher part by part, screw by screw, jet by jet.

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