Why should I use a dishwasher?
How do the different wash programs work?
Depending on the machine type, some programs can be selected directly with a rinse cycle. These programs typically include more intensive cleaning. Corresponding information can be found in the user instructions for your dishwasher, or on the website of the manufacturer. The pre-wash/cleaning function initially rinses off food residues that can easily be removed entirely with cold water. The main wash program then starts with fresh water, before the detergent is automatically added from the dosing chamber. Depending on the program selected, the water is heated to a temperature between 35°C and 75°C. The wash program lasts between 15 and 90 minutes, and ends with pumping out the dishwater.
All programs include an intermediate rinse cycle. This intermediate rinse cycle is necessary in order to remove remaining dishwater and dirt, and to prepare the dishes for the final rinse. The intermediate rinse ends with the water being pumped out.
All programs except the pre-wash program include a final rinse function. The water flows into the machine and is heated to a maximum of 75°C in standard programs. During this process, the rinse aid is automatically added from the dispenser.
All programs, except for the very fast “Rinse only” cycle for fast cleaning (e.g. of glasses only), also include drying. The residual heat from the final rinse helps to dry the dishes. Drying generally takes between 20 and 70 minutes.
These machines automatically regenerate the integrated water softener with the aid of the salt solution in the reservoir. When using Somat, the addition of dishwasher salt is not required, provided that the hardness of the water does not exceed 21°dH (German hardness scale).
How can I save energy and water?
First you can reduce the washing temperature to 50°C or 55°C. This saves around 84 kWh of electricity and 1497 litres of water per year.
You can also use an automatic program. This will find the best settings for whatever dishes are in the machine, and will use the right amount of water and energy. Load and sort the dishes as recommended by the manufacturer. Check and clean the filters on the drain regularly. And last but not least: Run the dishwasher only when fully loaded.
Why should I use automatic programs?
Automatic programs optimally adjust the settings to the dishes in the machine, and use the right amounts of water and energy, which helps protect the environment.
When used as intended, modern detergents for dishwashers can achieve the desired degree of cleanliness at just 50°C or 55°C and with automatic programs.
What is the difference between dishwasher-friendly and dishwasher-safe dishes?
What types of items can I put in the dishwasher?
Dishes are made from many different materials. How an item reacts when washed in the machine depends on its material composition and the manufacturing process.
Cutlery, pots, pans, plates, spatulas, ladles and sieves are often made from stainless steel. Unlike iron or “normal” steel, stainless steel does not rust. This is achieved by alloying iron with various proportions of other metals, particularly chrome and nickel. Stainless steel can generally be washed in the dishwasher.
Glass is appreciated in household goods because of its special properties, such as its transparency, the way it splits and reflects light, because of its shine, its impermeability, and its resistance to chemicals. Glass can generally be washed in the dishwasher.
The items most frequently washed in dishwashers are silver cutlery. Since decorative service plates, dishes and placemats, tea glass holders, and salt and pepper pots have a significantly thinner silver plating and often have an additional layer of clear varnish, they are not suitable for the dishwasher.
Unpainted items made from wood, such as non-glued wooden spoons, can be washed in the dishwasher. This bleaches them, however, and they often become somewhat rougher. Wooden boards that have a larger surface can develop tension cracks. Wooden handles on cutlery become dull or cracked. Items made from glued wood are not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher, because they can swell up, and the surface becomes faded, rough and cracked. Painted wood is also not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher. The wood swells, which causes the paint to flake off.
Dishes made from fine ceramic can be subdivided into four groups: pottery, earthenware, porcelain and fritware. As a rule for determining if these materials are dishwasher-safe: the harder and less porous the material, the more dishwasher-safe it is.
Plastic items can easily become deformed in machines with exposed heating coils, if they are placed in the lower rack. Plastic items should therefore always be placed in the top of the dishwasher. Under unfavourable conditions, coloured food residues such as tomato juice, ketchup, carrot juice, beetroot, and red cabbage, can stain plastics.
Can cutlery made from different materials be washed in the dishwasher at the same time?
Can aluminium be washed in the dishwasher?
What is the best way to load my dishwasher?
Before you place dishes in the dishwasher, scrape off all easily removable food residues. Pre-washing in the sink is neither necessary nor environmentally friendly. The only exception is residues that do not dissolve in water, such as spinach, cigarette ash, or shredded herbs. These should be washed off, because otherwise they could get stuck to other dishes.
The dishes must be stable inside the dish racks. Glasses in particular must be positioned securely in order to avoid bumping against each other and thus being damaged.
Cups can be placed in the corners of the dish rack, while deep dishes are better placed in the middle. Items must never be placed loose over neatly stacked dishes, because this can result in “spray shadows” where the water cannot reach the stacked items.
Ensure that the spray arms can rotate freely.
Large items belong in the lower dish rack, while small and easily breakable items such as glasses and cups should be placed in the top rack.
The cutlery is not sorted, and is placed in the cutlery basket with the handles pointing downwards. If your machine has a cutlery drawer, you can sort the cutlery when placing it in.
In machines with exposed heating coils, plastic parts can easily become deformed if they are placed in the lower rack. Plastic items should therefore always be placed in the top of the dishwasher.
What should I remember when emptying the dishwasher?
What care does my dishwasher require?
When used properly, a dishwasher requires no particular care, because the interior of the dishwasher and the dish racks are automatically cleaned during the program cycles. The filter unit should however be cleaned regularly.
Inadequate dosing of the detergent, neglecting to scrape large or very fatty food residues off dishes, or selecting programs not appropriate to the level of dirt, can cause fatty dirt residues or other deposits from food residues to stay in the interior of the dishwasher and impair the cleaning performance by obstructing the flow of water through the system. In this case, and if the cleaning performance is no longer satisfactory, the interior of the dishwasher and the spray nozzles of the spray arms should be cleaned.
Regular cleaning cycles with Somat machine cleaner (about once every month or two) keep the visible and non-visible water-carrying parts of the dishwasher clean.
For cleaning the side edges of the dishwasher, as an alternative to Somat machine cleaner, you can use a little all-purpose cleaner. Simply apply this with a damp cloth and then wipe the dirt off.
What causes odours and how can they be removed?
The drain hose needs to be connected above the siphon that serves as an odour trap. There should also be no kinks in the hose.
It may be that the selected wash program is not sufficient for the dirtiness level of the dishes. This results in deposits in the filters.
Deposits on the door seal can also be a cause. Solution: Moisten a cloth with intensive machine cleaner and clean the door seal.
Somat help to neutralise unpleasant odours, ensuring a fresh-smelling machine after each wash cycle.
Can Somat products also be used in a dishwasher with a hot water inlet?
Almost all household dishwashers can be connected to a hot water supply. As a general rule, the maximum inlet temperature should not exceed 60°C – for further information, it is best to contact the manufacturer of the dishwasher. Connecting a dishwasher to the hot water supply can save energy, because the water no longer needs to be electrically heated during the washing process. The amount of energy actually saved depends on the inlet temperature of the water, and the room temperature.
The cleaning performance of Somat products has proven very effective for machines with hot water inlets. Even temperature-sensitive components like enzymes develop their full power: the hot water in the first cycle (pre-wash or main wash, depending on which program is selected) is cooled to around <55°C by the temperature of the dishes and the inner walls of the machine.
When do I need to use rinse aid or regenerating salt in addition to detergent?
Is it also possible to use washing-up liquid in the dishwasher?
Which wash program should I use for what type of dirt?
70/75°C intensive program
Normally and very dirty pots and pans
65°C normal or universal program
Dried-on food residues
50/55°C normal or universal program
Normally dirty dishes
45/55°C energy-saving/eco program
Normally dirty dishes (program may take longer than the normal program)
35°C – 45°C program for delicates/glass
Slightly dirty, very sensitive dishes (particularly glasses)
35°C – 60°C fast/short program
Slightly dirty dishes without dried-on food residues (program takes less than an hour, but may result in higher energy consumption)
What causes food residues to remain after a wash cycle?
What causes fine, sandy residues (particularly in glasses or cups) after washing in the machine?
Why are tea stains sometimes harder to remove from cups?
What can I do to get rid of greasy residues inside the dishwasher?
After washing in the machine, there is a white, water-soluble coating on the dishes. Where does this come from and how can I prevent it?
When regenerating salt is used for softening the water, there may be a white, water-soluble coating on the dishes after washing. This can have the following causes:
- The lid of the salt chamber is not properly closed, causing salt water to be pressed into the inside of the dishwasher. In this case, you should close the lid firmly.
- The lid may have a hairline crack and need to be replaced.
- During refilling, excess salt may have got into the inside of the machine. In this case, empty the machine and run it through a short cycle without any dishes.
Why is silver tarnished after washing?
What causes a rainbow coating on stainless steel cutlery and cooking pots?
What causes rust stains to appear e.g. on stainless steel cutlery that was completely rust-free before washing in the machine?
How does pitting corrosion occur in stainless steel, and how can it be prevented?
Some glasses develop a milky cloudiness that cannot be removed. How does this happen?
The development of glass corrosion, which results in milky cloudiness, depends on the type of glass and the washing conditions. Despite its chemical resistance, glass can be affected over time, even by clear water or aqueous solutions. As a result, substances get washed out, and the glass looks weathered. This effect is amplified by the frequent changes between wet and dry phases, and by temperature fluctuations (during the intermediate rinse cycle). It can nevertheless take a very long time before visible effects such as cloudiness or milky stripes develop as a result of dishwasher use. Because glass is typically so shiny and transparent, irregularities become visible suddenly and all at once. There is no connection with the detergent used. This type of glass corrosion can occur with any dishwasher detergent. However, the Somat multifunctional capsules have an integrated protection function, which protects glass against corrosion for longer.
Here is another helpful note for the future: When you buy new glasses, pay attention to markings or specifications of whether they are dishwasher-safe. Some manufacturers guarantee glasses are dishwasher-safe for a certain number of wash cycles.