Rinse aid is an incredibly helpful substance to use when cleaning your kitchenware in a dishwasher. It lowers the water’s surface tension, allowing for cleaner dishes without any streaks or water spots. Better yet, it also helps our dishes dry faster by the end of the wash cycle.
Rinse aid dispensers in Amana, Samsung, Whirlpool or other dishwasher brands generally work the same way. You’ll pour rinse aid into them, and they’ll release a small amount each time the machine goes through a rinse cycle. So, you only need to refill the dispenser once a month. You can also adjust the dispenser to release as much rinse aid as you need, depending on your needs.
This guide will help you understand how these dispensers work and how you’re supposed to use them. Plus, you’ll also learn of a few possible ways your dispenser might fail, so you know what to expect.
How Does A Rinse Aid Dispenser Work?
These dispensers are incredibly straightforward in their functioning. Plus, they work the same way whether your dishwasher is from Amana, Samsung, or any other brand.
Firstly, you must fill the dispenser with a rinse aid of your choice. Next, you’ll have to close its cap, lid, or cover to ensure that the rinse aid stays in the dispenser until it’s needed.
When Does A Dispenser Release The Rinse Aid?
When you start a new dishwashing cycle, your appliance will go through many different stages. Whenever it reaches a rinse stage, it will signal to the dispenser to release a small amount of the rinse aid you’ve put in.
That process will likely happen more than once during a dishwashing cycle, as your dishes get rinsed multiple times to be cleaned thoroughly.
How Often Is A Refill Necessary?
Here, it’s crucial to understand that only a small amount gets released into the wash. That means you do not have to refill the dispenser often as you do with the dishwashing detergent.
Instead, you only need to refill the dispenser periodically, typically once a month or so.
Are These Dispensers Adjustable?
Besides that, these dispensers are also adjustable. That means you can change its settings to control how much it releases at any given time.
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For example, if your area is supplied with hard water (i.e. water with a higher mineral concentration), you’ll need to set the dispenser to release more rinse aid each time.
On the other hand, you can also make your rinse aid last longer by choosing a smaller setting. That’ll be ideal if your household uses soft water or if you regularly wash only a small number of dishes.
To put it simply, you can customize your dispenser to suit your needs and preferences.
Do These Dispensers Require Maintenance?
As mentioned earlier, these dispensers are incredibly straightforward in their function and design. So they don’t need any regular maintenance.
However, you should clean the rinse aid regularly to prevent any clogs that stop it from releasing the rinse aid.
You can do that by wiping the dispenser once a month. The focus here is to remove any detergent, grease, or dirt buildup that might form at the dispenser’s opening.
Besides that, you can also flush the dispenser with water to prevent clogs from forming on the inside.
How Do You Fill A Rinse Aid Dispenser?
Of course, any dispenser will only work if you use it correctly. Here are the steps you must follow to fill the dispenser, so it works when you need it to.
Step 1: Open The Dispenser
Firstly, you must open the dispenser. Some models are designed with a twist cap, while others might have a lid or flip cover.
The rinse aid dispenser is easily mistaken for the detergent dispenser. Your dishwasher user manual is the best reference to ensure that you’re filling the correct dispenser with rinse aid.
Step 2: Pour Enough Rinse Aid
Next, pour your preferred rinse aid into the dispenser. Take note of any markings in or around the dispenser, as those will show the maximum amount you should fill it.
Be sure to follow that recommended fill level. Underfilling the dispenser will not give you the dishwashing results you expect, and overfilling will cause leaks and waste your rinse aid.
Step 3: Close The Dispenser
After filling, you must close the dispenser correctly. That means screwing the cap on tightly or closing the cover until you hear a ‘click’ sound.
Closing the dispenser correctly ensures that none of the rinse aid inside will leak out.
Step 4: Wipe The Dispenser
While filling your dispenser, it’s also an excellent idea to give it a quick wipe-down. This step only takes seconds and can prevent buildups that clog your dispenser.
Why Would A Rinse Aid Dispenser Stop Working?
Despite the simplicity of these dispensers, there are moments when they can stop working.
Here are the likely problems you’ll experience with the dispenser in your dishwasher:
- Dispenser cap/lid is loose or damaged: The dispenser cap can become loose if its rubber ring is worn out, or the lid could be cracked. Both will cause the rinse aid to leak out.
- Clogged dispenser hatch: Over an extended period, the dispenser hatch or opening can get clogged with detergent or dirt buildups.
- Stuck dispenser parts: Some dispensers have more moving parts than others. Those can get stuck because of buildups or rust.
- Damaged components: Dispenser components like springs, levers, or hinges can also suffer damage, preventing them from working correctly.
Remember: the dispenser and some of its components are replaceable. Of course, that depends on the dishwasher manufacturer and if they sell replacements for parts like caps, lids, and other components.
In a worst-case scenario, you might have to replace the entire dispenser with a new one. That will depend on how badly the components are damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more questions and answers to help you understand how your dispenser works:
How Do I Know When There’s Enough Rinse Aid?
You’ll know your dispenser is full based on its markings. Look closely, and you’ll see notches or similar markings that show you how much rinse aid you should pour into the opening.
How Do You Empty A Dishwasher Dispenser?
If you ever need to empty the dispenser, you can do so with a turkey baster, syringe, or something similar. Put it into the opening and suck out as much of the fluid as possible. Alternatively, you can flush the unit with water to force its contents out.
Is Rinse Aid Necessary?
You can use your dishwasher without any rinse aid. However, your kitchenware will take longer to dry. Plus, some items, like glassware, will likely have streaks or water spots left on them.
How Often Do You Need Rinse Aid?
A small amount of rinse aid is dispensed automatically during the rinse stage of each wash cycle. That’s why you only need to refill the unit occasionally and not every time as you do with the detergent.
Are There Any Alternatives To Using Rinse Aid?
White vinegar is a safe alternative to using a rinse aid. If you’re not comfortable using it yet, test it with a small load of dishes to see the results you get.