So, you’ve just picked up a GE dishwasher for your home or apartment. Good for you! GE dishwashers are among some of the finest dishwashers on the market, and using a dishwasher couldn’t be more straightforward.
To start a GE dishwasher, you will have to:
- Load dishes into the top and bottom dishracks, as well as the cutlery basket
- Add detergent to the detergent compartment.
- Add rinse aid to the rinse aid dispenser (optional).
- Shut the dishwasher door.
- Choose a wash cycle.
- Press the start button.
In this guide, I’ll explain the steps for running a GE dishwasher in greater detail, as well as various GE dishwasher features.
Step by Step to to Start a GE Dishwasher
Before I tell you how to start a GE dishwasher, you must first make sure that it is installed properly. Most GE dishwasher boxes will come with diagrams showing you what materials and supplies you will need. Inside the box, you’ll find the owner’s manual with instructions on how what goes where.
Is your dishwasher all hooked up and ready to roll? Great, let’s get started!
1. Open the dishwasher door and load the dishracks and cutlery basket
To kick things off, we need to load the dishwasher with dirty dishes and whatnot. So, pull on the door until it’s completely open. Next, pull out the top dishrack and fill it with saucers, drink, and other small-size items you want to wash.
When you’re done loading the top dishrack, push it back in and pull the bottom dishrack out. Load it with plates, bowls, pots, pans, skillets, platters, etc. When that’s done, fill the cutlery basket with your forks, knives, and spoons. After the bottom dishrack and cutlery basket are full, gently push the bottom dishrack back in.
Loading dishwashers correctly is important to get your dishes sparkly clean. So, check the owner’s manual to see how to load the dishes according to the manufacturer. Alternatively, you can check out my guide on overloading dishwashers to see how to do it the right way.
2. Add detergent to the detergent compartment
Now that your dirty dishes are loaded into the dishwasher, we’ll need to introduce some suds and bubbles to the machine. To do this, look at the inner side of the dishwasher door and search for the detergent compartment. Slide or flip the lid to open up the compartment.
Fill the detergent compartment with your detergent. Liquid and powder detergent go into the same compartment. When the compartment is filled, close the lid by sliding or flipping it back into place.
If you want to use detergent pods or tablets, you can add them directly into the detergent compartment instead of liquid or powder detergent. Alternatively, you can throw tablets onto the bottom of the dishwasher before running a new wash cycle.
3. Add rinse aid to the rinse aid dispenser (optional)
If you want to add rinse aid to a dishwasher, remove the rinse aid compartment lid before pouring the liquid in. Keep adding rinse aid into the compartment until the gauge is full. Then, screw the lid back into place.
Rinse aid isn’t a must if you want to get your dishes sparkly clean. When rinse aid is sprayed all over your dishes, it leaves a slightly hydrophobic layer that allows water droplets to slide right off your dishes instead of slowly dripping down the side and leaving streaks.
4. Shut the dishwasher door
Now that you’re done loading the dishwasher and adding detergent to the machine, you can safely close the door. Make sure the door is completely shut at all times since the machine will stop whatever it’s doing if the door latch and microswitch aren’t engaged. You’ll know whether the door is securely locked when you can start a new wash cycle.
5. Choose a wash cycle
Look at the control board and choose a wash program. GE dishwashers come with numerous wash programs that use different levels of detergent, heat, and water. If you’re unsure of which cycle to use, check out the owner’s manual to see how they differ from each other. Alternatively, you can run a regular wash cycle.
6. Press the start button
By now, you should be ready to start the dishwasher. Press the start button and wait a few seconds until the dishwasher begins filling with water. When water enters the tub, you can leave the dishwasher alone until the cycle is complete.
If the control board is located on the top side of the dishwasher door, the dishwasher will usually give you around 5 seconds before shutting the door. If the door isn’t shut before 5 seconds, it will not run the selected cycle, and you will have to input the wash program all over again.
Do GE Dishwashers Need Dishwasher Salt?
Dishwasher salt is a water-softening agent that works by drawing the calcium and magnesium content out of your water. This is an important process for homes that only have access to hard, mineralized water. The calcium and magnesium deposits will leave your dishes looking streaky or chalky when they dry.
Like rinse aid, dishwasher salt is not a must-use if you want to wash dishes. However, it will make your dishes look and feel a lot cleaner. If you want to add dishwasher salt to your GE dishwasher, here’s what you need to do.
Locate the water softener unit in your dishwasher. You can usually find it on the base of the tub by pulling out the bottom dishrack.
Remove the circular cap of the water softener unit and add water until it’s completely full. You will only need to do this for the first time you use the water softener. In the future, you won’t have to add water to the water softener before adding salt.
Pour salt into the dishwasher’s water softener. Make sure to follow the instructions on the product’s packaging to make sure that you’ve added enough.
Close the lid and run a wash cycle.
How to Activate the Child Lock System
The child lock system is in place to prevent the dishwasher’s door from being pulled open by children, pets, or other people who have no idea what they’re doing. Again, you should consult the owner’s manual to learn how to turn on the child lock system for your specific GE unit.
There are two ways to turn on the child lock system in GE dishwashers. The first is to press and hold the Cycle button for 3 to 5 seconds. You’ll either see a flashing light or hear a dinging noise informing you that the child lock is on or off.
The second way is to press and hold the Dry/Dry Boost and Steam buttons at the same time for 3 to 5 seconds. Doing this will also produce flashing lights or dinging noises, depending on the model.
To turn off the child lock system (you’ll need to do this when the dishwasher is done washing your dishes), repeat the button presses that you did to lock the door in the first place.
How to Clean the Filter
All dishwashers come with a filter assembly that consists of at least 2 filter components. Over time, the filter assembly will become filled with old food remnants, which can lead to flooding or stinking.
To clean the GE filter assembly, pull out the bottom dishrack and look for a circular handle or dial. Twist it until the filter comes out, then pull out the main filter body. Take both components to the sink and wash them in soapy water. Use a scrub brush to remove all of the solid debris. Rinse the filter assembly before replacing them inside your dishwasher in reverse order.