Dishwasher--use it or lose it

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As a senior who has lost his wife and trying to maintain the house, I have little use for the dishwasher but an acquaintance has said I should use it to keep it operational. Any thoughts?
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Charlie wrote:

Yes. If it does not get used from now and then, seals can dry out and start leak then it's no good any more. Also cleaning with washer is whole lot better than washing with hands.
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wrote:

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Yes, for the same reason you should keep an automobile in use if it is not actually being stored. It keeps the oil moving, keeps seals from drying out, rubber from dry rotting.
As it so happens, I've got both situations: I run the D/W once a month, but the old Honda hasn't been started in ...ohhh... about seven years. =:O
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Charlie wrote:

I'm sorry for your loss, Charlie.
I found my dishwasher to be useful for other things. My old box fan was just filthy. I removed the front and back grills and placed them in the dishwasher. While it was running, I attacked the chassis and fan blades with a spray bottle of window cleaner and some cloth rags.
Reassembled, the fan looks like new!
I had some glazed pots in the back yard holding cacti for several years. I emptied out the pots and put them all in the dishwasher. They turned out very nicely, (very shiny) without one swipe of a towel.
I don't know if I'm actually making the dish washer last longer by using it more but it does save me quite a bit of elbow grease.
--Winston
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Winston wrote:

Yep. I washed a chandelier made up of over a hundred bits of cut glass.
To fuss with all the pieces using Windex atop a ladder would have taken over twenty minutes (until I tired of the exercise and said "To hell with it!").
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Winston wrote:

I wash electronic air cleaner elements in the dish washer. Easiest/quickest way of cleaning them.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Back when you could still make money refurbishing and selling used computers, I used to wash grungy cases and keyboards all the time. (remember to let the keyboards sit in bright sunlight for a couple days before you plug them in...)
But as to OP's situation- yeah, the seals do dry out from lack of use, especially if the DW is a few years old. I've seen it happen at relative's houses and in rentals of people who lived alone, or just didn't like to use the dishwasher. I live alone, and run a load about every 7-10 days, based on one meal a day at home. I rinse and stack in the sink, and when I notice the sink is full, I load the dishwasher.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

Yes, me too.

It's also very good for phone handset cords and extension cords and loads of other things that are dirtier or harder to wash by hand than dishes and glasses. Makes most of them look like new.

I can see that cork seals could dry out, and maybe natural rubber, by why should water keep synthetic rubber from drying out? It's not water-based!!

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mm wrote:

(...)
Extension cords! Why didn't I think of that!
(...)

I haven't seen the science regarding this, yet.
--Winston
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Winston wrote:

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Winston wrote:

Also: * Coke-saturated keyboards
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wrote:

You're the second one to mention keyboards. Hard to believe. I'll have to get up nerve to wash my keyboard, but I guess I wiill. Once I stop using a keyboard, there's no point in not washing it.
I got to hamfests and buy keyboards for 1 dollar for regular, and I think it's now 2 dollars, sometiems more, for ones with extra keys.
BEcause I know the accelerator keys for browser functions, like cntl-R for Reload, and alt-left (or right) arrow for Back (or Forward) I only use the volume and mute keys, but they are much easier than clicking on the icon in the systray. So I only use these enhance keyboard now and my dirty fingers make them very dirty. And they are not so easy to find at hamfests at that price. So I guess I'll try it.
Seems like it shoudl take several years to dry but maybe not!
When I was losing my hair, that got all over the keyboards too, but I guess I was able to remove all that. I lost a lot of hair from age 50 to 56 or so, but I'm 62 and it stopped coming out a few years ago.
And I still have a full head of hair It's just about 60% (or maybe more) thinner. But my hairline is just where it was when I was 20, and my hair color is still brown. My beard has a little more grey, where the blond used to be, but it's 60 or 70 or 80% brown too.

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mm wrote:

Keyboard washing hints- Turn the 'heat dry' feature OFF. Take them out as soon as wash cycle is over, and shake out as much water as you can. Set them to dry outside in sunlight, preferably leaned up on end against a wall, for at least a day. If too cold and rainy out, use a sunny window, and leave a fan blowing on them.
Not all of them will survive, but most will. And as you said, this is something you do to 'nothing left to lose' keyboards. My 20+ year old OmniKey 104, I'll still field-strip and wash by hand, but is is designed to be servicable, unlike modern disposable keyboards.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

Thanks, I think I would have thought of that, but I never ever use the heat dry feature anyhow. Extra money and I'm in no hurry. I do open the door and pull out the top rack so the door doesn't close back.

Only a day maybe. Not five years. That's good. Otherwise I would have had to start five years ago.

I don't like disposable but I finally understand it. Most people will throw things away anyhow, so they might as well not waste effort making it seviceable.
BTW, I do make an effort to keep my hands clean but two years or 3 at most still makes them dirty. And really hard to clean without a dishwasher.
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on 9/8/2009 8:51 PM (ET) mm wrote the following:

Being in charge of the computer system in a low-tech environment where people ate and drank while at the computer, spillage was a common problem. We had extra keyboards, so I would take the offending keyboard and just rinse it under the sink faucet using a soft stream and lukewarm water for a minute or so, blow most of the water out with a hair dryer set at low heat, then hang it to dry for a day or so. Very few keyboards failed to operate after their 'shower'. I would never wash a keyboard in a dishwasher. There are too many small and soft parts that might not take the rugged spray.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

A plastic safe contact cleaner is what I use.
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

How much does your contact cleaner cost? At work, the junk keyboards they buy are about six bucks apiece in bulk. I pull them out of dumspters all the time. (the name-brand ones, at least, that get pitched along with the generics) An external cleaning with windex and couple of paper towels, and most of them look and work fine. I then turn them back in to the supply guy, who puts them on the shelf.
Wish they weren't so anal there. Thousands of bucks worth of stuff goes in the dumpster every year, but they say it is a firing offense to take any of it home. (Yes, I do carry a briefcase every day- why do you ask?)
At home, I'm still using up a couple of milk crates worth of beige keyboards, from when the state govt used to sell computers at auction. (This was before Dell, et al, decided it was worth it to kill the secondary market by buying up all the point sources of cheap used machines.) Getting kind of hard to make them work on modern machines, though. First everyone went to PS2 connectors, now newer machines are USB only.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

I don't remember what a big can of the cleaner costs but that, along with a paint brush, usually keeps my keyboards working. I don't clean mouse balls anymore since I banished balled mice from my desktop in favor of ball-less mice.
TDD
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On Sun 06 Sep 2009 04:51:44a, HeyBub told us...

After spilling an entire glass of iced tea (no sugar) into my IBM keyboard, I tried washing it in the dishwasher. I used no detergent, and removed it before the drying cycle. I gently shook out all liquid, then left the keyboard to dry both upside down and right side up for several weeks. It never worked again.
--
Wayne Boatwright
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