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Dishwasher cycles, options, and settings

A Samsung dishwasher with the door slightly ajar

Your dishwasher saves so much time and energy, but are you really using it at its best? Sure, always using the Auto cycle is easy, but your dishwasher has many other cycles, options and settings to ensure that your dishes come out their best. Depending on what you're washing and how you load it, you'll need to pick the right selections to get the best result.

Note: Cycles, options, and settings vary by model. For product specific information, please see the user manual.

Dishwasher cycles

  • Auto: (This cycle is called Smart Auto on older models.) This cycle detects the level of soil and automatically initiates the optimal cycle after a few mintues of operation.

  • Chef: Use this cycle to clean both stubborn and lightly soiled items simultaneously. Load heavily soiled items in the Zone Booster area and lightly soiled items in other areas.

  • Delicate: Use this cycle for soiled, fragile items such as fine glassware and crystal glass (wine glass).

    Caution: Do not use this cycle for other glassware because clouding or etching may occur.

  • Express 60: (This cycle is called Quick+ on older models.) Use this cycle when you need to wash dishes quickly. It takes about 1 hour. This cycle works best on lightly soiled dishes. There's no drying time in this cycle.

  • Heavy: Use this cycle for heavily soiled dishes.

  • Normal: Use this cycle for normally soiled dishes. The dishwasher's energy-usage label is based on this cycle.

  • Pots & Pans: Use this cycle for hard-to-clean, heavily soiled dishes, pots & pans.

  • Rinse Only: Use for rinsing dishes, glasses, and silverware that will not be washed right away. Do not use detergent.

  • Self Clean: Use the Self Clean function to clean the dishwasher's tub. If the dishwasher needs self cleaning, the Self Clean indicator will blink for 5 seconds when you turn the power on. If you start the dishwasher when the indicator is blinking, the indicator will turn off automatically.

    Caution: Always run the Self Clean cycle with the dishwasher empty. Never use it as a wash cycle to clean dishes.

Dishwasher options

Note: Some options are not available when certain cycles are selected.

  • Delay Start: Delay a cycle so it will start later. To increase the delay start time, press or hold the Delay Start button. The hour displayed indicates the time at which the wash will start. Some models use one-hour increments up to 24 hours, some use three-hour increments up to 9 hours.

    After setting the delay time, press the START button, and then close the door. The dishwasher will drain any water inside immediately but the wash cycle will be delayed.

    To change the delay time, first turn the dishwasher off and back on, then select a new cycle and change the delay time settings.

  • Dry+: The water temperature is increased in the final rinse cycle (similar to the Sanitize option) and dry time is increased.

  • Heated Dry: When the Heated Dry option is selected, the heater will work during the drying process.

  • Hi-Temp Wash: Raises the main wash temperature to improve cleaning for loads containing tough, baked-on food.

  • Lower Rack: (This option is called Half Load on older models.) If selected, only the lower rack nozzle is activated to reduce both the cycle time and power consumption. Use this option to wash a small load of dishes or glasses in the lower rack. To wash heavily soiled items, select the Storm Wash or Zone Booster option.

  • Sanitize: With the Sanitize option selected, the water temperature is increased in the final rinse cycle for high temperature sanitization.

    The Sanitize light will blink when the water temperature reaches a high enough temperature and stays lit until the Sanitize option ends, you open the door, or you turn off the dishwasher.

    Note: The Sanitize option also improves drying performance.

  • Smart Control: You can monitor and control the dishwasher remotely through a Wi-Fi connection, using the SmartThings app.

  • Speed Booster: Select this option to reduce washing time.

  • Storm Wash: Use this option when you want to wash pots and pans, durable serving bowls, and other large, very dirty, hard to clean dishes. To use Storm Wash, place the dishes face down in the marked Storm Wash area in the lower basket.

  • Upper Rack: When you select Upper, only the upper rack nozzle is activated. The lower nozzle will not operate. Use this option to wash a small load of dishes or glasses placed in the upper rack.

  • Zone Booster: If you want to wash heavily soiled items such as pots and pans, select the Zone Booster option. (This option consumes slightly more water and energy.) The Zone Booster option applies intensive washing power to the left part of the lower rack. Selecting the Zone Booster option does not turn off the Upper Nozzle.

    Some models have an L and R option to apply Zone Booster to either or both sides.

Dishwasher settings

Most dishwashers come with a settings menu. To access the settings menu, touch and hold two specific buttons for 3 seconds. Once you're in the menu, the display will show you the setting you currently have selected. You can then use one of the buttons to navigate the settings and the other button to adjust the setting.

For example, the process for some models is to touch and hold Sanitize and Delay Start, then touch Sanitize to navigate the settings and touch Delay Start to confirm a setting.

See your user manual to find the specific buttons and method to adjust the settings on your model. If the user manual does not mention a settings menu, the model does not have one.

  • A1/A0: The Auto Release Dry function, which is designed to improve drying performance, automatically opens the dishwasher's door 5 to 15 minutes before a cycle ends. This can also be toggled outside of the Settings menu (see your user manual for instructions).

    A1 means the function is turned on (the suggested default), A0 means it is turned off (which will significantly reduce drying performance).

    Note: Once the door opens on the Auto Release Dry mode, the door cannot be closed manually for the next 2 minutes. Attempting to close the door may damage your dishwasher.

  • B0, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5: This setting adjusts how bright the LED on the front of the dishwasher is. B0 is off and B5 is the brightest setting. Some models only have a B1 and B0 setting for on and off.

  • J1/J0: Separate from the other sound setting, this setting adjusts the alert for Auto Release Dry only. J1 means the alert will sound when the door opens to start Auto Release Dry. J0 means the alert will not sound.

  • F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6: This setting adjusts how much rinse aid will be dispensed during a cycle. To improve drying performance, select a higher number. If your dishes appear discolored after a wash, switch to a lower number. The factory default is F4.

  • S on/SoFF: This setting mutes or unmutes the dishwasher's sounds. S on means sounds are enabled. SoFF means the dishwasher is muted.

  • U1/U0: This setting mutes or unmutes the dishwasher's sounds. U1 means sounds are enabled. U0 means the dishwasher is muted. If the model has Auto Release Dry, the sound for that function is separately controlled in the J1/J0 setting.

How to run a cycle

  1. Open the door, and then load the dishwasher. Make sure dishes are empty.

  2. Add detergent to the detergent dispenser, and rinse aid to the rinse aid compartment.

    Note: If you do not use rinse aid, drying performance will be significantly reduced.

  3. Press POWER to turn the dishwasher on, select a cycle first, and then select your options. If you change cycles, the options are reset.

  4. Press START, and then close the door within 3 seconds. The dishwasher starts the cycle after draining for a few seconds.

    Note: Some models can close the door first, and then select and start a cycle.

To change or cancel the cycle, press and hold START for 3 seconds. To resume a cycle after you have opened the door, press START and then close the door.

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