If you are looking for information on How to Clean Your Dishwasher….then we have a solution for you. we suffer from this problem and find that we have found that little bits of food, grease and soap scum can cling together and get deposited in corners of the dishwasher. After a time, they can not only make your dishwasher look and smell bad…but decrease its’ efficiency. It might sound unnecessary to clean your dishwasher, but it is a necessary evil if you want your dishwasher to run efficiently. Not to mention, your dishes will be cleaner and your dishwasher will smell fresher, too!
How to Clean Your Dishwasher: What You Will Need
Distilled white vinegar
Microfiber cloths or soft rags
Stainless steel or multipurpose cleaner
1. Empty your dishwasher once you’ve ran a cycle. Make sure the dishwasher is empty before you clean your dishwasher.
2. Inspect and clean the bottom of the dishwasher. You will be amazed at how much accumulated debris there might be. Take a close look at the drain area where the dirty water exits and make sure there are no hard chunks that can plug the drain, cause damage to the pump or scratch dishes. There will be a grate or grill around the drain so look for debris clogging up this area and remove any solid matter that has built up. If you have a filter, like I do, remove and dissemble the parts in your sink.
3. Remove the dish racks. Check your dishwasher’s rotating arms to ensure free movement and adequate holes openings to let water flow freely. Use needlenose pliers, a toothpick, or any other small pointy tool to open any clogged holes.
4. Wipe around the seal, edges and sides of the machine with a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar. For tighter areas, you can use a toothbrush or q-tip.
5. Remove the utensil holders and racks. Check them for any stuck-on food pieces and then wipe down.
6. Remove hard water deposits/scale by running one cycle of your dishwasher empty, with distilled white vinegar. Place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Using the hottest water available, run the dishwasher through a cycle – except for the cup of vinegar, the dishwasher needs to be empty. The vinegar will help to wash away the loose, greasy grime, sanitizes, and helps remove the musty odor. Do this after you’ve done the other cleaning steps, so that it will also take care of anything you missed during cleaning. Another way is to add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom and turn the machine on to an energy saving or low wash. Stop the machine mid-wash, so the vinegar can set on the bottom and work. Let it stand for about 20 minutes, then turn on to finish cycle.
If you have problems with mold and mildew, bleach will work effectively by adding ½-1 cup in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a full cycle. (NOTE: DO NOT USE BLEACH IN YOUR DISHWASHER IF YOU HAVE A STAINLESS STEEL INTERIOR).
7. Sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom of the tub and run it through a short but complete cycle using the hottest water. The baking soda will help freshen the smell of the dishwasher as well as brighten up the look of the inside of your appliance by removing stains.
8. Clean the dishwasher buttons and panel thoroughly.
9. Spray the handle and front of your dishwasher with a mild spray cleaner or stainless steel cleaner, depending on the type of dishwasher you have. I find microfiber cloths work best for stainless steel and always wipe with the grain. To obtain a streak-free finish, spray cleaner on one towel and wipe on. Go behind with the second towel and wipe off.
OTHER GOOD RECOMMENDATIONS
- Run your hot water in your sink for one minute before running the dishwasher. You will get cleaner dishes if the water starts hot.
- Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher. The dishwasher drains into the same pipe as your sink, so that drain must be clear.
- Run full loads to conserve water and energy, but don’t pack dishes too tightly. Dishwashers wash dishes by spraying water over them, so the water needs to be able to get to the dishes to clean them.
- If you are inclined to pre-wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, make sure you understand that dishwasher detergent NEEDS a certain amount of grease and dirt in order to do its job. Otherwise, it actually foams up during the cycle which is not good for your dishwasher.