Cleaning Kitchen

Do You Need To Clean Your Dishwasher?

The dishwasher’s job is to get your dishes sparkling clean. But have you ever wondered if you need to clean your dishwasher?

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Large appliances take the brunt of the cleaning off of our hands. The one that does the most work in daily cleaning chores is probably the dishwasher. These machines helps clean our kitchenware like something fierce. Yet, sometimes it needs a little TLC itself.

dishwasher full of dishes--clean your dishwasher

Take It Apart

The first items you will want to clean in your dishwasher are the removable pieces. These parts will include the racks and utensil holders. If these pieces are mostly clean, you can spray them with a vinegar and water solution and rinse them under warm water. However, if they have a bunch of caked on food, fill your kitchen sink with hot water and dish soap and let them soak for about 30 minutes.

Come back and thoroughly scrub the racks and utensil holder. Be sure to rinse them well and wipe them down with a towel.

Make Things Easier For Yourself

There are a few simple cleaning ingredients that you can use to cleaning the inside of the dishwasher. These include: bleach or vinegar and baking soda. For the latter, take a small dishwasher safe dish and fill it with white vinegar. Run the machine on the high heat temperature setting. Leave out the part where it dries the dishes as you won’t need that. This will also save on your electric bill! When it’s done, open the door and let it all dry out. Then, repeat this process but this time sprinkle a tiny amount of baking soda onto the bottom of the dishwasher. About a cup of baking soda will do the trick! Once that cycle is done, open the door again and allow it to air dry.

With bleach, also use a dishwasher safe dish. Fill the dish with 1-1.5 cups bleach and put it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run the cycle through on the hottest temp allowed and also let it air dry. It is important to note that if you have a stainless steel dishwasher, especially an interior, bleach can damage it so don’t use this method!

Use a microfiber towel or sponge and a bucket of warm water to wipe down the gasket and inside of the dishwasher if anything is left after running through these cycles. 

The Hard Stuff

If you are finding that the dishwasher is still emitting an odor, you will have to take the next step in the process. This might include removing the filter and cleaning that if you have an older model machine. Sometimes leftover pieces of food can get stuck in the drain or on the jets on the spray arms; you can clear these with a toothpick or damp cloth. The water line for dishwasher can also get clogged with leftover milder or food particles. There are several ways you can clean the line itself, including dumping boiling hot water into dishwasher drain. 

Check the internet for how to access your dish washer drain and filter as these will be different for specific makes and models. When you have all of these steps done, be sure to wipe down the front/outside of the dish washer with a microfiber cloth and warm soapy water. 

Repeat this process once every one to two months to keep your dish washer clean and working properly.

About the author

Britt LeBoeuf

Britt has a background in human services and child development. She is currently a stay-at-home mom and freelancer writer, including at her own blog, These Boys of Mine by Britt LeBoeuf. In her free time, Britt enjoys traveling, drinking coffee and watching more TV than the average human being. She hopes that her own tips/tricks for organizing, decorating and making everyday life overall easier will help other moms be happier and less burdened by their daily struggles.

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