When it comes to cleaning kitchen appliances, the dishwasher is often last on the list for many of us. After it all, it regularly fills with soap and water so it should be self-cleaning, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. To stay in good working condition, your dishwasher needs regular cleaning. Regular, like once a month. To get started, check out these easy steps for how to clean a dishwasher.
7 Steps to Clean a Dishwasher
1. Run Your Dishwasher
You’ll want to run your dishwasher shortly before you start cleaning. Don’t waste a cycle. Fill it up with your dirty dishes, run a cycle and then empty it.
2. Remove Racks, Trays, and Baskets
After emptying out your clean dishes, it’s time to remove everything else inside. Take out your dishwasher racks, utensil baskets, and any other dividers and trays. It should be completely empty.
3. Remove Debris and Gunk
Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Check the inside of your dishwasher door for any debris. Bits of food sometimes gets stuck near the bottom. Next check the floor of your dishwasher, especially near the drain. Remove any debris with a gloved hand or paper towel. Use an old toothbrush with some dish soap or baking soda paste to scrub around the drain. If your dishwasher has a filter, remove it and clean it with the toothbrush before putting it back in.
4. Clean Around the Edges
Soak a cloth or a sponge in white vinegar and wipe down the seal and the sides and edges of your dishwasher. Use a toothbrush for the corners and scrub hard where needed.
5. Run a Cycle with Vinegar
Now that you’ve removed any big debris and done a little scrubbing you can let your dishwasher do some of the work. Check your top dishwasher rack for any debris and remove any you find. Then replace the rack. Put a dishwasher-safe cup of white vinegar on the top rack. Run a full wash cycle with hot water to disinfect your machine. After the cycle has completed, wipe out the inside of your dishwasher with a clean towel.
6. Clean the Accessories
Before replacing your utensil basket, give it a wash in hot soapy water. If the spinning arm inside your dishwasher is removable, you can take that out and give it a wash too before replacing.
7. Clean the Outside
Wipe down the front side of your dishwasher door and the buttons panel with the cleaner appropriate for your type of dishwasher. This may be simply vinegar and water or soap. Or if you have stainless steel, then a stainless steel cleaner and microfiber cloth.
Add it to Your Calendar
You dishwasher needs to be cleaned about once a month for best results. Consider adding a note to your cleaning schedule or calendar to remind you of this important but easily forgotten job.