How To Clean A Dishwasher

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You may think that since your dishwasher moves hot soapy water, it does not need cleaning. However, in doing so, you might find that your dishwasher doesn't clean dishes well after cleaning cycles or that the glasses are cloudy. Consequently, you may need to know how to clean a dishwasher.

Here, you can also discover how often you should clean dishwashers, using natural dishwasher cleaners like cleaning and disinfecting a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda. Additionally, other dishwasher cleaning tips and cleaning hacks are also discussed. Read on!

Why You Should Clean Dishwashers

Much like other kitchen appliances, dishwashers need regular cleaning. As you load your dishwasher with dirty dishes, fingerprints remain on the door. Similarly, food particles, soap scum, and other residue build up on the inside corners. This can generate foul odors with time. More so, these conditions provide a breeding ground for germs.

How Often Should You Clean Dishwashers?

You can do routine cleaning of your dishwasher once a month. Simply use a soft-bristle brush and a mixture of distilled white vinegar and baking soda. Also, performing a more intensive deep cleaning once or twice yearly is ideal. Meanwhile, do not forget to clean the dishwasher's exterior once or twice weekly.

Steps to Clean a Dishwasher

Follow these steps when you clean your dishwasher:

Step One: Gather needed tools

The required equipment and tools include the following:

  • A small toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Dishwasher-safe bowl
  • A soft-bristle brush
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap

Step Two: Clean the dishwasher's exterior

Clean the dishwasher's exterior, starting with the dishwasher door.

Cleaning the dishwasher door

Wipe the outside using a homemade dishwasher cleaner. This can be a mixture of a quarter cup of baking soda and roughly a quart of water. Finish cleaning the door by wiping it dry with a soft cloth. Stubborn smudges can be easily removed by adding small amounts of rubbing alcohol to the dry cloth.

Cleaning inside the dishwasher door

  • Start with the top and sides.
  • First, dip your small toothbrush in hot and soapy water.
  • Then scrub the grooves of the rubber seal, crevices, and hinges around the door.
  • An abrasive cleanser can be helpful here if the buildup is significant.
  • Dip a sponge in hot soapy water and wipe up any resulting grime.
  • Utilize a clean, wet sponge to wipe off any remaining cleaning solution afterward.

Step Three: Clean the dishwasher tub

  • First, grab some paper towels and remove any debris around the drain or at the base of the dishwasher.
  • Then run the dishwasher but make sure you run it empty. Running a cycle helps to clean the dishwasher.
  • A cup of baking soda is an excellent natural cleaning agent. Just sprinkle it on the base of the dishwasher tub and run a hot washing cycle.
  • Similarly, white vinegar is an excellent choice for cleaning dishwasher tubs.

Step Four: Clean the inside

After the wash cycle, you can utilize a clean, dry cloth or clean paper towel to wipe out the dishwasher's interior. Unsweetened lemonade mix is an excellent alternative to vinegar for use in the soap cup. Just use boiling water to run a complete cycle to clean your dishwasher.

Step Five: Clean dishwasher accessories and parts

Remove the racks and utensil holders, then clean off accumulated food particles and debris. You can also scrub the spray arm and remove clogs using a soft brush. When it comes to removable dishwasher parts, cleaning them is pretty straightforward. First, fill your sink up to half with warm water.

Then add two cups of white vinegar. After that, put the parts in the sink and leave them to sit for roughly 20 minutes. Finally, you can rinse and return them to their positions.

Step Six: Clean the dishwasher filters

Refer to the owner's manual or manufacturer's website for filter cleaning instructions. However, typically, you can clean dishwasher filters using the following stages:

  • Remove and clean the filter.
  • Completely pulling the bottom rack gives you access to the dishwasher filters.
  • Use a twisting action to remove the filter if it is detachable.
  • Then rinse it with hot running water. This will aid in removing food particles and debris.
  • Therefore, use a damp cloth or sponge to clean the area beneath the filter (inside the dishwasher).

Step Seven: Clean the dishwasher drain

The process of cleaning your dishwasher drain trap should be done carefully:

  • Place about one cup of white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it in your microwave for up to 15 or 20 seconds. Bring out the bowl and add two tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Next, pour it all down the dishwasher drain. The drain is situated at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • After 10 to 15 minutes, gently pour in recently boiled water. This will help remove stubborn clogs and debris and go a long way in resolving any dishwasher draining problems.
  • Finally, you can return the clean dishwasher filters to their position.
  • Sometimes, you may have to check your garbage disposers to avoid clogs that lead to dishwasher draining problems.

Stopping hard water and mineral buildup in dishwashers

Hard water or mineral buildup can be a problem for some dishwashers. To clean them effectively, try placing a cup of lemon juice in the uppermost rack of the dishwasher and running a normal cycle. This simple trick can do wonders!

Cleaning The Dishwashers with Natural Cleaners

You don't have to resort to hazardous chemicals. There are natural household cleaning ingredients that work well as dishwasher cleaners.

Clean a dishwasher utilizing vinegar and baking soda

The process of cleaning a dishwasher with vinegar is essentially the same as with baking soda. Both approaches also involve skipping the drying cycle and letting the dishwasher air dry. As such, you can see that using vinegar and baking soda are easy alternatives. However, do not use them simultaneously. Do the following:

  • Instead, put a bowl of distilled white vinegar on the uppermost rack of your dishwasher and run the first cycle.
  • Then, sprinkle roughly a cup of baking soda on the base of an empty dishwasher and run a short hot water cycle using the hottest setting.

Other effective DIY dishwasher cleaners include the following:

  • Lemon juice can help to remove water spots.
  • Rubbing alcohol is an excellent option for cleaning your dishwasher door and handle. You can also clean the dishwasher exterior with it.
  • Bleach can help you deep clean the interior without needing detergent in the cleaning cycle. Use a dishwasher-safe and bleach-safe bowl and skip the drying cycle.

Dishwasher Cleaning Tips

The odor from dirty dishwashers can be off-putting. Just like with washing machines, dishwashers need to be occasionally cleaned. You can use the following cleaning hacks and precautions for your dishwasher cleaning:

  • A cup of vinegar added to three cups of hot water is a compelling mixture for cleaning off mildew and accumulated mold around door gaskets.
  • Stainless dishwashers or dishwashers containing stainless-steel interiors or parts should not be cleaned with bleach.
  • Likewise, do not use bleach simultaneously with baking soda or vinegar.
  • You need a stainless steel cleaning product to clean stainless steel dishwasher doors. Follow the product instructions.
  • Your water heater setting should be high enough – around 120°F (50°C.) – for effective dish washing.
  • Make a daily habit of removing bits of food from your dishwasher.
  • Remove and clean the filter of your dishwasher every week.
  • After each dishwashing cycle, remove the bottom rack and remove any leftover bits of food from the filter well, screen, or heating element.
  • Signs that you haven't cleaned your dishwasher filters for some time include funky smell, dirty dishes, accumulated food particles, and pooling water after wash cycles.
  • A necessary precaution is to avoid adding dishwashing detergent during vinegar rinses.
  • Use a clean sponge dipped in white vinegar to wipe down rubber seals monthly.

Professional Cleaning Companies Can Help

After reading this piece, you know how to clean a dishwasher and make your dishes sparkle. However, you may have problems with a dirty dishwasher. In such a situation, you can invite a professional appliance cleaning company. They will have lots of experience and the knowledge of cleaning many dishwashers. You can even let them show you measures to keep your dishwasher clean regularly.

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