How to Clean a Dishwasher

One would think that because a dishwasher’s sole purpose in life is to sanitize, you wouldn’t need to worry about cleaning it. But it’s simply not true. It is imperative to have a thoroughly clean dishwasher, beyond the act of just washing your dishes.

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The dishwasher is an appliance that, believe it or not, running it daily is the best maintenance we can do, but, nevertheless, we must keep it clean. To clean it:

  1. The first thing we must do is empty it.
  2. We will clean the door area and the rubber with a damp cloth because they are points where dirt can accumulate.
  3. Then, we will disassemble the blades and filters to clean them.
  4. For the filters, we will clean them with a brush and a little dish detergent. The filter is where dirt and food debris accumulates.
  5. The blades are where most grease accumulates. To clean them, we can spray degreaser and then put them under the tap with hot water to remove the dirt.
  6. We will take advantage of having the blades and filters out to clean the walls of the appliance with a cloth dampened with water and vinegar.
  7. Then put the blades and filters back in place for use.
  8. To clean the ducts of the appliance, we will use a special dishwasher liquid cleaner and run a 70 degree wash cycle.
  9. Finally, to take good care of this appliance, after each use, we must leave it open for at least 30 minutes so that moisture does not accumulate.

Daily Dishwasher Care Tips

It is essential to perform small daily tasks to maintain your appliance in between your full dishwasher cleans. The most important one is to check the bottom of the dishwasher for discarded food particles and wipe them out. Secondly, take the time to wipe down the inside of the dishwasher a few times a week, paying particular attention to the seals. With these small daily cleanings and the full monthly detailed one, your machine will be running perfectly for years to come!

For a good maintenance of the dishwasher we must also make sure to:

  • Remove all food debris from the utensils that we are going to introduce with a napkin.
  • It is not necessary to rinse them with water, but if we decide to do so, we should not use dishwasher detergent since we will introduce foam and this may affect the washing cycle.

Benefits of a Clean Dishwasher

When you take the time to look around the bottom of the appliance, namely the filter and drain, you will often discover discarded food and particles. Those come off the dishes during the washing cycles and builds up. Dishwasher buildup is gross, unsanitary, and can shorten the lifespan of your appliance. The benefit of a clean dishwasher drain and filter is that it will run more smoothly and stop leaving gunk on your “clean” dishes. Not only that, but it is likely to have a longer life expectancy.

Best Products to Clean Your Dishwasher

You may be surprised to learn that cleaning the appliance is even more straightforward than hiting the “start” button. While you can find dishwasher cleaning products (at high price points), there are alternatives that most consumers prefer over chemicals and detergents. The best products to clean your dishwasher are simple items you probably stock in your pantry already; the secret to cleaning your dishwasher quickly and easily is: baking soda plus vinegar.

Nowadays there are numerous products to keep the dishwasher clean. There are two things that we have to take into account for a good performance: that it is always provided with rinse aid and special salt for dishwashers.

In addition, we can use a liquid dishwasher cleaner. We put it in the lower tray, upside down, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and set a wash cycle at 70 degrees.

We can also use other cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, which are very good for degreasing and disinfecting, or bleach, but be careful with the latter because we can get intoxicated, we will only use it if there are plaques of mold on the inside or the sides of the door.

Best Way to Clean Dishwasher Components

Ultimately, one of the highest rated ways for cleaning dishwasher drains, filters, and the overall machine is to use our favorite household cleaner combination of baking soda and vinegar — just not at the same time! First, you’ll use vinegar to loosen up the grime. Then, you’ll use baking soda to scrub off any remaining debris.

Here’s how to clean your dishwasher with these staples:

  1. Fill a bowl with one cup of vinegar
  2. Place on the top rack of the dishwasher
  3. Run a normal cycle with an empty appliance
  4. Remove the bowl
  5. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the machine
  6. Run a quick cycle

Follow this process once a month (or whenever you notice your dishwasher getting a bit grimy).

Why People Like This Method

The cost and simplicity of this method is its most significant advantage. It is low maintenance and provides a detailed clean. The process itself is very hands-off, though; no elbow grease required. The low price point is a huge benefit; you’ll spend anywhere from $1 to maybe $7 for these cleaning ingredients. The minimal cost allows you to complete routine cleaning without breaking the bank. On top of that, cleaning on a set schedule avoids an extensive repair or replacement bill.

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