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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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.

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.

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!

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