The dishwasher is one of the most convenient appliances out there; it helps wash the dirty dishes that would otherwise build up in your kitchen sink. But, most people forget that, just like their dishes, dishwashers regularly need a thorough cleaning.
Why You Should Clean Your Dishwasher
You may be thinking, “Why do I need to clean my dishwasher? It’s an appliance that cleans itself!” Well, that’s not exactly true.
Your dishwasher cleans the dishes and utensils inside, cleaning off food and other grime. All of that food debris and dirt needs to go somewhere and it often accumulates on your machine’s interior. The result is an unpleasant smell, mold, and mildew on the inside of your dishwasher.
If you do not clean your machine, you risk the mold, mildew, and smell affecting your next load. You may not get clean dishes from washing, but dirty dishes instead! Additionally, a dirty dishwasher will likely need more maintenance due to clogs and wearing parts. That is why it’s crucial that you clean your dishwasher monthly.
How To Clean Your Dishwasher
Before you start cleaning your dishwasher, you will need to gather everything you need. Here is what you will need to clean your machine:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Paper towel
- Dishwasher detergent
- Dish soap or bleach
After gathering everything to start cleaning, make sure your appliance is empty. An empty dishwasher is key to a thorough cleaning.
2. Clean Out The Drain
The dishwasher drain is located on the interior floor of the appliance. It can easily become clogged with leftover food debris that was on your dishes or utensils at the start of a wash.
Use a towel or soft cloth to scoop up and remove foods stuck in the drain. If you are running your dishwasher daily, you can expect that the drain will need a deep clean. Try to clean regularly to reduce the amount of buildup. We recommend cleaning the drain after every cycle.
3. Rinse The Dishwasher Filter
The dishwasher filter stops food from redepositing debris back onto your clean dishes. In simpler terms, it catches all of the food residues before it can go back onto your plates and utensils. You need to clean the filter to ensure there is enough room to catch new debris the next cycle.
The filter is typically located on the interior floor, under the spray arm. If you cannot find the filter, read your machine’s manual to learn where to locate it and how to remove it. Next, rinse the filter with hot, soapy water. You could also use bleach. A thorough wash will remove mineral buildup. After you have finished, re-insert it back into your dishwasher.
4. Run The Hot Water Cycle
Skip the dishwasher cleaner! A great way to keep your dishwasher clean is to run a hot water cycle with either vinegar or baking soda. Both agents are great sanitizers, deodorizers, and cleaners. Here is how you can use either cleaning agent in your dishwasher:
- Fill one cup with distilled white vinegar and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run a full cycle with only the cup inside to remove grease and detergent residue.
- Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom rack of your dishwasher (it is okay if it falls to the bottom). Run the appliance on the hottest setting.
Vinegar is fantastic at removing mineral build-up and stains caused by hard water. It is great for getting that streak-free shine. Try a dishwasher rinse aid to ensure that your plates, bowls, and utensils are also spot-free.
5. Clean The Rubber Seal
The rubber gasket or seal around the door can get quite dirty. We recommend cleaning the seal to help reduce the need for maintenance.
Pull the door open to access the seal. Next, wipe the seal down with a clean towel to remove grease and other debris. Once completed, close the door and move onto the outside of your machine.
6. Wipe The Door
Now that you have made the interior of your appliance look great, it is time to clean the exterior! Take a damp cloth and wipe down the exterior. It is also a good idea to sanitize the handle and buttons of the dishwasher monthly because they are high-touch surfaces.