Our lifestyle “rolls” at high speed. And although the lack of time, described as a defect of the civilized world, is the cause of all our defeats, many things save us a few minutes. Sometimes an hour! Tribute to household tools! On the other hand, the convenience with which we surround ourselves has its price. Cleaning, troubleshooting, do not panic when the time comes. If our washing machine cleaning tips have been helpful to you, try remembering them + one or two more on how to clean a dishwasher.
As green cleaning is not only your goal but also your aspiration, you are looking for natural methods that will be your allies in the kitchen. After refreshing your microwave, it’s the dishwasher’s turn. Since you can’t run to the repairer every time, you have to learn to deal with all the household problems on your own.
While washing machines and dishwashers are cleaning devices that keep you clean, they, too, need to be scrubbed regularly. To keep them running as long as possible, monthly cleaning will help extend their life. How to clean a dishwasher that washes poorly is a question you only have to ask yourself once.
The monthly cleaning routine can be done with a soft bristle brush and ordinary materials available in your home. It’s easy to guess! Our famous protagonists: distilled white vinegar and baking soda. You are already convinced of the power of these two common products. To carry out an effective clearance mission, you need to prepare a whole set of tools and products.
- Soft bristle brush
- Flexible wire
- Obsolete toothbrush
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Dishwashing liquid
- Olive oil or baby oil (for stainless steel)
- Stainless steel cleaning product
- Microfiber cloth
Mainly, you should perform the cleaning procedure monthly, so that the device stays clean and does not require more aggressive scrubbing. Follow the guidelines below to the letter:
Remove the grid and clean the strainer
Remove the lower basket and examine the drainage strainer at the bottom of the interior of the dishwasher. Remove any food, paper labels, or small items that might block the holes. Use a soft bristle brush dipped in vinegar to clean up anything that is stuck. Replace the lower basket.
How to clean a dishwasher with white vinegar?
Fill a glass or plastic container with a cup of distilled white vinegar and place the open container on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run a regular wash cycle. You can skip the drying cycle to save on electricity costs.
How do you clean a baking soda dishwasher?
When the first cycle is finished, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the interior floor of the dishwasher. Run a short rinse cycle with hot water (skip the drying cycle), then open the dishwasher door to allow the inside to air dry. The vinegar will remove any grease buildup and the baking soda will remove lingering odors.
*Never mix vinegar and baking soda in the same cleaning cycle so you don’t have a whole erupted “volcano” to clean up.
A little bonus from grandma’s tips! Also like white vinegar, lemon juice has a detergent effect. Place a cup full of juice in the upper basket and cycle. You will not be disappointed with the result!
If you’ve been on a monthly cleaning routine, a deep cleaning is only needed once or twice a year. It’s especially important to do this thoroughly if you start to notice issues like dirty dishes or spotty glassware after running a cycle. If you live in an area with excessively hard water, do a deep clean more often.
Clean the spray arms
Start with an empty dishwasher. If possible, remove both baskets, upper and lower, to gain better access to the water spray arms. Each spray arm has small holes that distribute water throughout the dishwasher, and those holes can get clogged with minerals from hard water or even bits of food. If the holes are plugged in, the water may not reach the surface of your dishes and leave them soiled. Insert the tip of the wire into each hole to remove debris.
Remove and clean the strainer
Inspect the strainer on the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher. If possible, remove it and you might be shocked at what’s stuck underneath. Remove all the accumulated elements. Dip the old toothbrush in vinegar and clean all the nooks and crannies well.
Scrub the utensil holder and detergent dispenser
The toothbrush is also great for removing debris that might get caught in the utensil rack grid and for removing any buildup in the detergent dispenser.
Clean the rubber gaskets
Dip a clean sponge in white vinegar and wipe down the rubber gaskets around the interior opening and the edges of the door.
Cycle with vinegar
Replace the racks and put two cups of distilled white vinegar in an open container on the upper rack. Run a regular hot water wash cycle to complete the cleaning.
How you clean the exterior of your dishwasher depends on the style and finish. This should be done at least once a week, if not more often.
Clean the control knobs
If the dishwasher has buttons or dials on the front, take the time to clean them every month. Use an old toothbrush and liquid hand detergent to remove any buildup that could cause malfunction. For models that have controls built into the top of the door, wipe them down as needed.
Clean and rinse the door
If the exterior door is plastic or painted metal, use a mild liquid dish detergent and a soft cloth or sponge to remove spills from the face and handle of the dishwasher. Finish by rinsing the dishwasher with a cloth dampened in clean water and dry buff with a soft cloth.
For a stainless steel door, it is preferable to use a stainless steel cleaning product and a microfiber cloth. Follow the product directions and always wipe in the same direction as the grain of the metal. Another option is to wipe down the front of the dishwasher with a solution of mild dish soap mixed with water, followed by a drop of olive oil or baby oil on a microfiber cloth to eliminate traces.
Most people know that dishwashers use filters to trap food particles and other debris. But do they know that these filters can get clogged, requiring regular cleaning? If they are not cleaned, the dishes will come out dirty.
So how often should you clean your dishwasher filter?
Most dishwasher models have filters that are in a basket-shaped container, usually located at the bottom. If you own this type of dishwasher, you may need to remove the filter first to start cleaning it properly.
Some models will only require removing one or two screws or clips to remove the filter, while others may require removing the screws and removing the front panel of the dishwasher. To remove yours, simply consult your owner’s guide for installation instructions and diagrams showing you where it is in your machine. Remember to turn off all running water before attempting this step.
After removing the filter, you can give it a good bath with soap and water. Simply put the dishwasher on an appropriate cycle and let it run while you clean the filter with soapy water.
While most manufacturers do not recommend cleaning a dishwasher filter with vinegar, some do. They claim that the vinegar neutralizes odors or leaching from foods like tomato dishes. If recommended by your manufacturer, use distilled white vinegar for best results. It is also the best way to clean stainless steel sinks.
To keep your filters working well, you’ll want to lubricate all moving parts after a few cycles. This is especially important if your dishwasher has a bad odor coming from the filter.
Be sure to let your dishwasher filter dry completely before replacing it. Otherwise, you could end up with a moldy filter and a dirty dishwasher. Perhaps, you can neutralize stubborn odors by reading our article on fridge deodorants.
Most dishwashers filter out large food particles using a strainer on the bottom of your machine. It is usually made of a fine mesh material. While most are fairly easy to find and clean, check out the instruction guide.
If you find that your dishwasher filter is still dirty after cleaning it, it may be a result of hard water deposits. If so, try using a commercial product to remove hard water from all other devices, such as your coffee maker or ice maker.
Some additional tips
Be wary if you are told not to clean your dishwasher filter. Most people who operate correctly with their filters will never have a clogging problem again.
It is very important not to use sharp objects or high-pressure hoses to clean the dishwasher filter.
Do not use steel wool or other abrasive materials as they can damage the screen itself, leaving holes for leaks and dirty dishes. Instead, use an old toothbrush or soft sponges.