The dishwasher – truly a great machine. It saves us so much time and effort when it comes to keeping the kitchen clean. It is an indispensable part of many homes. However, did you know that it doesn’t take care of itself when it comes to cleaning? It still requires some tender loving care in order to function properly and keep your dishes sparkling clean.
So, in this post, we will teach you how to clean your dishwasher and keep it in good shape.
That’s right – your dishwasher still needs to be cleaned periodically. Dishwashing tablets and water don’t do a good enough job at sanitising the insides and your machine is constantly bombarded by food waste and moisture, making it the perfect breeding ground for mould and bacteria. So, to prevent them from spreading and becoming a problem, keep your dishwasher clean.
To prevent food particles from getting stuck in the filter and clogging the drain, scrape food leftovers in the bin before placing your dishes in the dishwasher. You can even give them a quick rinse. This will make the machine’s washing cycle more effective.
How to clean a dishwasher drain
If the drain is full of food waste and other particles, your dishwasher won’t work effectively. So, start by cleaning the drain.
Pull out rack. Open your dishwasher and remove the bottom rack.
Remove food waste. Clean up any food waste and other items you find stuck in the drain.
Wipe. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Cleaning the dishwasher filter
Your dishwasher’s filter is an important component, just like the drain itself. You will need to clean it in order for your dishwasher to function properly.
Take out the filter. Some filters will have screws that you will need to undo in order to take them out.
Create a cleaning mixture. In a large bowl or your sink, mix warm water with a couple of squirts of dish soap, combining well to create a soapy solution.
Soak the filter. Soak the filter in the warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes.
Scrub. Remove any stuck food particles by gently scrubbing the filter with an old toothbrush.
Rinse. Rinse the filter with clean tap water.
Put it back. Put the filter back in its place before proceeding.
Cleaning the dishwasher spray arms
The spray arm holes can sometimes get clogged by food waste, thus preventing your dishes from getting properly cleaned. So, make sure you wipe them, too.
Take out spray arms. Start by taking the spray arms out of the dishwasher.
Wipe. Wipe them clean with a cloth, dipped in white vinegar or warm, soapy water. If they are heavily stained, you can soak them for 10-15 minutes.
Scrub. Scrub the spray holes with an old toothbrush, removing any stuck-on food waste.
Rinse. Rinse the spray arms with a damp cloth.
Put them back. Place the spray arms back where they belong.
How to clean a dishwasher inside
Now that you’ve cleaned the separate parts of your dishwasher, here comes the easy part – cleaning the inside. All you need is white vinegar and baking soda. So, here is how to clean a dishwasher inside:
Time needed: 45 minutes.
Put components back in.
Start by putting back all the parts you’ve taken out – spray arms, filter, bottom rack.
Put in white vinegar.
Place a dishwasher-safe cup full of white vinegar on the top rack.
Run a full cycle.
Turn on the dishwasher and run a full cycle on the hottest setting.
Sprinkle baking soda.
Once the first cycle is done, open the dishwasher, take out the cup and sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom and around the drain.
Run a short cycle.
This time, run a short cycle, setting it to the hottest temperature again.
When the second cycle has finished, wipe the insides clean with a dry, soft cloth.
Some may recommend that you run a third cycle with bleach to finish up. However, we do not recommend this, as bleach can permanently stain and damage the stainless steel components of your dishwasher.
Clean the dishwasher exterior
To finish cleaning your dishwasher, you should take care of the outside, as well. Fingerprints and grease marks can look unpleasant and stainless steel exteriors are especially susceptible to them. Here is how to clean a dishwasher exterior:
Create a cleaning solution. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Wipe the door seal. Spray the door seal with the cleaning solution and scrub it clean with an old toothbrush.
Spray door. Spray the outside of the door and any exterior parts you can reach with the mixture.
Wipe clean. Wipe the outside with a damp cloth.
Dry. Dry the surface with a soft, dry cloth to avoid water spots.
Experts state that you should clean your dishwasher once a month. However, to keep it in the best condition, aim to clean out the filter regularly, if you’re wondering how often you should clean your dishwasher filter, read our detailed guide here.