Do You Know How To Clean Your Dishwasher? Find Out Here!

Deep cleaning your dishwasher twice a year is essential if you want the appliance to run the way it should. An unhygienic dishwasher means grimy dishes loaded with bacteria, and that can have a direct effect on your health. That’s why there are certain ways to clean your washing machine with bleach or vinegar and even ways to unblock it. So, what else? How many times have you blessed your dishwasher‘s little steel heart for existing? We’re guessing you stopped keeping count some time ago. Dishwashers are a handy kitchen gadget and can take hours of dishwashing duty with one full load. 

A girl smells a dishwasher

But, when was the last time you paid heed to the hygiene concerning yours? Home and lifestyle experts will tell you you should wash your dishwashing appliance once every six months at least. If you’re looking for a simple and painless remedy for a dirty one, you’ve just hit the jackpot. Our how-to clean your dishwasher feature brings you the scoop of a lifetime – with detailed instructions and all manner of helpful tips to help you overcome all your cleaning woes. 

Why is it important to have a clean dishwasher

At this point, you’re probably wondering, ‘aren’t dishwashers supposed to be self-cleaning?’ The answer’s an unhelpful combination of yes and no. Every time you run the appliance, it does get washed internally, thanks to the running water and dishwasher detergent

But, over the years, food residue and gunk can build up and block the spray arms, dishwasher filter and drain. This can reduce the amount of water circulating inside during the rinse cycle and lead to your dishes coming out less than clean. Then there’s the fact that a white crust can develop on the bottom of your dishwasher because of the mineral content of hard water. Long story short, you need to deep clean your dishwasher every five to six months to ensure it works the way it should. 

A clean dishwasher in a kitchen

Materials you’re going to need and preparation

Before we get down to discussing how you can go about cleaning your dishwasher, let’s run through the supplies you’ll need to stock up on. 

Here are the cleaning products you’re going to need:

  • White vinegar (distilled)
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Toothpick
  • Toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloth (to avoid lint particles)

Cleaning your dishwasher step-by-step

Now for the main event. Deep cleaning your dishwasher to sanitise it can be quite simple – if you know what to do. And this section will walk you through the ABCs of it from start to finish. Ready?

A hand taking out a dirty filter of dishwasher machine

Step 1: Get rid of the utensil holders, racks, and filter

To ensure your dishwasher is clean from top to bottom and that you don’t miss any crevices, remove the utensil holders and dishwasher filter. Some models may require you to unscrew the filter. Remover both the top rack and bottom rack and soak them (along with the filter and utensil holders) in a tub of warm water mixed with one cup of distilled white vinegar. This will help sanitize and clean the objects and remove any built-up grime. Soak the items for at least half an hour. 

Step 2: Clearing out the food particles

Now for the icky bit. Once your dishwasher is empty, you’ll be able to see any food pieces or debris hiding in the corners of your dishwasher. Carefully look into all the slots and openings (including the dispenser and filter) for any leftover gunk. If you see some scraps lodged in the crevices, use the toothpick or old toothbrush and fish them out. Next, use some kitchen paper to wipe the spray arms and sides of the dishwasher. Pay special attention when wiping the corners because that’s where soap scum generally lingers. 

Step 3: Run a hot water cycle

Grab a dishwasher-safe bowl and fill it up with one cup of vinegar. Place the bowl on the bottom of the dishwasher. Next, run a hot water cycle and wait for the vinegar to do its job. The acidic content of vinegar will help clear out the remaining muck, soap scum, and bits of food. Vinegar will also help sanitize the interior of your dishwasher because it’s a natural anti-bacterial and perfect for chemical-free DIY cleaning purposes. 

Step 4: Sprinkle baking soda and run another quick wash cycle

For an odour-free dishwasher, remove the dishwasher-safe bowl when the hot water cycle ends and sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher. Set a short rinse cycle and wait for the baking soda to eliminate any lingering stains and odour

Composition with vinegar ,baking soda and gloves on table

Step 5: Clean the rubber seal and dishwasher door

Grab your dishwasher cleaner (suitable for the dishwasher’s outer surface) and use the microfibre cloth to clean away any smudges or stains. If you’ve got a stainless steel dishwasher door, make sure your cleaning product is formulated for stainless steel to ensure there are no streaks or scratches. Remember to wipe down the handles and control panel too. 

Next, make a cleaning solution consisting of white vinegar, dish soap, and water in a bowl or a spray bottle. Wet the toothbrush with the cleaning solution and clean the rubber seal to eliminate any dirt on the surface. Once you’re done cleaning, wipe the surface with a damp cloth and dry it with kitchen paper and voila – you’re done!

Step 6: Set the racks, filter, and utensil holders back in place

Take the dishwasher filter, racks, and utensil holders out from the soaking solution and wash with warm water. Set them on a flat surface for around five minutes to let the water drain and wipe down with a clean cloth to dry them completely. Set the items in the empty dishwasher accordingly and sit back to enjoy the sight of your sparkling clean dishwasher

Extra dishwasher tips

Before we sign off on our dishwasher-friendly feature, here are some easy to implement tips to help you keep your dishwasher clean – for longer. 

  • Dishwasher drain

If you notice standing water on the bottom of your dishwasher after a wash cycle, chances are your dishwasher drain is blocked due to food particles. Instead of letting the problem persist, turn off your dishwasher, and take out the bottom rack. Use an absorbent towel to get rid of the excess water and remove the foreign objects blocking the drain with the help of kitchen paper. Ensuring your dishwasher drain isn’t blocked will help the water drain out quickly and will make sure your clean dishes and utensils are bacteria-free. 

  • Garbage disposal

Believe it or not, running the garbage disposal before the dishwasher can help keep your dishwasher’s drain in mint working condition because the dishwasher generally drains into the same pipe as your sink. 

Woman with dirty dishes

  • Dirty dishes

As vexing as it can to clear out dirty dishes of remaining food scraps before loading them in the dishwasher, it helps keep the dishwasher stay clean for longer. The filter and the drain don’t get blocked off the foreign objects, and the dishes come out looking cleaner. 

  • Check your water temperature

Use the sink closest to your dishwasher to test the water temperature. Fill up a bowl with the hot tap water (as hot as it can get) and use a thermometer to get a temperature reading. If the water’s temperature is between 49 to 65 degrees Celsius, then you’re fine. If the temperature is lower than 49 degrees or higher than 65 degrees Celsius, you’re going to want to adjust the water heater accordingly. 

 time to clean your dishwasher properly and get a lifetime’s supply of dazzlingly clean dishes.

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