By cleaning your dishwasher you’re ensuring your dishes come out clean. Learn how to clean your dishwasher.
If you are anything like me, you load the dishwasher, put your soap in and start it up. When the cycle is done, you unload the dishes and continue the never-ending circle that is dishes. I always forget that my dishwasher needs to be cleaned too. Thankfully, cleaning your dishwasher is a pretty easy process.
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Why Do I Need to Clean my Dishwasher?
During the course of being used, your dishwasher collects build up of food particles, grease, and even soap scum. All of these things cause your dishwasher to not only be less efficient but also could lead to it smelling bad, and looking pretty gross too.
Steps to Deep Clean Your Dishwasher
Check the Drain
Before you do anything, it is important to pull out your bottom rack and look closely at the drain area. Check for any large food particles that could be blocking the drain.
On the top rack place dishwasher safe bowl or cup and fill it with plain white vinegar. Run the hottest possible cleaning cycle. The vinegar will help to dissolve the grease build up, sanitize your dishwasher. If your dishwasher has a musty smell, the vinegar will help to get rid of that too.
After the vinegar cycle is done, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher. The ideal amount is somewhere around a handful. This cycle will be done with the hottest water possible but, a short cycle. The baking soda will help to further the deodorizing process as well. Baking soda removes stains from the inside of the dishwasher too.
While this step is optional, it is very helpful for those dishwashers that have mold and mildew in it. If this is the case you can use anywhere between a half of a cup to a whole cup on the bottom of the dishwasher. Using bleach on stainless steel dishwashers corrode them so avoid this step if your dishwasher’s interior is stainless steel.
How Often Do I Need to Clean my Dishwasher?
Even if your dishwasher is running smoothly, it is important to clean your dishwasher once a month.
Tips for Better Dishwasher Use
Running your garbage disposal before turning your dishwasher on will help your dishwasher to drain better. Since the disposal and the dishwasher drain into the same pipe, keeping it clear from food scraps will help the dishwasher drain much better.
Think of it much like preheating your oven. Things just turn out better when the oven is preheated. Turning your sink on to the hottest water possible will help the water in your dishwasher start out warmer leading to cleaner dishes in the end.
To make sure you are getting the most out of the money you are spending for running your dishwasher, make sure that you only run full loads. Make sure that you aren’t over filling your dishwasher as that will end with your dishes not being clean.
It is common practice to pre-rinse dishes before loading them in the dishwasher however, many of us are getting them way too clean. Our dishwashers actually need a bit of grease and gunk in order to work properly.
Keeping your dishwasher properly maintained will keep it running efficiently and keep your dishes coming out clean. If you follow these tips and clean your dishwasher routinely, your dishwasher will last a long time.