A dirty dishwasher can’t be expected to get your dishes clean and your glasses odor-free. Luckily, it is a matter of 15 minutes to clean the areas where bacteria, mold, and scale are likely to build up. Just be sure to start with an empty dishwasher so you can reach all of the surfaces you need to clean.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need?
- Distilled white vinegar.
- Baking soda.
- Some sturdy flexible wire.
- Old toothbrush.
- Clean sponge.
1. INSPECT AND CLEAN THE RACKS
While peeling plastic and rusting rack tines can leave your dishes stained and scratched. If yours are looking beat up, try using a sealant specifically for dishwashers. Spray-on Plastid is one or visits your dishwasher manufacturer’s website to find replacement racks.
Along with the cutlery holder, be sure to examine the tracks and wheels on your racks, for food buildup or mold. Wash if needed and spray well with 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill mold spores.
2. CHECK THE SPINNING ARMS
On the bottom of the top rack, most modern dishwashers have a spinning arm and another in the base of the dishwasher itself. To make sure there’s no debris or crusted food in there Look in the holes on the spinner arms.
You will need to remove the arm and scrub them to dislodge the buildup, if you discover blocked holes. Likewise, remove and wash them, if the spinner arms aren’t moving freely too.
3. CLEAN THE FILTERS
Your dishwasher has two filters: an upper filter and a lower filter. The top filter of the dishwasher is directly beneath the bottom spray arm and can be removed by gently turning it counter-clockwise. Be prepared to be disgusted, if you have never cleaned this filter before: this is where soap scum, greasy residue and mildew like to hide. Clean your dishwasher machine by washing in hot, soapy water and scrubbing with a soft toothbrush if needed.
The lower filter of the dishwasher is the screen-like mesh on the bottom of your dishwasher. And then remove any food particles you find there and give the screen a quick scrub. And you need to be careful if you have ever broken or chipped glass in the dishwasher because this is where the shards will be.
4. CLEAN THE RUBBER GASKET AND DOOR
The rubber gasket prevents water from spewing out of your machine when it runs. That means its hit continuously with water and often gets coated with mineral build-up and caked-on food. After that, scrub your machine with hot, soapy water and an old toothbrush, taking care to get between the folds. While you are at it, open your door fully to do this and wash the bottom inside of the door. You will often find quite a bit of mold has built up there, too.
5. NOW YOU CAN RUN IT WITH THAT CUP OF VINEGAR
Now that you have removed the mold, mildew and fungi it’s time to run a cup of vinegar through to degrease and freshen the interior.
And then return the racks to the machine and start the most extended, hottest cycle your dishwasher has. After that, let the dishwasher machine run a minute then pause it and pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom where it will get sloshed around and remove buildup as the cycle runs.
Alternatively, you can powder Tang the citric acid or sprinkle in a packet of unsweetened Lemon Kool-Aid in these products is excellent at removing mineral buildup.
- If you are done rinse your dishes before loading them into the machine, most commercial dishwasher detergents are formulated to clean better. You should still scrape away large bits of food, though, so they don’t collect in the upper filter.
- When not in use leave your dishwasher slightly ajar so air can circulate and reduce mold buildup.
- Using the above steps clean your dishwasher at least once a season.
CLEANING THE OUTSIDE
How you clean the outside of your dishwasher depends on the style and finish the dishwasher you are using. Take time to clean around them If it has buttons or dials on the front, every month. To remove any build-up that might cause them to malfunction, Use an old toothbrush and a liquid hand-washing detergent. Wipe them down monthly or as needed, for models that have controls built into the top of the door.
Use mild liquid dishwashing detergent and a soft cloth or sponge, if the exterior door is made of plastic or painted metal to remove any splatters on the face and handle of the dishwasher. And finish your washing by rinsing the dishwasher with a cloth dipped in plain water and buff dry with a soft cloth.
It is best to use a stainless steel cleaning product and a microfiber cloth, for a stainless steel door. Follow the product instructions and always wipe in one direction, in the same direction as the grain of the metal. Another option is to wipe the front of the dishwasher with a solution of mild dishwashing soap mixed with water, followed by a drop of olive oil or baby oil on a microfiber cloth to remove any streaks.