How to Clean a Dishwasher for Sparkling Dishes

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Like any other appliance that you use regularly, you want to ensure that your dishwasher works well and lasts longer, which can come with regular cleaning. If you use your dishwasher regularly, a monthly dishwasher clean should be enough to keep your dishwasher working effectively and safely.

When it comes to learning how to clean dishwasher regularly, you will need to have a soft-bristled brush ready to scrub the surfaces clean. Everything else you need to clean your dishwasher can be found in the house, such as distilled white vinegar and baking soda.

This is the best way to clean your dishwasher regularly, but a couple of times a year, you may need some additional help to perform a deeper clean. This more detailed clean may require some more items to remove build-up grease and food debris that may have developed with repeated use.

Here are the easy steps you need to know about your dishwasher.

How to Clean a Dishwasher: What you need

Before you can learn how to clean your dishwasher, there are some tools that you will need to get to effectively get rid of grease and other debris that has built up. Luckily, you will not have to search too far to find these cleaning tools, as many of them are standard household items.

  • A soft bristle brush
  • Flexible wire to scrape grease
  • An old toothbrush for tight areas
  • Sponge to wash away soap suds

The cleaning materials you need to get and may already have at home are:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hand-wash detergent that is safe on skin
  • Olive or baby oil for stainless steel
  • Microfiber cloth for stainless steel

Alternatively, you can use a specific stainless steel cleaner for these parts of the dishwasher.

How to Clean a Dishwasher?

For your routinely monthly cleaning of the dishwasher, which is required to keep your dishwasher safe and working well, there are some easy steps you can follow:

1) Remove Rack and Strainer

The first step you need to follow is to remove the bottom rack and strainer from the bottom of the dishwasher so they can be cleaned separately. To help the cleaning process, take time to remove any food or other items that may be clogging the holes of the strainer.

Sometimes labels and other bits of debris fall from dishes when they are in cleaning, which can clog the strainer and prevent it from working as well. Using a soft bristle brush and white vinegar, you can scrub away at anything that has become stuck to help remove it. Once you have completed this, replace the bottom rack.

2) Run Cycle with Vinegar

Fill a small plastic container with one cup of white vinegar. Place this open container on the top rack of the dishwasher and run a regular cycle. To save on energy costs, skip the drying cycle as it is not necessary at the moment. The white vinegar will strip away any build-up food waste, making cleaning easier.

3) Rinse With Baking Soda

When this cycle of cleaning is complete, get one cup of baking soda and sprinkle it on the inside floor of the dishwasher. To get this working in cleaning, run a short cycle of a hot water rinse – but once again, skip the drying cycle.

Open the dishwasher door to allow the interior to dry well. Make sure that you never mix the vinegar and baking soda in the dishwasher on the same cleaning cycle, as this will start to foam and can cause quite a mess.

However, using baking soda after the vinegar cycle will remove any lingering odors. These steps are the best way to keep up with the needs of your dishwasher, ensuring all food and other waste has been removed, so it works well.

Detailed Cleaning

As well as this monthly routine, there are some further steps you can take for a thorough clean. These steps are only required once or twice a year, so you do not have to search for a lot of spare time to do it all at once.

In your thorough clean, you can:

Clean Spray Arms

The spray arms remove most of the food that has been left on your dishes, so you need to ensure they work well. Do this step with an empty dishwasher, using a cleaning wire to remove any debris that is clogging the water holes by inserting it into the holes.

Take Out The Strainer

If it is possible, remove the strainer at the bottom of your appliance to see what dirt has accumulated here. Take away any trapped elements then use a toothbrush dipped in vinegar to scrub every nook and cranny well.

Scrub the Utensil Holder and Detergent Dispenser

A toothbrush is a perfect tool for this job, too, as there are a lot of tight spots you have to workaround.

Use the toothbrush to scrub away any debris that has become trapped in the utensil holder, and scrub the detergent dispenser, so it continues to work well.

Wipe Rubber Seals

Almost all appliances have rubber seals that can become dirty with repeated use. Use a sponge and vinegar to rub-down the seals and remove any dust. Finish off this thorough wash by running a hot cycle using the vinegar in an open container that is placed on the top rack.

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