It seems funny that an appliance you use for cleaning, needs cleaning itself. However, over time, build up from hard water minerals, soap, food and other debris can really affect your dishwasher’s ability to get your dishes clean. To prevent this — and larger repair bills down the road — clean your dishwasher regularly.
First, clean any glass, plastic, food or other debris that ends up near the drain filter at the bottom of your dishwasher. You can use either paper towels or a cloth to wipe around the bottom of your dishwasher. Be careful, as broken glass and other sharp objects can be hiding there, not easily seen.
You can also use a dishwasher cleaner like affresh to clean your dishwasher, or use white vinegar to clean your machine.
To use affresh, simply place a pod in your machine’s detergent dispenser and run a regular cycle. The detergent will help remove any mineral deposit build-up from hard water along with excess detergent and soap residue, mildew, smells and stains inside your dishwasher.
If you want to go the homemade way, place your vinegar in a mug or bowl in the upper rack of your dishwasher and run a normal cycle using the hottest water possible. Stop your dishwasher in the middle of the cycle (before the wash cycle) while the bottom is full of water and pour two cups of white vinegar into the standing water in the bottom. Let it soak for 30 minutes and finish cleaning the wall of your dishwasher. Close the door and let your dishwasher finish the rest of its cycle.
If you have any food stains on the inside of your dishwasher, use baking soda (a cup will do) and run it through a separate cycle after the vinegar cleaning. This will also add a fantastic clean smell to your dishwasher.
Now might be a good time to also inspect your appliance; how do the dishwasher racks look? If you notice the plastic coating on your dishwasher racks broken or chipped off, you can repair them with a dishwasher rack tine repair kit.
You can also buy dishwasher rack replacement roller parts so your dishwasher racks will move more smoothly when you load and unload dishes.
However, if your racks are badly damaged and rusting and you have noticed rust stains in your appliance or on your dishes, it might be time to replace your dishwasher racks with new ones.
Do you have any dishwasher cleaning tips?