Your dishwasher might be constantly cleaning for you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be deep cleaned itself. Grease and grime can build up and chemicals in detergent get left behind, leaving the dishwasher interior with odors, germs and residue. And no one wants that! While you might be thinking about how to care for your coffee machines, clean your electric kettles, and get your hardwood floors shiny and clean, don’t neglect your cleaning appliances in your spring cleaning and throughout the year. Whether you prefer to clean with or without vinegar, with or without baking soda, or with or without bleach, we have a quick and easy method to get the inside of dishwasher sparkling clean.
How often do I have to clean my dishwasher?
Not to worry! There’s no need to dedicate all your free time with your head in the machine. Once a month you should do a deep clean including an alkaline wash and drain trap scrub, and once a week you should wipe down the panel and controls. Any time that you notice that the dishwasher is moldy, smelly, or not cleaning as well as it normally does though, the rubber gloves and get in there.
How do I clean my dishwasher with vinegar?
You might be surprised by all the problems you can solve with apple cider vinegar. But for this chore, white vinegar works best. Fill a dishwasher-safe cup or bowl with white vinegar and place it on the upper rack of your machine. Run the otherwise-empty dishwasher on the hottest setting—this will allow the vinegar to absorb odors and erode grimy buildup on the walls of the machine. Vinegar is astringently acidic, which makes it a great agent for breaking down scum on most appliances. Keep a spray bottle with vinegar on hand and spritz the inside of your machine frequently in between washes for prolonged sparkle.
How do I clean your dishwasher with baking soda?
Baking soda is a safe and mild alkali substance that goes a long way in removing persistent residue left by food waste. Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher and rinse on a hot-water cycle. Repeat this process when you have especially stubborn stains or smells. For extra cleaning punch, create “baking soda bombs” by mixing 2 cups of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl until it’s a paste-like consistency. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment paper and allow to dry for a few hours. Toss them on the bottom of your dishwasher and run a hot-water cycle in an empty machine. For a fresher scent, add a few drops of an essential oil to the mix.
How do I clean a dishwasher with bleach?
Proceed with caution! While bleach is great for killing germs, mildew, and mold, it can ruin a dishwasher if the inside is made of stainless-steel or has any stainless-steel parts on the inside. If your machine has any stainless-steel parts on the inside, use one of the methods listed above. If you have determined with 100 percent certainty that your dishwasher is lined with plastic and has plastic parts (this is usually the case with less expensive models), then bleach away. Follow the same method as vinegar—fill a bowl with about 1/2 cup bleach and run the machine, empty, on the hottest setting.
How do I clean a dishwasher drain trap?
With most modern dishwashers, you don’t need to fully rinse the dishes before loading them into the machine. Doing so can actually make the machine less efficient, as the internal sensor will think that the dishes are clean and sanitized before they actually are—causing it to run a shorter cycle. That said, go ahead and scrape off any large pieces of food as they are candidate no. 1 for clogging the dishwasher drain trap.
Speaking of the drain trap, check it frequently to make sure there’s not a bunch of gross stuff in there just waiting to stink up the place. If there is, start by removing and disassembling it. Once it’s apart, use a sponge or toothbrush and dish soap to remove any stuck-on food bits or mold.
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