Do you clean your dishwasher very often? A lot of us believe that because there is soap and hot water running through that they are clean. Absolutely not is the answer to that statement. Think of how dirty a bath gets, and how often we have to clean it. The same is true of our dishwashers and you would be alarmed if you knew the amount of bacteria that is lurking, that is just waiting to give us a horrid tummy bug! The following is a very useful article that will educate you on some simple DIY routine maintenance and cleaning regimens we should be using to keep our dishwasher clean, safe and running well.
Use Vinegar to Chase Away Soap Scum
Plain white vinegar will remove soap scum. Vinegar is also a natural antibacterial and will help reduce mold or mildew. The easiest way to clean all the parts of the dishwasher is to soak them. Fill your kitchen sink (or laundry room sink) about halfway with hot water and add about 2 cups of white vinegar. If you want something that smells a little better than vinegar does, use lemon juice instead. Now add all the loose parts from inside the dishwasher. The utensil basket, the sprayer arms (consult your owner’s manual on how to remove them), and if they will fit, the other racks. The next step is to wipe down the top, sides, and bottom of the dishwasher with some of the liquid from the sink.
Now would be a good time to wipe the gasket, and don’t forget the area where the hinge is. A lot of gunk can accumulate in that hinge, and we never think to look there.
Wipe down the exterior with the same solution.
If there is any rust in your dishwasher, be sure to use a rust remover product made for dishwashers. Anything stronger could damage your unit.
Clean the Filter
If you have a dishwasher with a filter, consult your owner’s manual for how often they recommend cleaning it. Your manual will also instruct you on how to remove the filter. As said earlier, not all dishwashers have filters. If you have the type of dishwasher with a basket that collects debris, you can remove that basket and let it soak with the rest of the parts.
Clean the Spray Arms
Now that your spray arms have soaked for a while, take them out and inspect the holes. If there is anything blocking any of the holes, you can use a pipe cleaner to clean them out. (You can also use a wire or a toothpick, but I’ve found it’s much easier on the appliance to use a pipe cleaner. Wires can damage and scratch the spray arm, and toothpicks could break off inside the arm.)
There are some great tips here on how to clean your dishwasher and ultimately keep it running well. It is always wise to consult your owners manual and every once in a while give your dishwasher the recommended deep clean. Remember to keep your dishwasher running quite often. Gaskets can dry out and cause problems if you don’t use it regularly.