Dishwasher Cleaning Edition: Minute Cleaning Hacks

If you are anything like me it takes every pot, pan & dish in the house to get dinner on the table (oh that’s just me?). Now it’s time for the not so fun part of cleaning up the kitchen. You pack all the dishes neatly into the dishwasher and run the cycle. Night after night your dishwasher works hard to make sure you don’t have to. But over time as your dishwasher cleans and sanitizes, food residue, grease, and soap scum can form stubborn deposits that can decrease its cleaning ability and lead to a bad odor and the growth of bacteria. Even though dishwashers clean dishes, they clean themselves. In today’s Dishwasher Edition: Minute Cleaning Hacks we will be sharing our favorite method for keeping you machine clean. As with all appliances, you should always refer to your owner manual for cleaning and maintenance instructions.

What You Need

Gather the following tools:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Lemon
  • Cleaning cloths and paper towels
  • Scrub brush and/or old toothbrush
  • A scrubbing sponge

Dishwasher Monthly Deep Clean: Step By Step

1. Inspect The Drain
Before you start cleaning you dishwasher, it’s a good idea to quickly check the area around the drain. Remove the bottom rack for easier access, then feel the area around the drain. Remove any foreign material you find to prevent it from blocking the drain. (You’d be surprised at what repairmen often find down there—bones, crab shells, glass shards, bits of plastic, etc.) This is also a good opportunity to inspect the holes in the spray arm. If they look grimy, dip an old toothbrush into some vinegar and use it to scrub any food particles out the the spray holes. Replace the bottom rack when you’re done.

2. Vinegar Wash
Vinegar is a great cleaner that’s both natural and effective. Set a small dishwasher-safe bowl on the top rack of your empty dishwasher, then fill it with white vinegar. Close your dishwasher and run a complete wash cycle on the hottest setting.

3. Baking Soda Wash
Baking soda is a great material to clean effectively and also deodorize naturally. Once the first wash cycle is finished, sprinkle a handful of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher. Run it through another quick wash cycle using the hottest water setting.

4. Bleach Wash (Optional)
If you’ve been struggling with mold and/or mildew in your dishwasher, adding a final bleach wash to the cleaning process should take care of it. To do a bleach wash, add 1 cup of bleach to the bottom of the dishwasher and run a full wash cycle. (Note: Do NOT do this step if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior. Bleach can permanently damage and discolor stainless steel.)

Repeat the steps outlined above every 3 months to keep dishwasher clean and working effectively!

Bonus Dishwasher Cleaning Tips

  • Run your garbage disposal to clear it out before starting a load of dishes. Dishwashers usually drain into the same pipe as your sink, so that drain must be clear.
  • Before starting a load of dishes, run hot water through your sink faucet until it feels hot to the touch. Your dishwasher will perform better if the wash cycle starts with hot water.
  • Set your water heater high enough to ensure that the water can clean your dishes effectively. Your water heater should be set to around 120°F (50°C.) Cooler water won’t clean effectively, and hotter water could scald someone accidentally!
  • Running only full loads of dishes helps to conserve water and energy, but don’t overfill your dishwasher. Dishwashers work by spraying water over the dishes, so the water needs to be able to get to the dishes in order to clean them.
  • You can rinse dirty dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, but don’t over-rinse your dishes. Dishwasher detergent requires a certain amount of gunk and grime to work right. Otherwise, the detergent can foam up during the cycle, which isn’t good for your dishwasher.
  • Another way to give a nice smell to your dishwasher is by placing one lemon peel in the cutlery basket.

Well that was a lot to digest! Hope you enjoyed Minute Cleaning Hacks: Dishwasher Edition. If you are still unsure why not let us help. Maid in a Minute Residential and Commercial Cleaning Service has packages that work with your needs and budget. If you need a few more MINUTES in your day, let us take care of the cleaning for you! Visit our ONLINE BOOKING page to schedule your appointment now! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & like us on Facebook!

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