1. Gather your materials.
First and foremost: Gather your cleaning supplies. You’ll need the following items:
• Warm water
2. Remove the dishwashing racks, utensil holders, and filter
Remove the racks, utensil holders, and filter in order to get down into the nitty-gritty cracks and crevices (some filters simply twist off, but others will require tools to unscrew them). Remove them and soak them in a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and warm water. Allow at least 30 minutes for them to soak.
3. Remove all debris.
Check for any lingering debris that may be hiding within now that you have a clean line of sight. Wipe the spray arms and side walls, particularly the top and bottom corners. Examine the dishwasher’s filter and dispenser, as well as all of the tiny openings and slots through which water sprays. If you detect food particles or other dirt caught in these tiny gaps, wipe them out with a toothbrush and/or a toothpick.
4. Use vinegar in the dishwasher’s hot water cycle.
1 cup white vinegar, placed in a dishwasher-safe bowl on the bottom of the empty dishwasher Turn on the dishwasher’s hot water cycle. Any lingering food, grease, soap scum, residue, or other filth will be broken down by the vinegar.
5. Do a quick wash cycle with baking soda.
Remove the bowl and 1 cup of baking soda from the bottom of the dishwasher after the first cycle has completed. Run it through a quick cycle. Baking soda will clean the dishwasher and erase stains. What’s the end result? A sparkling dishwasher with an oh-so-clean scent.
6. Clean the dishwasher’s outside door.
Use a cleaning designed specifically for the surface of your dishwasher: If it’s stainless steel, for example, seek for a stainless steel-specific cleaning product (all-purpose cleaners can leave a streaky finish or even scratch steel, so be careful).
Is there another option? Make your own cleaner. A simple DIY cleanser made with dish soap, water, and white vinegar is suitable for all dishwashing surfaces. Dip a microfiber cloth in the soapy water, wring out the excess, and then swipe the surface in the grain’s direction. After rinsing your cloth, go over the surface once more for a dazzling, fingerprint-free finish. With your damp cloth, wipe clean the control panel and handles as well.
Maintaining the cleanliness of your dishwasher
You’ll reap a slew of advantages now that you know how to clean a dishwasher. You’ll notice that the machine not only smells and looks nicer, but it’s also more effective. With all of the residue removed, soap and water can be sprayed at full strength through the appliance, leaving you with spotless dishes. In fact, if your dishes start to come out of the dishwasher with muck adhered to them, it’s a sign that your dishwasher needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Once every six months, deep clean the inside of the dishwasher to keep it working smoothly.
If your dishwasher includes a self-cleaning sanitize cycle, you should run it once a month in addition to the six-month thorough clean. The sanitize cycle is hotter and lasts longer than a conventional dishwashing cycle, killing 99.9% of bacteria and food soil left behind by a standard wash cycle.
You can stock up on Affresh if your dishwasher doesn’t have a sanitize cycle. Affresh is a foamy tablet that fights residue and detergent accumulation in dishwashers, and it’s meant to be used with a full cycle.
Check the temperature settings on your dishwasher.
There’s one more thing you can do to make sure your dishwasher is in top shape: Preheat the oven to 120°–150°F. If the water isn’t at least 120°, it isn’t hot enough to successfully clean dishes. Fill a cup with the hottest tap water possible and place it in the sink closest to the dishwasher to test your temperature. Inside, place a thermometer and check the temperature. You’ll need to adjust your water heater if it’s below 120° or above 150°.