6 Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Dishwasher
Most people don’t think about cleaning their dishwashers. After all, the appliance is used to clean your dishes on a daily basis. It is easy to assume that your dishwasher will get cleaned at the same time as it is washing your dishes, but the reality is that food debris and other deposits can build up over many uses. That buildup can result in a poor performing dishwasher
Read on for some easy-to-follow tips that will keep your dishwasher looking and performing at its best.
- Wash Regularly
One of the best ways to ensure that your dishwasher is free from excess buildup is by running it regularly. Using your dishwasher frequently will keep debris from settling in the bottom of the appliance.
- Inspect and Clean the Spinning Arms
Dishwashers work by spraying water out of their spinning arms onto the dishes inside. When those arms aren’t spinning properly or the holes in them are full of buildup, your dishes won’t be getting thoroughly cleaned. When dishwasher is empty, check to make sure that the arms spin correctly and clean out any debris that has accumulated inside the holes with a small piece of wire, a toothpick, or small pliers.
- Clean the Edges and Exterior
Many times offending smells that you may find coming from your dishwasher may actually be coming from outside areas around the appliance. The edges around the door do not get washed during a regular cycle and can end up with spills, pieces of food debris and mildew.
A bit of regular household cleaner and a damp cloth should be enough to wipe this up.
Other areas that can benefit from a wipe down: Under the door, on the inside, flatware basket, the gasket, the detergent dispenser.
- Clear the Area Near the Drain
At the very bottom of your dishwasher is the drain and this area can be a common place where food debris, buildup, and other matter can end up.
Leaving these obstacles near the drain can result in a clog and a dishwasher that isn’t doing its job properly.
With it empty, you can start cleaning this area by collecting the biggest pieces by hand, but you may have to disassemble the drain to get to some of the smaller pieces.
You can do that by following these steps:
Unplug the dishwasher.
Take out the screws and remove the cover.
Protect the opening to keep debris out.
Clean out larger pieces by hand.
Clean out smaller deposits with a brush or cloth.
Reassemble in the reverse order.
- Use an Acid to Remove Buildup
Getting rid of the water deposits and buildup in your dishwasher is an important step because it can result in dishes that are sparkly and not dingy after a cycle. Use White vinegar and run the dishwasher through a short cycle to get rid of excess scale:
- Get Rid of Mildew
One last cycle using a little bleach in the dishwasher can be helpful if you are dealing with a mold or mildew problem. Unless you have a stainless steel door or interior, bleach can be the finishing touch for a spotless dishwasher that will provide you with completely sanitized dishes every time you run the appliance.