We assure you that while your dishwasher is washing your dishes; it is not cleaning itself. To learn how to clean a dishwasher, follow the simple steps we highlighted below.
To save water and energy, we still advise against pre-washing your dishes, but over time, food particles, oil, detergent that hasn’t completely dissolved, and water minerals can accumulate on the dishwasher’s filter and inner walls, potentially clogging the spray arms.
This is the reason it’s crucial to keep your dishwasher clean and to run regular cleaning cycles.
No matter how carefully and accurately you load the dishwasher, this can leave spots and film on your glassware, dinnerware, and flatware besides the disagreeable smell and ugly appearance it leaves behind.
Furthermore, the accumulation of residue can harm the pump and filter of the dishwasher, necessitating expensive repairs.
How to Clean a Dishwasher with Vinegar
Here’s how to use a cup of white vinegar to keep your dishwasher clean.
1. Put a cup of white vinegar in a mug that can go in the dishwasher. The vinegar should fill the mug to about two-thirds full.
2. After positioning the mug vertically on the top rack of your dishwasher, shut the door.
3. For additional sterilization, run the dishwasher on the standard cycle with hot water. The vinegar releases from the dishwasher’s walls and racks food residue, soap scum, and grease, which then flushes the residue down the drain.
4. When the cycle ends, open the door and take the mug out. Look for any large particles that might have lodged in the filter in the drain beneath the bottom rack.
Those might need to be taken out by hand, or with a soapy cloth.
To keep the dishwasher clean, repeat this cycle with white vinegar every few weeks.
When to Use White Vinegar
Vinegar is very acidic, and it works wonders at dissolving grease and other stubborn deposits from inside your dishwasher because of this.
However, there’s a reason why the vinegar isn’t poured all over the surfaces in this tutorial—it is an upright cup:
When rubber seals and gaskets come into contact with extremely acidic cleaners, they may eventually degrade.
Using a soapy cloth on your rubber seals is the best way to remove any accumulation. Applying pure white vinegar to rubber gaskets and seals is not advised.
You should only put white vinegar through your dishwasher when it is empty.
When vinegar comes into contact with dirty silverware or other metal containers that have held salt, a chemical reaction may occur.
How to Clean a Dishwasher with Natural Ingredients
You probably already have the ingredients in your pantry, so you don’t even need to go to the store to get them for cleaning a dishwasher.
With no unpleasant chemicals or smells, these natural dishwasher cleaners perform admirably.
1. Rubbing Alcohol: The exterior of the dishwasher can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Using a clean microfiber cloth and rubbing alcohol, clean the dishwasher’s door and handle any fingerprints.
Scrubbing with acidic natural cleaners, such as vinegar, should be avoided if your dishwasher has plastic buttons because they can degrade the material.
2. Baking Soda: Baking soda is an excellent all-natural cleaner. Before beginning a hot washing cycle, dust the dishwasher tub with one cup of baking soda.
How Often to Clean Your Dishwasher
The number of cycles you run through in a day or a week determines how often your dishwasher needs to be cleaned.
Here are some daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to help keep your dishwasher clean, assuming you run a load every day:
- Every day or following each load: Clear the dishwasher’s bottom and the filter well of any visible food fragments.
- Once a week, remove and clean the filter and wipe down the door edges and gasket to remove any debris.
- Deep-clean the interior using a cleaning cycle once a month.
When necessary, clean the outside, corners, and interior of any drips, stains, or film.
How to Get Rid of Mineral Buildup in a Dishwasher
Your dishwasher might be vulnerable to mineral buildup or hard water deposits, depending on the type of water you use.
Lemons are a great cleaning ingredient. Put a cup of lemon juice in the basket or top rack of your dishwasher and run a standard cycle.
Iron buildup and hard water stains can be eliminated with the help of acidic lemon juice.
Cleaning a dishwasher thoroughly once a month and addressing smudges and splatters on the outside as soon as they appear is the best way to keep it clean.
How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter
Your dishwasher’s filter is located at the base. It is typically spherical and located close to the base of the bottom spray armor in one of the dishwasher’s back corners.
Step 1: Pull Out Bottom Rack
Your dishwasher’s bottom rack should be rolled out. Take out the screen from the dishwasher’s bottom if there is one.
Step 2: Find and Remove Dishwasher Filter
You must find the dishwasher filter first. The filter typically has a cylinder-shaped appearance with fine mesh surrounding the edges. It’s easy to remove the dishwasher filter.
To unlock the filter, arrows may indicate just twist (the direction of twisting) and then gently lift it up and out. There may occasionally be an extra flat filter that needs to be taken out as well.
Step 3: Wash by Hand
You can manually clean the dishwasher filter in your kitchen sink. If it’s fairly clean, it might just need a quick spray from your kitchen faucet. Let it soak in warm, soapy water for approximately ten minutes if it’s particularly unappealing or covered in food residue.
To get rid of all the food particles and buildup, carefully scrub the filter’s exterior and interior with a soft brush. Steer clear of wire brushes and aggressive cleaning methods that can harm delicate dishwasher filters. After cleaning, give the filter a thorough water rinse.
Step 4: Return to Dishwasher
Reposition the dishwasher filter and twist it to lock it in place. Make sure the screen is securely fastened if it needs to be replaced.
If not, there’s a chance the rotating dishwasher spray arm will hit it when it lifts during a cycle.
How Often Do You Need to Clean a Dishwasher Filter?
It’s something you should continue to monitor. If not, your dishwasher will smell bad and the dishes may come out grittier or contain food residue.
Cleaning a dishwasher filter should be done once a month, depending on how frequently you use your dishwasher.
Put a reminder on your calendar or commit to doing it on the first of each month. You can determine whether the regularity needs to be changed after a few months.
Can You Clean Your Dishwasher with Bleach?
It is not advised to use bleach or cleaners containing bleach, particularly if the dishwasher has stainless steel interior parts.
While bleach is an ingredient in some dishwasher detergents, it’s mostly used to get rid of tea and coffee stains from cups and other dinnerware.
Additionally, avoid using vinegar and bleach together as this could result in the production of potentially fatal chlorine gas.
It’s in your best interest to maintain your dishwasher in top condition because you can use it for much more than just cleaning dishes.