What’s not to love about the dishwasher? This appliance saves you time and water—it even helps you avoid getting your hands dry from doing a lot of dishes! Of course, it will get dirty in time, whether it’s mineral buildup, grease residue, or soap scum.
If your appliance isn’t working as usual, use this easy method to clean it.
I can use a dishwasher cleaner tab and call it a day, right?
Sure, you can buy one of those Finish dishwasher tabs. However, it’s not that necessary, as you might have powerful alternatives at home: baking soda, white vinegar, and even bleach. So, if you want to skip a trip to the store, try cleaning your dishwasher with these household items.
How to clean the dishwasher with vinegar
White vinegar is a powerful agent that needs no rinsing and won’t leave any residue. Besides, vinegar plays a role in deodorizing the appliance, and it’s non-toxic, which makes it a perfect alternative to store-bought solutions. For this cleaning method, you need the following:
- White vinegar
- Distilled water
- Rubber gloves
- A clean, used toothbrush
Step 1: Clean any removable parts
Remove the utensil holder and the dishwasher racks to wash them with soapy water. If you have stubborn food residue, fill your sink (or a container big enough for the dishwasher parts) with warm water and throw in two cups of vinegar. Sink the removable parts for twenty minutes, and then rinse clean.
Step 2: Clean the interior of the dishwasher
Empty the dishwasher and place one cup of vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl on the top rack. Set the dishwasher to the hottest cycle possible, and let the steam build up.
Step 3: Open the door and let the interior dry
After you steam clean the dishwasher, skip the drying cycle to let it air dry instead. Don’t worry about the smell of vinegar since it will dissipate in minutes.
Note: Be extremely careful while opening the appliance due to hot steam. Also, don’t wait too long after the hot cycle ends, or you might risk some damage to the rubber gasket.
Step 4: Scrub any residual spots
Mix half and half water with vinegar in a small container to dip a soft toothbrush. Scrub any residue that survived the hot cycle.
How about bleach?
In the extreme case of mildew spotting inside the appliance, you could replace vinegar with bleach for this method. However, make sure your dishwasher has no stainless steel parts, or the bleach will damage it. Also, remember to wear gloves, eye protection, and a facemask if possible to avoid any irritation.
Note: Mold is bad news, and it might be better to call an expert on the matter.
What if I don’t want to use vinegar?
Don’t like the smell of vinegar? No problem! Baking soda is a great alternative with comparable results. Follow these three simple steps:
- Place a cup of water instead of vinegar.
- Sprinkle a cup of baking soda at the bottom of the dishwasher and run a quick cycle.
- Skip the drying cycle and let it air dry.
Note: You might need to apply elbow grease to some spots. Mix water and baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Then, spread the paste directly over the residue and scrub with the toothbrush. Remember to rinse with clean water when you’re done.
After cleaning your dishwasher
Check your dishwasher manual to find out how to remove the filter. When you take it out, rinse it and dry it with a microfiber cloth. If the filter seems in good condition and clean, put everything back together. You should notice the difference during your next washing cycle.
Lastly, you can wipe the exterior surfaces of your dishwasher the same way you do during your kitchen cleaning routine.
Remember to clean the dishwasher roughly every month. A quick cycle and wiping with the microfiber cloth will do!
Trust the housework to Shine Bright Maid Cleaning Services!
If one appliance can take some time, imagine whole rooms, especially when it’s seasonal deep cleaning. Fortunately, our team of experts at Shine Bright Cleaning Services can take on the challenge. No matter the type of home, we’ll clean it!