Knowing how to clean a dishwasher is important for every single homeowner, just as it is important to do what it takes to make it run for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the dishwasher is something we rarely think about and we basically take it as it is. We just call someone to repair/clean it when it is necessary. This is usually just a waste of money since we can easily learn how to clean a dishwasher and even perform some actions to make it run for a longer time.
Remember that when you often use your dishwasher, it will get filled with leftover food, soap scum and grease. The appliance ends up smelling like sewer and dishes come out will not actually be sanitary. Fortunately for everyone, there are different cleaning methods available. However, you need to follow these steps.
Clean The Dishwasher Filter
Filters inevitably accumulate gunk. You want to first clean them as you want to clean the dishwasher. This is done by unscrewing the filter (normally located at the machine’s bottom) and then soaking it in soapy, warm water. Do this for ten minutes. When some food particles remain, scrub with the use of a toothbrush. Just make sure that you do not scrub with too much pressure since the filter is quite fragile. After you are done, just put it back inside the dishwasher.
Use Vinegar To Deodorize
Vinegar is much more versatile than we give it credit. The acidic liquid can easily be used to kill weeds, cook and even clean. Every dishwasher can be deodorized and cleaned with vinegar. Just take one cup and add it to the bottom of the empty dishwasher. You then have to run a full, heavy cleaning cycle. When the cycle is over, the dishwasher smells fresh and is cleaner.
Use Baking Soda To Deodorize
If you want to be sure that the dishwasher is clean, you can add a baking soda cup right at the bottom. Let this sit as the night passes. When morning comes, run empty dishwasher cycle. Cleanliness will be much higher.
Remove Remaining Grime
Take an old toothbrush you do not use to reach hard-to-clean dishwasher spots. When the dishwasher is clean, scrubbing is not needed. However, in some cases you will see that grime is caught under arms, in door seal or in crannies and nooks. Use the toothbrush and you can get rid of most tucked-away debris. Soapy water is all that is needed to gently scrub. Alternatively, use a paste made out of water and baking soda.
How To Make Your Dishwasher Run Better And Longer
- Do Not Confuse Washing With Scraping – Before you use the dishwasher make sure that you scrape off the leftover bits from the dishes. Then load the dishwasher as you always do. This reduces the particles that are stuck on dishes after the cleaning cycles are over.
- Do Not Overcrowd Dishwashers – This is definitely easier said than done since it is really tempting to add extra plates/bowls. However, you need to remember that it is better to just wash some smaller pieces by hand than to run entire loads as things are tightly packed.
- Before You Start The Dishwasher, Run Hot Water – Turn on your faucet and make it run until water is as hot as possible. The very first dishwasher filling cycle is going to be hot. This is a tip that is pretty useful during winter since water ends up taking longer to heat.
- Always Use The Correct Washing Cycle – Most users are tempted to use the lighter, shorter setting with the purpose of saving money on water bills and saving time. Instead of doing this, just wash the really dirty dishes by hand, similarly to how it is a good idea to do your laundry.
- Don’t Add Rinse Aid Two Times – Some dishwasher soaps already include rinse aids. When this is the case you should not add extra rinse aid. You get to save money and can use white vinegar if you have to fill up the aid reservoir.
- Don’t Forget About The Dishwasher Trap – Right under lower sprayers there is normally a piece that can be removed. Below it you might find food bits that did not reach the drain or hair. When you have a pet this is actually something you do need to remove and clean but it is great to check from time to time no matter what.
- Check Dishwasher Seals – After using your dishwasher for a few months there will be ick that will stick around rubber gaskets inside the door and around soap doors. From time to time you want to give these areas a good rub down with a towel.
- Water Heater Temperature – The water heater should be around 120 degrees. The units that you now buy are often set at lower heats. You should not be tempted to turn your thermostat higher or water will flash dry.
- Test The Water – One thing few know is that hard water is really strong on dishes and the ability to get everything clean. You want to test your water and soften whenever necessary.
All the solutions above are going to make your dishwasher run for a longer time. If you know other tricks, share them with others through a comment below.