How to Deep Clean your Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those appliances that does all the cleaning for us. We add dirty dishes and cups with food particles into them, we put in a miraculous little dishwasher cleaners tablet of powder or liquid, switch it on, and then a few hours later, we have clean pots. However, when was the last time you cleaned your dishwasher filter or the bottom rack and utensil holder? The truth is, we don’t always clean the appliances that do the cleaning for us and who wants a smelly dishwasher? But what we don’t realise is that mould, mildew, and limescale can build up under the lower rack and dishwasher parts, causing unpleasant odors and causing our appliances to not work as well on a wash cycle as they could be doing. So if you have a dishwasher, you may be wondering about the best method to deep clean it without using harsh chemicals like a spray bottle of citric acid. Here are some of the things that you can do. 

Before you start

Clean your Dishwasher

To prevent costly repairs and following an empty dishwasher thorough cleaning wash full cycle, you need to check the interior walls, plus the drain and dishwasher removable filter, for food debris. These two things can be easily removed and cleaned separately with a purpose cleaner from the actual device. You will want to remove any food residue or foreign items etc., wearing rubber gloves. You can wash these in the sink with some antibacterial spray or a cup of vinegar and give them a good scrub with a damp cloth every month. 

Buying a deep cleaner

To provide a little TLC, you can buy a garbage disposal or dishwasher deep cleaning liquid from your local supermarket these days to help eliminate the unpleasant smell from the dishwasher drain. You place the bottle of liquid upside down in the bottom of your stainless steel dishwasher once you remove the label, and then run the dishwasher on a sanitize cycle or hot water cycle. 

The DIY method

If you live in a hard water area and don’t want to buy a cleaner and are looking for a more cost-effective alternative, then the best way is to use a cup of white vinegar and baking soda or bicarbonate soda crystals to ensure a clean dishwasher. On a daily basis, it is a good idea to ensure the interior of the dishwasher is cleared following the drying cycle. Then place a bowl of white vinegar the right way up on the top sliding shelf. Run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Once that is finished, add a sprinkle of baking soda or bicarbonate soda crystals to the bottom of the inside of your dishwasher and then run it on the short cycle. 

Other things you can do

How to Deep Clean your Dishwasher 1

If you want to clean further, then there are a couple of other areas of your dishwasher. Use the following easy steps :

  • Inside the dishwasher, on a regular basis, the spray arms can be removed separately and cleaned in warm water in your sink. Ensuring that none of the water spray holes is clogged up with food bits or mineral deposits. 
  • The seal – The seal around the door of your dishwasher can get a little dirty. So a great tip is to clean this. You can use a paper towel, cotton bud or old toothbrush that has been dipped in white vinegar to remove soap scum. 
  • Wipe the stainless steel parts – door and stainless steel interior dishwasher walls – you could also spray the dishwasher door and internal walls and give them a separate wipe down with a microfiber cloth before running the hottest setting with your chosen cleaning method. 
  • Use bleach – If you are really struggling with bad smells due to mineral buildup, mould or mildew, then you can add a bleach wash to your cleaning process. Add one cup of bleach to the bottom of the dishwasher or lower dishwasher racks after you have done the soda crystals step. However, if you have stainless steel inside, then bleach could cause damage, so a dedicated stainless steel cleaner or cups of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar may be an alternative or failing that hot soapy water.
  • Outside of the dishwasher – it is equally important to keep this area and any removable parts clean with a damp sponge and warm soapy water. 

Hopefully, this has given you everything you need to know to deep clean your dishwasher to ensure clean dishes every time. 

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