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The dishwasher is an unsung hero in our kitchens, tirelessly cleaning our dishes and saving us time and effort. But just like any other appliance, it requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly and effectively.

cleaning the inside of your dishwasher

Cleaning Inside Your Dishwasher

What is that smell in the kitchen? You’ve searched high and low and still can’t find it. Finally, you resort to opening cabinets, crawling around on the floor and opening the dishwasher. BINGO! There it is! The smell….it’s the dishwasher!

cleaning the inside of your dishwasher m

Cleaning Inside Your Dishwasher

What is that smell in the kitchen? You’ve searched high and low and still can’t find it. Finally, you resort to opening cabinets, crawling around on the floor and opening the dishwasher. BINGO! There it is! The smell….it’s the dishwasher!

It doesn't clean itself?

Most people don’t even think about cleaning the inside of their dishwasher. After all, it must be clean since it cleans our dishes, right? Wrong!! Dishwashers need to be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that they function and clean properly. Monthly cleaning is a great way to make sure that you don’t forget.  

One of the simplest ways to do a quick clean is to use 1 cup of distilled vinegar in a glass container, place it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run a regular, hot cycle. This will freshen your dishwasher easily and effectively. Now, don’t confuse DISTILLED vinegar with basic white vinegar, which is stronger and has up to 25 percent acetic acid. That vinegar is sold exclusively for cleaning purposes and not a good idea for you to ingest. Learn the difference here. 

For a more thorough cleaning, you will also want to remove the filter, which is typically in the bottom of the tub and is screwed in. You should remove it and wash it in hot soapy water, rinsing it well under hot, running water. If it is quite dirty you may require a brush to help remove the tougher bits from it. This should be done monthly. It also allows you to check to make sure the filter is still in good shape. If it isn’t, it may be time to replace it. A good place to look for a new filter is your local appliance or big box store. If they don’t have what you need, try a place like Appliance Parts Pros. You can shop for many brands online and have it shipped directly to your home. 

Other areas to keep a close eye on and clean monthly are the gaskets. Just using a cloth and hot, soapy water to wipe them down will keep them in great condition and also gives you the opportunity to check them over for cracks or unsealed areas. Remember when you are checking gaskets to pay attention to the ones at the bottom. They tend to get a lot of buildup and you may need to use a toothbrush to get into the corners near the door hinges.  

Other areas to check out while you are in cleaning mode are the spray arms, in particular the holes. Are they grimy looking? If so, you may want to dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and give them a once over before you run the cleaning cycle. This will loosen any build up and help to remove it when the dishwasher is running the cleaning cycle. 

Another thing you should check is the interior walls of your dishwasher. Any signs of damage? If so, be sure to inspect them carefully to ensure that you aren’t going to end up with a leak.  That’s not something you want to discover after the fact. Prevention is key! 

Finally, be sure to check the racks. Are there any signs of damage? Are they level? If they aren’t sitting level, it could be that the rollers need to be cleaned. This is an area frequently missed and the rails that the roller slide on tend to get a tremendous amount of buildup that need to be removed with vinegar and a toothbrush before the dishwasher cleaning cycle is run. This typically only has to be done once every 6 months or so. 

Want to know more about our favorite dish soap is for tough jobs like cleaning the dishwasher and other jobs? Check out our blog post, Dawn Dish Soap: The miracle house cleaning solution or just safe dishwashing? 

heather canning

HEATHER CANNING, 
Head Mom at One Organized Mom
To learn more about Heather’s Story click here.

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