Although it seems counter-intuitive, dishwashers can get pretty darn dirty—even with all the hot water and detergent constantly running through it. Whether it’s the chemicals in dish washing soap or grease and grime buildup, your once-pristine dishwasher may be brimming with scummy residue, germs, and odors. Not only that, they can get clogged and there will be nasty, smelly water sitting in the bottom, which is gross! While we know we need to properly care for our coffee machines, clean our electric kettles, and sanitize our counter-tops, we rarely think to do the same for our cleaning devices. Luckily, cleaning your dishwasher is quick and easy with items you already have in the pantry: vinegar, baking soda, or bleach.
HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO CLEAN MY DISHWASHER?
Don’t worry! You don’t have to spend all your free time with your head in the machine. Do a deep clean including an alkaline wash and drain trap scrub once a month. You should wipe down the panel and controls once a week. That said, if you notice that the dishwasher is smelly, moldy, or not cleaning as well as it normally does, it’s time to don the rubber gloves and get in there.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY DISHWASHER WITH VINEGAR?
You might be surprised by all the problems you can solve with apple cider vinegar. But for this chore, works best. Fill a dishwasher-safe cup or bowl with white vinegar and place it on the upper rack of your machine. Run the otherwise-empty dishwasher on the hottest setting—this will allow the vinegar to absorb odors and erode grimy buildup on the walls of the machine. Vinegar is astringently acidic, which makes it a great agent for breaking down scum on most appliances (you can use it to clean your washing machine, too). Keep a spray bottle with vinegar on hand and spritz the inside of your machine frequently in between washes for prolonged sparkle.
HOW DO I CLEAN YOUR DISHWASHER WITH BAKING SODA?
Maybe you already use baking soda to remove pesticides from fruit. It’s a safe and mild alkali substance that goes a long way in removing persistent residue left by food waste. Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher and rinse on a hot-water cycle. Repeat this process when you have especially stubborn stains or smells. For extra cleaning punch, create “baking soda bombs” by mixing 2 cups of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl until it’s a paste-like consistency. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment paper and allow to dry for a few hours. Toss them on the bottom of your dishwasher and run a hot-water cycle in an empty machine. For a fresher scent, add a few drops of an essential oil to the mix.
HOW DO I CLEAN A DISHWASHER WITH BLEACH?
Proceed with caution! While bleach is great for killing germs, mildew, and mold, it can ruin a dishwasher if the inside is made of stainless-steel or has any stainless-steel parts on the inside. If your machine has any stainless-steel parts on the inside, use one of the methods listed above. If you have determined with 100 percent certainty that your dishwasher is lined with plastic and has plastic parts (this is usually the case with less expensive models), then bleach away. Follow the same method as vinegar—fill a bowl with about 1/2 cup bleach and run the machine, empty, on the hottest setting.
HOW DO I CLEAN A DISHWASHER DRAIN TRAP?
With most modern dishwashers, you don’t need to fully rinse the dishes before loading them into the machine. Doing so can actually make the machine less efficient, as the internal sensor will think that the dishes are clean and sanitized before they actually are—causing it to run a shorter cycle. That said, go ahead and scrape off any large pieces of food as they are candidate no. 1 for clogging the dishwasher drain trap.
Speaking of the drain trap, check it frequently to make sure there’s not a bunch of gross stuff in there just waiting to stink up the place. If there is, start by removing and disassembling it. Once it’s apart, use a sponge or toothbrush and dish soap to remove any stuck-on food bits or mold.
These are just some great tips to help you get through your week – but if you would like to have your home professionally cleaned; contact Tidy Up Angels and we will do your entire house cleaning. Call the Tidy Up Angels today at 913-642-2006 – or fill out our online estimator for your home: https://tidyupangels.com/house-cleaning/ And ask us about our whole house cleaning services in Leawood KS specials.