Keeping your plates and silverware (and, by extension, your home) clean is a lot easier, thanks to the dishwasher. Just load it, run a cycle, and your dishware is clean and ready for use. But what happens if your glasses look cloudy and your forks dingy?
Dishwashers handle a lot of soap and grime, and it’s only natural they will become dirty at some point. Fortunately, cleaning dishwashers is almost as easy as using them. Follow these simple steps for sparkling dishes with each cycle.
Step #1. Remove and clean the racks
Start by taking out all the racks and removable parts from the inside of the dishwasher. If the racks are not so dirty, just wipe them with a microfiber cloth.
However, if they need deeper cleaning, fill your sink with warm water and add 2 cups of white vinegar. Place the racks and removable parts on the sink and let them soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and set aside to air dry before placing them back in.
Step #2. Clean the inside with vinegar
Grab a dishwasher-safe bowl and pour one cup of white vinegar, then simply place it on the top rack and run the hottest cycle available on your dishwasher. The vinegar will break down the grime and soap residue, as well as get rid of any unwanted smells. If your dishwasher is particularly dirty, you can replace vinegar with bleach.
Don’t forget to clean the inside of the door as well! Mix 3 cups of hot water and ½ cup of vinegar and wipe with a small brush or even an old toothbrush.
Step #3. Clean the filter
Cleaning the filter may not be necessary for all dishwasher models, but if yours has a manual filter, it needs to be cleaned approximately once a month. The cleaning instructions are usually included in the dishwasher’s manual, so check before proceeding.
Remove the bottom racks and unlock the filter to remove it. Soak the filter in a sink full of soapy water and scrub with a soft brush or toothbrush to remove all the grime. Rinse with water and remove any food that may be stuck in the base of the filter before placing it back in.
Step #4. Clean the drain
Cleaning the drain has a few steps, but fortunately, it is another monthly activity. The first thing you need is a large microwave-safe bowl. Pour in 1 cup of vinegar and pop it in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to make it just a bit warm. Then add two tablespoons of baking soda and mix well. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat some water in a pot. Once it starts to boil, slowly pour the water down the drain to prevent clogging.
Step #5. Clean the exterior
Lastly, don’t forget to clean the outside of the appliance. Wipe the door and panel with a microfiber cloth damped in soapy water. Rinse it by wiping it again with plain water.
Pro-tip: Use a glass or stainless steel cleaner if your dishwasher has a finish made of these materials.
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