Opening the door to a world of hidden grime and bacteria, a neglected dishwasher can be a breeding ground for germs and foul smells. By learning how to properly deep clean your dishwasher, not only will you improve its longevity but also create a healthier environment for your kitchenware. From simple DIY solutions using household items to advanced techniques involving specialized cleaners, exploring the process of deep cleaning a dishwasher will arm you with the knowledge needed to keep this essential kitchen appliance operating at its best. Cleaning and maintaining your dishwasher, ensuring it runs efficiently and keeps your dishes sparkling clean. From clearing out the gunk to refreshing the filters, this guide will cover everything you need to know to give your dishwasher the love and care it deserves.
Importance of How To Deep Clean A Dishwasher
Improved Cleaning Efficiency
Over time, dishwashers accumulate food particles, grease, and soap scum. This buildup can hinder the machine’s performance. A deep clean removes these residues, ensuring that your dish cleaner works effectively and your dishes come out sparkling clean every time.
Extended Appliance Lifespan
Regular deep cleaning can prevent wear and tear on your dishwasher’s vital components. By keeping the spray arms, filter, and interior free from buildup, you’re ensuring that your dish cleaner runs smoothly for a longer period, saving you money and hassle in the long run.
Nobody likes a smelly kitchen, and a dirty dishwasher can be a major culprit. Food particles and mold can cause unpleasant odors. Deep cleaning not only eliminates existing smells but also prevents odor buildup by maintaining a clean, fresh environment inside the appliance.
Energy and Water Efficiency
A clogged or dirty dishwasher has to work harder, which can lead to increased water and energy usage. By keeping it clean, you ensure that it operates at peak efficiency, using less water and energy, which is good for the planet and your bills.
Health and Hygiene
A clean dishwasher means cleaner dishes. Without regular deep cleaning, bacteria and fungi can grow in the damp, warm environment of your dish cleaner. This can potentially contaminate your dishes. Deep cleaning eliminates these harmful microorganisms, ensuring a hygienic wash cycle for your dishes.
Here Are Some Ideas How To Deep Clean A Dishwasher
Start with the Filter
The first and most crucial step in deep cleaning your dishwasher is addressing the filter. This component is the frontline warrior against food particles and debris, often neglected in routine cleaning. Begin by removing the filter, typically found at the bottom of the dishwasher. Submerge it in a mixture of hot water and dish soap. This soaking process loosens the accumulated grime and particles. After a good 10-minute soak, gently scrub the filter with a soft brush to remove any stubborn residue. Rinse thoroughly and re-install it. Remember, a clean filter not only ensures better cleaning of your dishes but also extends the life of your dish cleaner.
Next up is the vinegar treatment, an age-old remedy for a multitude of cleaning tasks, and your dishwasher is no exception. Vinegar’s acidic properties make it a potent agent against limescale and soap scum. Place a dishwasher-safe bowl or cup filled with white vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. Run a full cycle at the hottest temperature setting. This vinegar bath will work wonders in breaking down any greasy build-up and deodorizing your machine. It’s a simple yet highly effective method to maintain a sparkling clean dishwasher.
Baking Soda Blast
After the vinegar cycle, it’s time for a baking soda rinse. Baking soda is celebrated for its cleaning and odor-neutralizing abilities. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short cycle with hot water. This step targets any stubborn stains and eliminates lingering odors, leaving your dishwasher’s interior bright and fresh. This natural cleaning duo of vinegar followed by baking soda is not only effective but also environmentally friendly and gentle on your dish cleaner.
Unclog the Jets
An essential yet often overlooked step in deep cleaning your dishwasher involves unclogging the spray jets. These jets play a critical role in the machine’s functionality, as they are responsible for spraying water to clean the dishes. Over time, however, they can become clogged with food particles, minerals from hard water, and other debris, leading to a decrease in cleaning efficiency. To address this, start by removing the spray arms, which can usually be easily detached. Using a toothpick or a small piece of wire, gently remove any debris clogging the holes in the spray arms. Rinse them under running water to ensure that all blockages are cleared.
This process ensures that water can flow freely through the jets. Providing a thorough and effective clean for your dishes. Reattach the spray arms securely before running your next dish cleaner cycle. Regularly checking and cleaning these jets can greatly improve your dishwasher’s performance and longevity.
Wipe Down the Door
Often overlooked, the dishwasher door is a hotspot for grime and buildup, particularly around the edges and under the seal. Start by wiping down the exterior with a damp cloth and a gentle cleaner, suitable for your dishwasher’s surface. Then, open the door and clean around the rubber gasket and the edges where food particles and residue can accumulate. Use a toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas and a mix of mild soap and water. This step not only ensures a cleaner appearance but also helps maintain the seal’s integrity, preventing leaks and ensuring efficient operation.
Check the Drain
A critical aspect of deep cleaning your dishwasher is checking the drain. Located at the bottom of the machine, the drain can often become clogged with food debris, leading to poor performance and odors. Before cleaning, disconnect power to the dishwasher for safety. Remove any visible debris from around the drain. If accessible, check the drain hose for blockages. Keeping the drain clear not only prevents water from backing up but also ensures your dish cleaner runs more efficiently.
For a natural and refreshing finish to your cleaning routine, use a lemon. Cut a lemon in half and place it on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. Run a normal cycle with hot water. The lemon’s natural acids help to break down any remaining residue and leave your dish cleaner smelling fresh and clean. This step is a natural alternative to commercial fresheners and adds a final touch of sparkle to your now spotless dish cleaner.
Clean the Racks
The racks and utensil holders are in constant contact with your dishes, making them crucial areas to clean. Remove them from the dishwasher for easier access. Wash them in the sink with warm, soapy water. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices where grime can accumulate. For stubborn stains or buildup, consider using a non-abrasive scrubber. Rinse thoroughly and dry before placing them back in the dish cleaner. Regular cleaning of these components not only ensures cleaner dishes but also extends the life of your racks.
The Final Thought
A deep clean of your dishwasher is an important maintenance task that can improve its performance and extend its lifespan. By removing built-up grime, limescale, and food debris, you can ensure that your dishes come out sparkling clean with each cycle. Regular deep cleaning also reduces the risk of foul odors and bacterial growth within the appliance. Taking the time to follow these simple steps for a thorough dishwasher cleaning will not only benefit the machine itself but also contribute to a healthier kitchen environment. So, make it a point to schedule a deep clean for your dishwasher at least once every few months to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.