Wondering why your dishes aren’t sparkling? Your dishwasher might just need a good cleaning. Thankfully, it’s a lot easier than you might be thinking. Keep reading to learn how to clean your dishwasher super fast!
Parts of a Dishwasher
Before we dive into how a dishwasher works, let’s take a quick look at its different parts. Here’s what you’ll find in most dishwashers:
- Spray arm: This is the part of the dishwasher that sprays water onto your dishes to clean them.
- Detergent dispenser: This is where you put your dishwasher detergent.
- Racks: These are the shelves inside the dishwasher where you place your dishes.
- Filter: This is the part of the dishwasher that catches food particles and other debris during the wash cycle.
Prep Before Cleaning
Before you start cleaning your dishwasher, there are a few things you need to do to prepare.
First, make sure your dishwasher is empty. Remove any dishes, utensils, or other items that may be inside. Also, remove the bottom rack to access the drain and filter.
Next, inspect the dishwasher’s interior for any chunks of food or other debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue that may be stuck to the walls, racks, or other parts of the dishwasher.
If you notice any hard water stains or mineral deposits on the interior of the dishwasher, you can use a dishwasher cleaner to remove them. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using a dishwasher cleaner.
Finally, check the dishwasher’s drain and filter for any clogs or obstructions. Clear away any food bits or debris that may be blocking the drain or filter. If the filter is removable, take it out and clean it thoroughly.
Getting Ready to Clean Your Dishwasher
Make sure your dishwasher works well and stays clean by giving it a good scrub. First, grab everything you’ll need:
- The right detergent: Pick between a store-bought dishwasher cleaner or make your own with vinegar and baking soda.
- A soft sponge or cloth
- A small brush like a toothbrush
- Dish soap
- A clean towel
Choose Your Detergent
Store-bought cleaners or a DIY mix of vinegar and baking soda both work. Just follow the instructions on the cleaner or mix one part vinegar with one part baking soda if you’re doing it yourself.
Extra Tools for Cleaning
Besides detergent, have a sponge or cloth, a small brush, dish soap, and a towel ready. Use them to reach all spots and corners and to dry off at the end.
How to Clean Your Dishwasher: Inside
Keeping the inside parts of your dishwasher clean is key to making it last longer and work better. Here’s a quick guide to help you out:
Food bits and grease often stick to the dish racks. Just pull them out, and let them soak in warm, soapy water for a bit. Using a soft brush, scrub off any stuck-on stuff. Rinse, dry, and they’re good to go back in.
The spray arm does the heavy job of spraying water on the dishes. It can get clogged up with food and grease. Unhook it, give it a rinse, and gently brush off any gunk. A toothpick works wonders to unblock the spray holes.
The filter’s job is to catch food particles. When it gets all clogged up, it doesn’t help clean your dishes as well. Pop it out, rinse it, and use a brush to get off any leftover mess. For a deeper clean, let it soak in warm, soapy water to get rid of stubborn debris.
How to Clean Your Dishwasher: Outside
Don’t forget the outside of your dishwasher—it needs love too! Dirt, smudges, and leftover food bits can make it look nasty. Here are some easy tips to get it shining:
Door Cleaning 101
Grab a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and mild soap. Start by wiping off loose dirt from the door. Next, dab a bit of soap on the cloth and gently clean the door, especially the edges. Rinse it with a clean, damp cloth and then dry it up.
Buttons and Knobs
For the buttons and knobs, all you need is a soft cloth and a gentle cleaner. Dust them off first. Put a bit of cleaner on your cloth and gently rub the buttons and knobs. Be careful not to let the cleaner get inside the controls. Finish off by giving them a good wipe for a nice shine
Maintaining Your Dishwasher
Want your dishwasher to run smoothly for years? Keeping it in good shape is key! Here are some handy tips to maintain your dishwasher:
- Clean the filter regularly: Your dishwasher filter can easily get clogged with food and debris, which can affect its performance. Remove the filter and rinse it under running water to get rid of any food particles and grime. Make sure to clean the filter at least once a week.
- Scrub the spray arms: The spray arms in your dishwasher can also get clogged with food particles and debris. To clean them, remove the spray arms and soak them in warm soapy water for a few hours. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any remaining debris before rinsing them thoroughly.
- Check the dishwasher seals: The seals around the door rim of your dishwasher prevent any water from leaking while it’s running. Over time, these seals can become dirty and damaged, which can cause leaks. Check the seals regularly and wipe them down with a damp cloth to keep them clean and in good condition.
- Run a vinegar rinse: A vinegar rinse can help to remove any built-up residue and odors in your dishwasher. Place a dishwasher-safe bowl filled with one cup of distilled white vinegar on the upper rack and run a heavy cycle without detergent or dishes.
How a Dishwasher Works
Now that you know the basic parts of a dishwasher, let’s talk about how it works. Here’s a quick overview:
- You load your dirty dishes into the dishwasher.
- You add detergent to the detergent dispenser.
- You select a wash cycle and start the dishwasher.
- The dishwasher fills with water and heats it to the appropriate temperature.
- The spray arm sprays water onto your dishes to clean them.
- The dirty water is drained from the dishwasher and replaced with clean water.
- The dishwasher heats the clean water to sanitize your dishes.
- The dishwasher drains the water and dries your dishes.
Avoid These Mistakes
Cleaning your dishwasher can seem tough, but it’s key to keeping everything running smoothly and making sure your dishes come out shining. But watch out! There are some easy-to-make mistakes that can mess up your dishwasher instead of cleaning it. Here’s what to skip:
1. Harsh Chemicals like Bleach: It might feel right, but using strong stuff like bleach can actually mess up your dishwasher and not be great for your dishes. Stick to cleaners made for dishwashers.
2. Forgetting the Filter: The filter catches all the food bits and gunk. Forget to clean it, and you might end up with a clogged drain or damaged dishwasher. Keep it clean as per the maker’s guide.
3. Overloading: Stuffing too many items in there? It won’t clean properly, and you might end up hurting your machine. Follow the loading instructions.
4. Too Much Soap: A little goes a long way. Too much soap leaves your dishes filmy and can be rough on your dishwasher. A few drops are usually enough.
5. Ignoring the Spray Arm: This part sprays water on the dishes. If it’s dirty, it won’t work well, and it could even harm your dishwasher. Keep it clean by following the instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to clean and deodorize a dishwasher?
The best way to clean and deodorize a dishwasher is to remove any debris or food particles from the dishwasher’s interior and then run a cycle with a dishwasher cleaner. You can use a commercial dishwasher cleaner or make your own by mixing equal parts baking soda and water. After running the cycle, wipe down the interior with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
How to clean dishwasher buttons?
To clean dishwasher buttons, use a soft cloth and a mild cleaning solution. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, as they can damage the buttons. Gently wipe the buttons with the cloth, taking care not to get any liquid inside the buttons.
How to clean dishwasher with bleach?
To clean a dishwasher with bleach, first remove any debris or food particles from the dishwasher’s interior. Next, add 1 cup of bleach to the bottom of the dishwasher and run a cycle on the hottest setting. After the cycle is complete, wipe down the interior with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
How to deep clean dishwasher?
To deep clean a dishwasher, remove any debris or food particles from the dishwasher’s interior. Next, remove the dishwasher racks and soak them in warm soapy water. While the racks are soaking, use a toothbrush or other small brush to clean the dishwasher’s spray arms and other hard-to-reach areas. Once the racks have soaked for at least 30 minutes, rinse them off and put them back in the dishwasher. Finally, run a cycle with a dishwasher cleaner to remove any remaining residue.
How to clean dishwasher basket?
To clean a dishwasher basket, first remove it from the dishwasher. Next, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any debris or food particles from the basket. If the basket is particularly dirty, you can soak it in warm soapy water for a few minutes before scrubbing it clean. Once the basket is clean, rinse it off and put it back in the dishwasher.
How to clean Bosch dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda?
To clean a Bosch dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda, first remove any debris or food particles from the dishwasher’s interior. Next, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the interior of the dishwasher. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before sprinkling baking soda over the interior. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub the interior, taking care not to scratch the surface. Once the interior is clean, run a cycle with a dishwasher cleaner to remove any remaining residue.
Abbie Clark is a writer, blogger, and founder of Hey She Thrives, RideRambler, and The Bearded Bunch.
Abbie loves helping people, whether that be with an encouraging word for fellow mamas or sharing diy tips for car restoration.
Abbie is a mama, wife, and friend of Jesus.