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Best Methods to Clean Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers. We love them because having them means we no longer need to be elbow deep in suds, hot water and floating soggy food bits (gag), but we hate them because for all the cleaning they do, we still need to clean them, and after a month's worth of buildup at that.

When you clean your dishwasher, you want to get a GOOD clean in, get into all the creases and folds and make sure all the gunk is gone. Since the hoses and dispensers don’t ALWAYS rinse out all the soap, there is likely some sort of slimy nastiness in the hoses and containers.

I went to The Spruce and found a decent method for cleaning your dishwasher and some handy tools to do it with! First and foremost, you should deep clean your dishwasher at least once a month; secondly, let’s get to the goods and tools to help us with this task!

Vinegar and baking soda are SO useful in everyday life. We have posted eco-friendly blogs, how-to blogs, ‘what method is better’ blogs, etc., and in all of them, this duo is top shelf in all cleaning needs. Along with a toothbrush, soft bristle brush (like the kind you would use to buff up your nails) and a coarse-lined pipe cleaner (for the sprayer arms), you can do some serious damage to the dirt in your dishwasher.

Materials you will need:

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Mild dish soap (Dawn recommended)

  • Stainless steel cleaner OR Baby oil and a microfiber cloth (exterior)

  • Soft bristle brush

  • Flexible wire or pipe cleaner

  • Toothbrush

Step 1:

  • Remove the top and bottom racks and clean the sprayer arms. Take your pipe cleaner or flexible wire and poke it through the arm holes to remove the gunk that has made its home there which may cause less water distribution (therefore, cloudy glasses and spotted dishes)

  • Remove the strainer at the bottom of your dishwasher. Dip an old toothbrush into vinegar and give the crevices a good long scrub. Use the soft bristle brush and vinegar to take off all the built-up soap scum and any stuck-on debris from the strainer itself.

  • Use the toothbrush to de-funk the soap dispenser and utensil holder, scrub the rubber seals around the door, and use the wider soft bristle brush to scrub the floor of the dishwasher.

  • Use the sponge with some vinegar to clean the racks of soap scum buildup.

  • Once this is all finished, replace the top and bottom racks.

Step 2:

  • Run a wash cycle with vinegar. Fill a glass or plastic container with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, and set it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run your regular wash cycle, and skip the drying cycle.

Step 3:

  • Rinse with baking soda. When the vinegar has run through the wash cycle, sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda onto the inside floor of the dishwasher, run a short hot water rinse cycle (skip drying) and open the door to let the machine air dry. The vinegar will strip away the grease buildup, and the baking soda will take care of any lingering odours.



The mix won’t explode, but the foaming action's unsightly mess will make it not so fun to clean up.

Now that your dishwasher is sparkling and ready to rock inside, time to spruce up the outside.

For machines made of everyday metal (that isn’t stainless steel), simply use a microfiber cloth and a solution of warm water and dish soap. First, lightly dip the toothbrush into your dish soap solution and gently scrub around the buttons and dials, loosening all the grit that slips into the spaces between the dial base, buttons, and dials themselves. Next, use your damp microfiber cloth to scrub the outside of the machine and buff it dry with a piece of paper towel. If your dishwasher is stainless steel, you can use some stainless steel wipes like Weiman's or your dish soap solution and a cloth to lightly wipe the surface of your machine, then dry it with a dry microfiber cloth. If you do not like the smell of chemicals, baby oil is another option to add a nice shine to the outside surface.

And there you have it!! We got through this thing together!! In total, it takes about an hour or two of labor, but your dishes will thank you, you won’t have to run more than one wash cycle, and there won’t be any nasty floaties at the bottom of your favorite kitchen appliance (it can’t just be me who has a favorite appliance?) 😀

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we will discuss decluttering and why it triggers our emotions!

Have a great week!

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