Your dishwasher is one of the household appliances that you use the most, and has undoubtedly saved you a lot of time by doing all the hard work of washing the dishes, while allowing you to enjoy the company of your guests and not having you thinking of the pile of work you have to do when they are gone.
You would think that a machine solely created for the primary task of cleaning dishes should be pretty clean itself, but you are wrong. Sometimes dishwashers need a little TLC in order to give us optimum results. Here is a short guide to why you should clean your dishwasher, and how you should go about doing so.
Why is it important to clean your dishwasher?
There are many reasons why you should clean your household dishwasher. Take for granted that when you buy any kind of appliance (even self- cleaning ones), you will need to put in some effort to clean and maintain them too. We recommend that you put cleaning your dishwasher on your monthly house cleaning lists. We’ve broken down the reasons for this into a few main points:
Odors: unclean dishwashers may give out foul odors, and such odors might also be transferred onto the dishes they are supposed to wash. That is definitely not the purpose you bought it for!
Blocks: a dishwasher may get clogged if proper care is not taken to remove any residue that is visible. These blocks may also result in less water reaching your dirty dishes, and thus, leaving them still greasy. If the buildup gets worse, professional cleaning services may need to be hired, which may be costly depending on the amount of work that is required.
Your dishes may not get cleaned well after all: if food and the acid residue are not cleaned out properly, it might get back on the dishes you are trying to get clean. This may contaminate the food you will put on it afterward, even though you may think that your dishes actually look clean.
Lower levels of efficiency: buildup and residue can affect the internal components of a dishwasher, subsequently causing you to use up a greater amount of time and energy to wash your dishes. More water and electricity is wasted if the dishwasher is inefficient, so, it will prevent you from living a greener lifestyle.
So, how should you clean your dishwasher?
The methods people use to clean their dishwashers vary and so do the products they use. There is custom made dishwasher cleaning liquids available commercially, but we have opted for the more eco-friendly natural products. Here’s how you can get started:
1. Begin by inspecting it: take a look for any visible residue and clean it out. Don’t forget to look at the spinning arms, the drain, the racks and walls to see how much you can clean out by just eying it. You can use a set of tweezers to remove these unwanted particles.
2. Remove the racks and trays: you should remove any racks and holders and soak them in a vinegar and warm water solution to make the cleaning faster and easier. After the dishwasher has been cleaned, you can dry and replace them back to where they belong.
3. Clean your dishwasher with vinegar: put 1-2 cups of vinegar on the base of the dishwasher and run the quick wash cycle. These will clean and disinfect the appliance.
4. Use baking soda as a deodorizer: do the same with a cup of baking soda as you did with the vinegar (or you can leave it sprinkled in your dishwasher overnight), and run a quick wash cycle to flush it away.
5. Clean the outside of the dishwasher: make sure you take care of the outsides as well, by cleaning away mold, mildew, rust marks, greasy fingerprints, and stains. You can use a damp cloth dipped in a mixture of water and vinegar to do so.
6. You may sometimes need to take apart individual components: you may need to clean the individual components like the filter and dishwasher drain separately, and for this, you may need to open it up a little. Refer to the product manual if you are not sure about how specific parts need to be cleaned.
Thanks to our friends from Eco Clean Madison for these helpful cleaning tips!