Our dishwashers have a demanding job: We give it a load of dirty dishes, and we expect it to clean them all, without fail, all week long. Unfortunately, not many people remember to give the dishwasher some TLC until a problem becomes obvious. Dishwasher maintenance cleaning is key. Hints that your dishwasher is in need of preventative maintenance include unpleasant odors, standing water from not draining completely, build-up of grime, and dishes that are not properly washed. If you’re looking for a dishwasher maintenance DIY guide, or are wondering, “How often should I clean my dishwasher?”, follow along once a month, every month.
Dishwasher Maintenance DIY
Are you wondering, “How often should I clean my dishwasher?” Dishwasher maintenance cleaning needs to be done once a month, every month. Grab your favorite pair of rubber gloves and follow along to keep your dishwasher smelling and cleaning great all year long.
First, Clean Dishwasher with Vinegar and Baking Soda
Before proceeding, make sure your dishwasher is completely empty. To clean dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda, you’ll need to gather the following items:
- A small, dishwasher-safe bowl
- Two cups of white vinegar
- 1 cup of baking soda
Pour two cups of white vinegar into the dishwasher-safe bowl. Place the bowl of vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run a complete wash cycle, preferably with the hottest water temperature available. Once the first wash cycle is complete, open your dishwasher and ensure that all of the vinegar has been removed from the bowl. Make sure that the dishwasher tub has drained completely.
Next, sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the bottom of the dishwasher. Run another cycle on hot, also without dishes. Make sure to clean the dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda to properly descale.
A dishwasher that smells typically has a hidden source of the stench, so you’ll want to inspect the washer tub and the door seal thoroughly. If there is any mold or mildew that has built up, you’ll definitely want to remove it. This can easily be accomplished with a swipe of a dishcloth dipped in vinegar. For particularly tough build-ups, use a basic kitchen cleaner with a small brush to scrub away the build-up.
Dishwasher maintenance DIY pro-tip: An old toothbrush works great to clean small areas.
Second, Clean the Dishwasher Filter
Dishwasher maintenance cleaning also includes the dishwasher filter. The filter can be a hidden source for smelly build-ups. Wondering how to clean a dishwasher filter? Follow these easy steps in our dishwasher maintenance DIY guide:
- Remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher to find the filter. The dishwasher filter is typically in the floor of the dishwasher and is circular in shape.
- Twist the filter in the direction its arrows indicate, removing it from the unit.
- Wash the filter in a sink of warm, soapy water. Use a small brush to scrub the filter for hard-to-remove build ups.
- Inspect the filter installation area for any built up grime or scale. An old toothbrush works well to scrub this area, as well.
- Reinsert the freshly cleaned filter into the dishwasher
For more information on how to clean a dishwasher filter, peek inside your owner’s manual for your specific dishwasher model.
What is the Best Way to Clean Inside of Dishwasher?
Dishwasher maintenance DIY of vinegar and baking soda not quite cutting it? For especially stubborn dishwasher build-ups, a stronger dishwasher cleaner may be needed. We recommend trying Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner Tablets.
You may be wondering, “How often should I clean my dishwasher with a cleaning tablet?”. While cleaning tablets are handy and easy to use, we still recommend that they are used every month to keep your dishes looking great, and your dishwasher running smoothly.
Is monthly dishwasher maintenance cleaning not solving your dishwasher’s problem? It may be time to call in a professional appliance technician. Book your appointment today with an American Appliance technician!