Helpful Dishwasher Cleaning Hints
Just because an automatic dishwasher is made to clean, it doesn’t mean that you never have to clean it. The walls and bottom of the dishwasher can collect debris and mineral scale deposits. The dish racks, drain strainer, roof and door can not only collect debris, oils, and scale but can serve as excellent spots for bacteria, mold, and algae to grow and flourish. The time-tested method of disassembling the interior of the dishwasher and individually cleaning dishwasher parts will certainly work but it involves considerable time and effort. By using one of a few common household substances while running a full cycle with the dishwasher completely empty, cleaning the dishwasher can be both simple and easy.
Cleaning Mold and Mildew
A simple method of removing mold and mildew from the dishwasher is to put a tablespoon of household bleach into the soap dispenser and run the machine for one full cycle. This is after you have emptied the dishwasher and made sure that the bottom of the tub and drain strainer are free of any debris. Wipe down the edges of the door (including the underside bottom of the door) with a solution of ¼ cup bleach to one gallon of water. Use an old toothbrush to get into the crevices. This will leave the entire interior of the machine clean and smelling fresh.
Removing Discoloration and Mineral Scale
Removing discoloration or mineral scale is accomplished by using either a commercially available descaling solution or by simply placing a powder that has significant citric acid content in the soap dispenser and again running the empty dishwasher through a full cycle. A packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid lemonade flavored powder or half a container of Tang orange flavored drink mix will both work just fine. The citric acid in either helps to loosen and break down the hard water mineral deposits and scale.
Easy Preventative Dishwasher Cleaning
One of the simplest and easiest methods for cleaning dishwasher parts is to place a coffee cup full of white vinegar on the top dish rack of an otherwise empty dishwasher and again running the machine through a full cycle. This method has the added advantage of dissolving soap residue (soap scum). If the dishwasher is used daily, using this method every couple of weeks helps to prevent unsightly and/or smelly build-up.
Removing Rust Stains
Cleaning the dishwasher with an eye towards removing rust stains is probably at best a temporary measure. The cause of the rust more than likely lies in either the content of the water or the water supply lines. There are commercially available products targeted towards removing rust from dishwashers and clothes washers, but again, removing the stains is at very best a temporary fix. If the source of the iron (rust is oxidized iron) is either in the water itself or due to rusting water lines, a filter can be installed to remove it prior to it entering the washing machine.
Despite the fact that it is a cleaning machine, automatic dishwashers require periodic cleaning. Cleaning dishwasher parts doesn’t have to involve disassembling the interior of the machine, but can be accomplished by running the empty dishwasher through a full cycle using common, inexpensive household substances.
Cleaning the dishwasher can be pretty gross, so maybe gloves like such can come in handy!
More Great Cleaning Tips to Check out!