If you’ve ever opened a dishwasher to a less-than-clean smell, it’s time to clean it. Learning how to clean a dishwasher is actually an easy process. The best time to clean it right after you’ve done a load of dishes and have cleaned out the dishes.
How to Clean a Dishwasher in a Few Steps
While you should always recycle appliances when it comes to that, most appliances will live longer if you clean them. Let’s look at how to clean a dishwasher:
Clean the Filter
Cleaning the filter of your dishwasher is important if you have a filter which can be manually cleaned. And manual cleaning filters are actually more common on newer machines because it gives you an easier way to keep your dishwasher clean.
Older machines have a grinder that can destroy food on the way into the drain. Newer machines have a filter which traps food instead. This is a quieter way to operate, but it can also create odd smells if you don’t clean the filter often.
While every dishwasher is different, there is usually a center console that allows you to remove different parts to rinse them individually. There is usually a mesh that prevents the smallest food particles from getting into the drain, and you might need a small brush for this.
Clean the Inside
After you’ve cleaned the filter, you should also wipe and scrub down the inside with soap and water. We’re going to run a cleaning cycle in a minute, but it is important to get the inside as clean as you can before doing that.
The cleaning cycle isn’t meant to remove food or particle buildup, only to polish things off. You should use a rag and warm water with soap to scrub things down. If you can remove the racks in the dishwasher and soak them, that will work well too.
Run a Cleaning Cycle
If your home has hard water or you haven’t cleaned the inside of your dishwasher in a while, you should run a cleaning cycle. It’s one of the best tricks for how to clean a dishwasher.
The easiest and best way to run a cleaning cycle is to empty the dishwasher completely and put a bowl with a couple of cups of vinegar at the bottom. Make sure the bowl is upright and relatively stable. Don’t put detergent into your dishwasher, but simply run it with the vinegar. This will clean and neutralize the smell.
Clean the Outside
You should clean the outside last because you might get it dirty while cleaning the filter and inside of the dishwasher. Soapy water is great for a plastic dishwasher, but you should use glass cleaner for stainless steel.
Why Isn’t My Dishwasher Cleaning Well?
That’s what we’ve covered in this post! If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes the way it used to be, it might be time to give it a deep cleaning. If you need to repair or replace your dishwasher, it’s easier to know that this is the solution by cleaning it first.
It’s Not Working Properly
Learning how to clean a dishwasher may not actually help the smell or the dishes if your dishwasher isn’t working well. But don’t worry! You may not need a new dishwasher. Sometimes dishwashers simply need a little care and attention, and dishwasher repair services might be able to get things cleaning properly again.
Got other problems with your home appliances? Check out our DIY appliance repair tips.