You may not think you have to clean your dishwasher, but you really do. Just because it regularly cycles powerful cleaning agents inside itself doesn’t mean that it also doesn’t need a little TLC every now and then. If you want to keep your dishes clean, you’ll want to make sure that your dishwasher is tip-top and sanitary at all times.
At Quality Janitorial we know how important it is to take good care of your dishwasher. Here’s what you need to know to keep this little engine of cleanliness chugging away for years to come.
Prep The Washer
Before you clean your dishwasher, run it. The ideal time to clean the washer is right after it’s run a cycle. Completely empty out the dishwasher. Don’t just take out the dishes: You’ll also want to remove the racks, utensil trays, and basket.
Get Into The Nooks And Crannies
Check to see if there’s any debris in the dishwasher. Scraps of food and other waste can get caught up in the holes of the spinning arms. You can use a toothpick or other fine points to CAREFULLY remove the food. You do NOT want to scratch the finish!
You’ll then want to clean the bottom of the door. Sometimes water won’t go beneath the door, so this is a spot where food debris can build up. Check the floor of the washer, around the drain where the water exits. Check the grate on this area and remove any debris clogging it up. If you have a filter in your washer, you’ll need to remove it and disassemble it in your sink. Clean the filter by using a toothbrush and baking soda paste or warm soapy water. Rinse and dry well before putting the filter back in place.
Use your toothbrush and baking soda/soapy water to clean up around the drain. Next, you’ll wipe down the seal of the dishwasher with a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar. Add in a few squirts of lemon juice: Not only will this give it some added cleaning power, it will also freshen the scent of your dishwasher. Scrub the rest of the machine, taking care to get the sides and edges of the machine as well.
Trays And Basket
Take a moment to clean off the utensil trays and basket. Make sure there’s no food stuck to them. If they’re really dirty and need a thorough clean, soak them overnight in warm soapy water and scrub them clean afterwards.
Add In Vinegar
Now you’ll want to run a cycle in your dishwasher while it’s still empty. Before you start it, add two cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and then set it for a low wash. Stop the machine mid-wash and let the vinegar sit in there for about twenty minutes. Then turn it back on and let it finish running. Once the cycle is complete you can put the trays and rack and basket back into the washer.
If your machine has rust stains, you can remove them with a dishwasher-safe rust remover. Make sure that the remover is compatible before you use it! If you notice that the finish in your washer is chipping, try using a sealant made especially for dishwasher racks. This should help keep things from getting worse.
If you have mold or mildew in your washer, you can eradicate it by running a full cycle with ½-1 cup of bleach in an empty dishwasher. Please note that you should NOT use bleach if your washer has a stainless steel interior, or while you’re cleaning the washer with vinegar. Bleach and vinegar DON’T mix.
Once everything inside is clean, take a moment to spruce up the exterior. Clean the buttons and panel by wiping them down and spraying the handle with citrus, vinegar, or some kind of water-based solution. Use a soft fabric to dry off the front of the machine.
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For more tips on how to clean your dishwasher, give Quality Janitorial Services a call at 602-487-7068.