Many American households would not be complete without a dishwasher, and they can really prove their worth after big family meals and dinner parties; stacks of dishes, serving platters, glasses and utensils can all be crammed in and washed with minimum effort. However, it can be easy to forget about cleaning your dishwasher, especially when its contents come out sparkling.
Not keeping your dishwasher clean can lead to long term problems though, such as blockages and nasty odours.
Here are a few simple tips for cleaning your dishwasher, and helping to keep it running smoothly and efficiently:
Don’t forget to clean the exterior of the machine:
Dishwashers with plastic frontage can simply be wiped down with a soapy sponge, and a glass cleaning solution should prove effective for stainless steel machines. Take care not to get too much liquid or cleaning solution onto the dials in case they should become damaged.
Clear and clean the filter:
Many new dishwashing machines will have filters that need to be cleaned manually, but as they replace the grinder on self-cleaning machines, they can lead to more food scraps and debris becoming trapped in the filter.
You don’t need to clean the filter after every time you use the machine, once a week should be enough. Take out the bottom rack and remove the entire filter system, which usually consists of a few interlocking parts. Unscrew the central cylinder and that should enable you to remove the entire system. Wash each part thoroughly with warm, soapy water; you might need to use a small brush to help eliminate any bots of detritus that are stuck and can clog the mesh.
Also, use this time to check the spray arm for bits of food and scraps; it’s usually easy to lift off the base. Rinse the arm under the faucet and clear any holes that have become blocked, with a toothpick or skewer. Once cleaned and unblocked, reinstall the spray arm and filter system. If you are using a maid service, make sure your dishwasher is handled carefully.
Get the inside of your dishwasher hygienically clean:
In homes with hard water, dishwashers can quickly become discoloured and nasty odours will penetrate the material. You can use white vinegar to help with the discolouration and the bad smell by placing a bowl of vinegar in your dishwasher toward the centre of the bottom rack and run the machine on a normal cycle without using any detergent.
You may find that the discolouration is tough to shift with vinegar alone, in which case you’ll need to use a store-bought cleaning solution that is designed for that purpose.
These quick and simple steps will help prolong the life cycle of your precious dishwasher, and help it to keep serving you for many more years to come!