Looking after your dishwasher properly makes sure that it keeps cleaning your dishes properly, giving sparkling results time after time. Spending a few minutes on weekly, monthly and quarterly maintenance and your dishwasher will thank you.
Dishwasher cleaning hacks
With the constant use of the dishwasher at home, the dishwasher starts to gather food residue and dishwasher detergent build up. The dishwashers clean dishes, but it is important to clean your dishwasher as well. To be able to clean dishes properly, here are dishwasher tips to clean effectively.
Cleaning the dishwasher’s exterior
To clean dishwashers that have a plastic exterior, simply wash them with hot soapy water on the cloth. A vinegar and water mixture with a ratio of 1:3 can be used to wipe on a stainless steel exterior. In both cases, a microfiber cloth can be used for a fingerprint-free finish.
Use it regularly
Making sure you use the dishwasher regularly – at least once a week as this will keep the motor seals in the best condition.
Scrape Off Food
Most manufacturers specifically recommend that items are not rinsed before being washed in a dishwasher. The food residue on the plate neutralises the detergent; if the residue has been rinsed off, then the detergent attacks the glaze on the crockery instead.
However, brushing off or removing large pieces of food means that the drain filter won’t get clogged with residue.
Clean the filter
In the bottom of the machine will be a removable filter, to catch larger pieces of food debris. This can get very dirty and mucky, and for best results needs to be kept clean.
At least once a month, remove the filters and clean them with a soft brush and washing up liquid. Rinse and replace.
Keep the Salt Levels Topped Up
Salt is necessary to soften the water, so keep salt levels topped up and refill when notified by the machine. The salt reservoir is usually in the bottom of the machine.
Many machines come with a funnel, which makes refilling the salt much easier.
Check the spray arms
Food residue can get stuck in the nozzles of the spray arms. The arms are normally removable to make it easier to check.
Use a toothpick to remove anything blocking a nozzle.
Run A Hot Wash
It’s a good idea, especially if you use a lower temperature setting for your regular washes, to run a wash on a hot setting with the machine empty about once every three months or so.
Use a Dishwasher Cleaner
One step up from the empty hot wash is to use a dishwasher cleaner. Follow the instructions on the bottle of cleaner, and run the machine empty with the cleaner.
If dishwasher cleaners are not available, then place a container containing one cup of distilled plain vinegar in the bottom of the machine. Clean the filter, then run a hot cycle without anything else in the dishwasher.
Follow up the vinegar by adding one cup of baking soda to the bottom of the machine, and then run a short rinse cycle.
This is also a good way of quickly removing smells if the machine shows noticeable smells when opened.
You can also try adding half a lemon, or some lemon juice to the machine to get rid of stubborn residue or soap scum. This is also a great way to leave your dishwasher smelling fresh.
Don’t do this every wash, as the acid might attack the seals of the machine.
Washing Kitchen Cloths
Kitchen cloths and sponges can be added to the top shelf of the dishwasher to be cleaned. This is an easy way to wash them regularly to keep them fresh.
A step-by-step guide to dishwasher cleaning
- Prepare your cleaning materials
- Gather your cleaning materials. Prepare an old toothbrush and toothpic to thoroughly clean the racks and the spray arms and a damp cloth to clean the exteriors and the door too.
- Empty the dishwasher.
- Remove and inspect the drain and spray arms
- Using an old toothbrush, go through the dishwasher filter and the spray arm with soap and rinse. Do the same with utensil holders and racks.
- Use a dishwasher cleaner to clean the machine or,
- Pour at least two cups of vinegar in a dishwasher safe bowl or container and place it in the rack. Run the deep clean for a full hot water cycle.
- Then add a cup of bicarbonate of soda to the machine and run a rinse cycle..
- Baking soda should never be used with vinegar in one go. Make sure to do these steps separately.
- While your dishwasher is running for deep clean, you can also clean other dishwasher parts such as the racks and the cutlery basket. Scrub them clean and allow it to air dry.
It is important to have your dishwasher deep cleaned on a regular basis. You can have it clean at least once every six months or a monthly basis if the dishwasher has a self cleaning technology.
How can I make my dishwasher last longer?
In order to make the dishwasher last longer, you must use and maintain it properly. This means that you must clean the filter often and run the deep cleaning cycle regularly. It also means that you should only place things that should be in the dishwasher and that you will not ignore any issue that should be fixed.
On average, most dishwashers’ life should be 10 to 15 years. But some issues may come out at 5 years.
Our dishwasher gets a lot of use – normally used about twice a day, so it is important that we take good care of it. In order to keep the dishwasher in a tip-top shape, use these cleaning tips for your dishwasher.
Leave a Reply