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How do I clean a dishwasher?

As you use your dishwasher, bits of food and soap scum will accumulate over time. This can allow germs and bacteria to grow. A clean dishwasher also guarantees optimal performance and the cleanest dishes.

Clearing the Drain:

The first thing you should do to clean a dishwasher is remove the bottom rack and check the drain. Look for any sediment or food buildup and remove it. This allows your washer to drain more quickly, which in turn allows for efficiency and prevents damage to the washer.

Using Vinegar:

Once your dishwasher is empty, put a cup of vinegar into a dishwasher-safe container (bowl, cup or glass) and place it on one of the racks. Run a normal washing cycle. Your washer will use the vinegar to clean itself, removing stains and odors as it does so.

Using Baking Soda:

To brighten the washer’s interior and improve its smell, you can spread a cup of baking soda along the bottom of the washer and run a short hot water cycle. You can use these dishwasher cleaning methods together with one another once every few months for maximum effect.

Other Options:

  • If your dishwasher is filled with mold, put a cup of bleach in the bottom of the washer and run a full cycle. Do not do this if the interior of your washer is stainless steel and never mix bleach with vinegar or baking soda.

  • To ensure a clean and clear drain, run the garbage disposal before running the dishwasher. Since they share the same drain, if there are food particles inside the disposal, the food may block the shared drain and prevent the disposal from draining properly.

  • To save water, energy and ensure the appliance’s longevity, only run the dishwasher when full.

  • Surprisingly enough, you don’t want to clean your dishes completely before loading them into the dishwasher. A bit of grease and food on your dishes is necessary for the proper reaction with the dish soap.

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