Knowing how to clean a dishwasher is very important if you own one. Many Americans use dishwashers now, and they’re really handy to have. However, a lot of people don’t know much about it. Parts are often missed, and some people don’t do it frequently enough.
This is another addition to our series of articles on cleaning. If you like this, then check out how to use vinegar in your laundry routine, or the benefits of castile soap. But first, in this article, I take you through how to clean a dishwasher properly. I cover everything from why you need to clean it, to how often, to the simple steps you need to do.
Why Clean Your Dishwasher?
Keeping a dishwasher clean is very important. The main inside of the machine obviously cleans itself, as that is where your crockery, cutlery, and cooking utensils are washer. However, the filter gets dirty and is usually neglected.
You should clean the filter of your dishwasher because this is what collects any residue from food. It gets clogged up, meaning your dishes don’t get cleaned properly. If your dishwasher is leaving dirty marks or water stains, it’s probably time for a clean.
Additionally, it is unhygienic to leave a dishwasher filter dirty for a long time. You don’t want bacteria from old food building up on your plates when you’re washing them!
How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?
So, how often should you be cleaning the dishwasher filter? I recommend at least once a month. This will take away any food buildup, and keep your machine in great working order. They can last years if looked after properly.
Some filters do clean themselves, but I still suggest giving it a thorough manual clean from time to time. Manual clean filters will need cleaning more often than automatic ones. Every couple of weeks should be sufficient, or when you start to see a buildup of residue and food.
Easy Steps To Clean
There are 5 simple steps to clean your dishwasher properly. The focus here is on the filter, although you can clean other parts too. I’m talking through the filter cleaning process here because this is the part most frequently forgotten which has the biggest impact on the dishwasher’s effectiveness.
There are a few cleaning products and tools you’ll need to get started:
- Dishwashing soap with degreaser (for example, Dawn Dish Soap)
- Distilled vinegar
- Bowl or sink
- Dishcloth or sponge
- Old toothbrush
Once you’ve got all these bits, you’re ready to go!
Step 1 – Find And Remove The Filter
The first step to cleaning a dishwasher is to find the filter. Most are round and found at the bottom of the inside of the machine. You typically twist to remove. Alternatively, some are flat and you can easily lift them out.
Once the filter is removed, you can get ready to clean it.
Step 2 – Prepare Cleaning Solution
To clean a dishwasher you need an effective cleaning solution. Fill your sink or large bowl with hot water and some dish soap. Make sure it contains a degreaser as this is what will make sure the filter is cleaned properly. You can also add some vinegar to this solution as it is a great disinfectant.
Step 3 – Scrub Filter To Clean Your Dishwasher
Next, put the filter into the cleaning solution and soak it for around 10 minutes. This is a good idea if there’s a lot of food in it, or anything else stuck that is hard to get off.
Once soaked, start using your dishcloth or sponge to scrub the filter. Get your toothbrush and use this to get any tough bits out of the perforations in the filter plastic. Once clean, rinse ell with hot water.
Step 4 – Wipe Down Dishwaser Interior
After cleaning the filter, you need to make sure it’s going back into a clean machine. Use a sponge and some dish soap or white vinegar to scrub around the bottom where the filter is housed. You can also wipe down the sides and any other areas you can see some dirt buildup.
Step 5 – Replace The Filter
Finally, replace the filter. And there you have it: it really is that simple to clean a dishwasher!