How to Clean a Dishwasher
Your dishwasher simplifies the daily routine of cleaning mountains of dirty dishes and cookware, but over time, soap scum and long-forgotten food particles build up in these hard-working appliances. The dirty environment not only provides a breeding ground for germs, it also reduces your dishwasher's efficiency.
To remain in full working order, it needs a thorough cleaning once a month. Doing this will help prevent mineral deposits and hard water stains, as well as musty odors from accumulated grease, food debris and soap scum.
Despite advice on the internet, cleaning a dishwasher with vinegar can actually lead to irreversible damage. Vinegar is just one tick above sulfuric acid on the pH scale, and it can break down the rubber gaskets and hoses inside your dishwasher. Some commercial dishwasher detergents are actually acidic, and some may even contain vinegar.
A similar internet tip advises cleaning with a cup of baking soda, but this can increase the alkalinity of the water inside the dishwasher. This can lead to more scaling on the interior walls and in the plumbing, which is ultimately one of the things you are working to remove when cleaning.
Simple Green Lime Scale Remover dissolves lime scale, mineral deposits, hard water stains, soap scum and oxidation without damaging chemicals. It also deodorizes with a fresh wintergreen scent to leave your dishwasher smelling brand new.
Directions for Cleaning a Dishwasher:
- Clear the drain. Remove the bottom rack from the machine. Use a paper towel to clear out any food residue or other obstacles caught in the dishwasher drain. This will improve drainage flow and increase cleaning efficiency.
- Clean the filter. If possible, remove the filter system (look for a center cylinder to unscrew for removal), and spray thoroughly with Simple Green Lime Scale Remover. Use a stiff, non-metallic brush to dislodge any bits of food, greasy buildup and other material. Rinse thoroughly and replace.
- Clean the inside of the dishwasher. Spray the Simple Green Lime Scale Remover on the interior of your dishwasher, coating the walls, top rack, spray arm and drain. Let the product sit for about 3 minutes to work into hard water deposits, then scrub the entire surface with a wet, non-abrasive scrubbing pad, looped nylon pot scrubber or soft to medium bristle brush.
- Clean the spray arm. Lift the arm off its base, scrub thoroughly and unclog any plugged holes using a toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly before reinstalling.
- Rinse. Run a full rinse cycle on your empty dishwasher. Then run a full cold wash cycle. If necessary, repeat this step.
TIP: To avoid skin irritation or splash-back into your eyes, wear protective gloves and eye protection when cleaning. Consult your machine's manual for any special tips or warranty statements before you begin.
TIP: If you've cleaned your dishwasher and you're still noticing your dishes coming out covered in water spots, the problem is probably hard water. Make sure your rinse-aid reservoir is filled.
TIP: Click here to learn how to better clean and polish the exterior of your stainless steel dishwasher.