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Cleaning the dishwasher seems like quite an ironic thing to do when you think about it, you’re cleaning the appliance which is responsible for the cleanliness of much of your kitchenware! But even so, you shouldn’t assume that just because the dishwasher runs on soap and hot water, it stays clean itself. Regular  maintenance of your dishwasher will save you from hiring a dishwasher repair man. There are parts which get left out.

Dishwasher Servicing

You’ll need the following things to clean up your dishwasher:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Toothpicks
  • Soft rags or cloth

Here’s how to do it:

  • Run the dishwasher, or wait for it to complete a cycle. Completely empty it by removing the basket, utensil trays and racks.
  • Verify that all holes are open by checking the spinning arms – this is to ensure that the water runs through without obstruction. Get rid of any debris in the holes of the arms by means of toothpicks or similar instruments (don’t scratch the finish though!)
  • Clean the door’s bottom. Some dishwashers have a point where water can’t go, leading to debris accumulation. Check the floor of the appliance around the wastewater exit drain. A grill or grate will be present there beneath the arm. Check for debris accumulation in this area and deal with it accordingly. If the washer has a filter, take it out and dissemble the parts in the sink. A toothbrush combing with warm soapy water or baking soda paste can be used for washing. Thoroughly rinse afterwards.
  • Now use the baking soda paste and toothbrush to clean the area around the drain. Ensure that you get rid of any food remnants that may linger and lead to bad smell. This part can also accumulate stickers or tags which may come off dishes and jars.
  • Wipe the area around the seal using a damp cloth dipped in white vinegar and some lemon juice. Tighter areas can be cleaned with the toothbrush. Scrub thoroughly so the edges and sides aren’t left out.
  • Check the racks and utensil holders for food debris and wipe them down if necessary. If they’re more than a little dirty, you may have to wash them with warm, soapy water which you can leave to work overnight. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
  • Get rid of hard water deposits by running the washer on a cycle (empty) using distilled white vinegar. Pour a couple cups of vinegar at the bottom and set the appliance to low wash or energy saving. Stop it halfway during the wash to allow the vinegar to act on the bottom. Let it be for twenty minutes or so and then resume the cycle.

Rust stains can be dealt with using a rust remover which is safe for dishwashers. If the wire basket’s chipping is flaking off/chipping, use a dishwasher rack sealant.

Problems with mildew/mold can be solved pouring a half cup to one cup bleach on the dishwasher’s bottom and letting it run a complete cycle.

Be extremely careful not to use bleach if the washer has an interior of stainless steel. Also, never combine vinegar and bleach together!

  • The panels and buttons should be cleaned thoroughly as well. Spray the front and handle of the appliance with a solution of water/citrus/vinegar, or a stainless steel cleaner (depends on the type of dishwasher). Microfiber cloths give great results with stainless steel.
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