Apart from the times that you load and unload it, your dishwasher is probably the most overlooked appliance in your kitchen when it comes to cleaning. It’s easy to think that this time and energy saving device is a self-cleaning machine with all the washing and rinsing going on in there, but take a close look inside; are you disgusted by what you see? Now just think about the plates you’re eating off that have been washed in this unsanitary environment. Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s talk cleaning!
If you’ve waited long enough for food bits and deposits (or even worse, mildew) to build up, you’re going to need to do a deep cleansing in order to clean and sanitise your dishwasher properly. Don’t be intimidated by the terms deep cleansing, it’s fairly simple but you’ll need to devote a bit of cleaning time to get the job done. Here’s a step by step guide to clean your dishwasher thoroughly.
Step 1: Prepare to Clean the Removable Dishwasher Bits
You can either plug the sink and fill it with clean water, or use a bucket of water to soak the removable parts of your dishwasher. If you don’t want to use liquid dish soap, vinegar serves as a great cleansing product too; add 1 cup to the water and leave the racks, utensil holders and others removal parts to soak. If any of the parts are too big to accommodate in the sink or bucket, scrub them separately using either of the cleaning agents mentioned above.
Step 2: Let the Deep Cleansing Begin
Now that your dishwasher is empty, it’s time to give the interiors a good scrubbing. You can use a water and vinegar/liquid soap solution for this as well, just warm up the water so that it’s hot enough to scrub away any hardened gunk. Choose a non-abrasive scrubber or sponge so that you don’t scratch the walls of the dishwasher. Follow the same cleaning pattern as you would when cleaning your microwave; start by scrubbing the ceiling, move on to the back and sides of the dishwasher, leaving the base for last. Drag out any food deposits before you scrub the base for thorough cleaning.
Step 3: Unclog the Spray Arm Holes if Needed
Chances are that debris may be clogged in the holes of the spray (rotating) arms which can hinder the performance of the appliance. To unclog the holes, use a toothpick or a thin wire with one end bent into a hook shape to aid in scooping out any debris. Splash water into the holes thereafter to remove any loosened deposits. Wipe the base clean and dry and take a moment to appreciate your squeaky clean dishwasher interiors!
Step 4: Next Up, the Door and its Components
Apart from a few splashes, the inner side of the door does not come in contact with the washing process; therefore, it remains stained and dirty until you clean it by hand. The gasket or any rubber attached to the dishwasher must also be cleaned thoroughly as this is where mildew is most likely to form. The gasket holds a lot of moisture on the inner side which takes a great deal of time to fully dry up. To clean the gasket properly, use an old toothbrush dipped in a strong solution of water and vinegar and start cleaning those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Complete the cleaning by using a clean, wet kitchen rag to wipe around the gasket to remove the vinegar. Don’t forget to clean in and around the detergent dispenser and the front and bottom of the door as these are places that are completely neglected during the cleaning cycle. Finally, leave the door open for it to dry completely, along with the other components.
Step 5: Clean and Replace the Parts
This is it; the last and easiest part! Having had enough time to soak, the removal bits of your dishwasher will be a breeze to clean. Simply give them a light scrubbing, rinse them off and put them back into their respective places. You can choose to dry the parts off before replacing them, just make sure to leave the door open until the gasket is dry.
Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Your Dishwasher:
- Run the dishwasher empty every week or so on the minimum water-usage cycle to decrease the likelihood of debris build up.
- To avoid mould from forming, it helps to dry the gasket by hand or leave the door slightly open after every use until it is completely dry.
- Use hot water when running your dishwasher; this helps to clean your dishes and the interiors better.
- To avoid the need of regular deep cleansing, add two cups of vinegar to the base of the dishwasher and run it on an empty, water-saving cycle. Stop the cycle halfway through and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes. Finish the cycle thereafter and leave the door open to air out. Use this method once a month or as needed.
At Simply Maid, we like to keep our cleaning tips and guides simple, yet thoroughly effective, for all homeowners to follow. If you book a cleaning with us, however, we’ll take cleaning up a few notches with complete professionalism to deliver 100% satisfactory results! It’s simple, it’s reasonable, and it only takes 60 seconds to book a cleaning service with us!
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