Ok, I like having a way to organize my posts… All of my cleaning posts will now be under the label “Keep It Clean”. Just thought I’d throw you a heads up on the new label.
So, does washing your dishwasher sound a little redundant? In order to keep your dishwasher running well, it’s a good idea to clean it every so often. I have spent the last few days washing, almost literally, every dish we own BY HAND. A year in storage left a layer of dirt and bleh on them. At this very moment, I HATE washing dishes! We finally got hot water yesterday so at least now I can finish things up with the dishwasher. Boy, have I come to appreciate the dishwasher! Which got me thinking I better make sure I take care of it. Here’s what Mrs. Clean has this to say about cleaning your dishwasher:
We don’t always take the time to scrape and rinse food from plates and bowls before putting them into the dishwasher. Tiny bits of food, grease and soap scum cling together and are deposited in corners of the dishwasher and in crevices around the door. After a time, they can accumulate significantly and become a problem with appearance and odor.
Eww. Right? It’s easy to clean your dishwasher and will be a great thing in the long run. Plus, your house will smell better.
Here’s the How:
1) You can clean the outside of your dishwasher with hot, soapy water and a sponge or dish rag. Use a toothbrush or cotton swabs to clean around the dials, buttons, knobs, hinges and other small and hard to reach spots. You’ll be surprised how much gunk gathers there.
2) Scrub down the inside of the door with a mild abrasive. Baking soda, anyone? Gently pull the rubber seal back and clean under there with your toothbrush. A lot of times, that is where the odor is coming from. Use your toothbrush again on the soap dispenser and the “Jet Dry” compartment. Just clean the outside of the compartment. Use some soapy water to clean the hinges and bottom of the door. You may need an abrasive pad or your toothbrush for that.
3) Take the bottom rack out and set it aside. Although out of reach of curious toddlers that want to ride it… Check around the drain for things that may clog it or become flying projectiles when you turn the machine on. Your dishes are more likely to scratch, chip or break if there is something more than water being thrown at them. Wipe around the drain with your sponge and soapy water. Check the rest of the inside for an visible food remnants and remove them.
4) If you don’t routinely run vinegar through your machine, now is the time to do it. I fill the “Jet Dry” compartment with vinegar every couple weeks. I’ve tried Jet Dry and the vinegar does a better job. Plus, it’s waay cheaper. If you have hard water, this will help keep your dishes clear and get rid of that filmy layer. Also, if dish washing soap (like Dawn or Joy) gets put in the dishwasher use vinegar to eat the mountain of bubbles that will be created. Just pour some in the bottom of the dishwasher, let it run for a couple minutes and check on it. If there are still bubbles, add some more vinegar and repeat until they are gone. Ok, if you don’t use vinegar routinely, fill a cup (dishwasher safe) with it and set the cup in the top rack of the dishwasher, standing upright. If you don’t have vinegar, you can use baking soda. Sprinkle it lightly around the drain on the bottom of the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher through a cycle on the hottest setting possible. Except for your cup of vinegar, the dishwasher should be empty.
Not too hard, and after you do it a time or two, you’ll be able to clean your dishwasher in just a few minutes, ok like maybe twenty minutes. I only clean our dishwasher maybe once a month or two. It will help your appliance last longer and keep your home smelling better. Which, since our kitchen is right inside our front door, is important. Who wants people to walk into their house and think “yuck, it kinda stinks in here?” NOT ME!
I also found this at Mrs. Clean:
Mrs. Clean, Inc., does not recommend gel detergents! There are several reasons why.
- Gels typically contain bleach – primarily chlorine bleach – which causes rubber seals to break down and leak.
- Gels often leave a whitish or cloudy film on glassware.
- Gels tend to stick to the inside surface of the dishwasher, never really being rinsed off.
- Gels are intentionally thick so that they stick inside the soap cup and don’t run immediately into the bottom of the dishwasher. Therefore, they leave a sticky residue inside the soap dispenser, actually cause it to clog and not open during the timed sequence.
- Gels are not effective in hard water – and almost always leave spots.
Ok, so I didn’t know all that… Maybe you didn’t either? Oh, please tell me I’m not the only one. I just bought a bottle of the gel stuff, because it was the cheapest option and I’d already spent way more money than I wanted to that day, but we will probably be sticking with powder from here on out. My Mr Right prefers it anyway.