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How To Clean A Dishwasher to Improve Its Performance

Do you find yourself wondering how to clean a dishwasher? If your dishwasher isn’t performing as well as it used to, it might be time for a good cleaning! This step-by-step guide will review how to clean a smelly dishwasher to improve its performance and cleaning power.

How to Clean a Dishwasher:
Our Step-by-Step Guide

Wondering how to clean the inside of a dishwasher to remove smells, mold, grime, and build-up? Let us show you how! We will also describe how to clean the dishwasher filter and clear clogs from the dishwasher. Follow these simple dishwasher cleaning tips, and it will be running like new in no time!

what is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher

Step-By-Step Dishwasher Cleaning 

The dishwasher is one of the busiest appliances in the home, and it’s also one of the most easily overlooked. Dishwashers can quickly become dirty and smelly if not cleaned regularly. The build-up of food and grease can cause smelly odors and lead to mold and grime formation. If your dishwasher leaves dishes wet or dirty, it may be time to take a closer look. Wondering what is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher?

To clean the inside of a dishwasher, you will need:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bleach
  • A sponge or scrub brush

Begin by removing everything from the dishwasher, including the racks. Next, mix a solution of vinegar and baking soda. You may also opt to clean dishwasher with apple cider vinegar instead of regular white vinegar. Use this mixture to scrub down the inside of the dishwasher, being sure to reach all the nooks and crannies. Rinse well with hot water. Then, sanitize your dishwasher with bleach, concentrating on areas where mildew growth hides. Once complete, run a rinse cycle on the dishwasher.

Dishwasher Filter Cleaning

Once you have scrubbed the inside of the dishwasher, it’s time to focus on the dishwasher filter. Wondering how to clean a dishwasher filter? The filter is located at the bottom of the dishwasher, underneath the bottom rack.

how to clean a dishwasher filter

To clean the dishwasher filter:

  1. Remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher.
  2. Locate the filter and remove it from the dishwasher.
  3. Soak the filter in hot, soapy water.
  4. Use a brush to scrub any food or grease build-up from the filter.
  5. Rinse well and replace the filter.
  6. Replace the bottom rack.

How to Clean a Clogged Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is not draining correctly, it is likely due to a clog. Clogs can form in the dishwasher hose, the garbage disposal, or the air gap. Wondering how to clean a clogged dishwasher?

To clean a clogged dishwasher:

  1. Clear the dishwasher hose: Remove any food or debris that may be blocking the dishwasher hose.
  2. Clean out the garbage disposal: Use a plunger to remove any clogs from the garbage disposal.
  3. Clear the air gap: Use a toothpick or other sharp object to clear any debris from the air gap.

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

Our dishwashers are an appliance we depend on almost every day. However, dishwashers require a bit of maintenance now and then to keep them running smoothly. Follow these dishwasher maintenance tips to help boost your dishwasher’s performance and longevity.

Descale Your Dishwasher

Over time, food gunk, grease, and mineral deposits can build up in your dishwasher. For optimal performance, we recommend descaling your dishwasher every two months.

To descale, place a dishwasher-safe bowl upright on the top rack of an empty dishwasher. Fill the bowl with two cups of white vinegar. Close the dishwasher door, and set the dishwasher on a hot water cycle. During the cycle, the dishwasher will disperse the vinegar, which will help remove any debris or mineral build-up.

Run Garbage Disposal Before Dishwasher

Before starting your dishwasher, take a moment to run the garbage disposal in your sink. While the two may not seem connected, running the garbage disposal clears the pipes to ensure proper drainage for both the disposal and the dishwasher. Run the garbage disposal before the dishwasher every load to prevent the old food in your garbage disposal from contacting your dishes while they are being cleaned in the dishwasher.

dishwasher maintenance tips

Choose the Right Dishwasher Detergent

Dishwashers are a great time-saving appliance, but they can only work their magic if you choose the right dishwasher detergent. You may wonder, “How do I know which dishwasher detergent to use?” There are a few things to keep in mind when making your selection. 

First, consider the type of water you have. If you have hard water, you’ll need a detergent that is made to power through hard water. You’ll also want to consider whether you want a powder or liquid detergent. Powdered detergents are generally more economical and work well for hard water. 

Some people prefer liquid dishwasher detergents because they are generally milder and more gentle in cleaning.

Dishwasher detergent pods are a combination of powder and liquid detergent and are known for their convenience and superior cleaning performance. However, dishwasher detergent pods are considerably more pricey than their two counterparts.

Why Is My Dishwasher Leaving Water Marks on My Clean Dishes?

Dishwashers are great when it comes to saving time and energy compared to hand-washing dishes. But one thing that dishwashers are not so great at is preventing water marks from being left on dishes. Watermarks can be quite frustrating because they can be difficult to remove and make your dishes look dirty even when they’re clean.

dishwasher leaves water marks on dishes

There are a few reasons why dishwashers may leave water marks on dishes, but luckily there are also a few things you can do to prevent water marks from occurring.

Tips for Preventing Watermarks:

  • Regularly clean the dishwasher: One reason why dishwashers may leave water marks on dishes is that the dishwasher itself is not clean. If there is food or grease build-up in the dishwasher, it can cause water to be dispersed unevenly, leading to watermarks. To prevent this, it’s important to clean your dishwasher regularly, either with a dishwasher cleaner or by running an empty cycle with vinegar.
  • Change detergents: Another reason why dishwashers may leave water marks on dishes is because of the type of detergent being used. If you’re using a detergent that is not designed for hard water, it can cause water to be dispersed unevenly, leading to water marks. To prevent this, try using a detergent that is designed for hard water.
  • Use a rinse aid: Finally, if you’re not using a rinse aid with every dishwasher load of dishes, that could also be causing water marks. Rinse aids help to prevent water spots by causing water to bead up and roll off of dishes instead of evenly dispersing it.

Now that you know how to clean a dishwasher properly, your dishes should come out sparkling like new! If your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes correctly, it may be time for professional dishwasher repair. Royal Appliance Repair can help you get your dishwasher back up and running like new in no time! Our team of experienced appliance repair technicians is here to help! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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