How to Get a Sparkling, Clean Dishwasher

Many of us rely on our dishwashers, yet give them very little thought. Unfortunately, since they are loaded with dirty dishes day in and day out, it is inevitable that your dishwasher will get dirty. Fortunately, we have some tips and tricks to ensure that your dishwasher is sparkling clean.

Image of a dishwasher

The Dangers of a Dirty Dishwasher

While you may not have given any thought to the dirt and grime accumulating inside your dishwasher, it could pose a health risk to you and your family. Dishwashers are designed to rinse all of the food residues and mess off your dishes, but not all of these particles head down the drain. Inside your dishwasher, there are seals, crevices, and other areas where debris can become caught and start to accumulate. Unfortunately, this can create problems. In addition to this dirt making your rinse cycle dirty, it can also encourage the growth of mold. Your dishwasher creates an environment where bacteria and fungi can grow. Since it is both warm and damp, there is a risk of cross contamination where bacteria may be present near your utensils, plates, and glasses. Even if you can’t see any trace of mold in your dishwasher, if there is a stale or bad odor when you open the door, it is time to give your appliance a good clean.

Easy Ways to Clean Your Dishwasher

Like most other household appliances, your dishwasher requires regular cleaning. Unfortunately, dishwashers can be a little more complicated to clean compared to a refrigerator or oven. If you’re unsure where to begin, we have a couple of simple steps.

  • Run a Vinegar Cycle: The easiest way to get a spotless dishwasher is to run a vinegar cycle. Just pour a cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher, close the door and run a hot cycle. When the cycle is complete, don’t be concerned about a lingering odor of vinegar, as it will quickly dissipate.

After the cycle, sprinkle a little baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Pay particular attention to the corners and around the seals. Allow this to soak overnight. In the morning, run another hot cycle without any detergent. This will leave your dishwasher looking sparkling clean and smelling fresh.

  • Scrub With Borax: If your dishwasher is particularly dirty and there is an accumulation of grime lurking at the bottom and in the corner, you can scrub with Borax. This requires a little elbow grease, but it can create a sparkling finish.

Use Borax and a cleaning sponge. Get down on to the level of your dishwasher and scrub. When you’re finished, add a quarter cup of Borax in the bottom of the dishwasher, and as you did with the vinegar, run a hot cycle. You can even add some dishes to this cycle.

Since the vinegar method does not require scrubbing, this is the easiest option, but remember that both vinegar and Borax are natural cleaning substances, so you don’t need to use harsh chemicals. Although many people use bleach, this can be dangerous and can trigger allergies, so it is best avoided.

If your dishes are not coming out of a cycle clean or there is a nasty smell when you open the dishwasher door, it’s time for a clean. A good clean is simple to do and can become a regular part of your cleaning routine.

After cleaning, if your dishwasher still has an unpleasant odor or is failing to properly clean your dishes, it is time to call in a repair technician. You can rely on an experienced appliance repair technician to assess your appliance and identify any underlying issues or problems that could be compromising performance.