How to Properly Clean Your Dishwasher

open dishwasher with dishes

How to Keep Your Dishwasher Clean

Your dishwasher is one of the hardest working appliances in your kitchen, considering it cleans the grime and food off your dishware. It makes sure your dishes, glasses, silverware, and cooking accessories are sparkly clean.  Keeping it clean and well-maintained will help get dishes as clean as possible and also extend the life of the appliance.

Clean the Gasket Seal Around the Dishwasher Tub

The plastic or rubber-like seal around a dishwasher tub helps to secure it and prevent any water leakage. Over time, the seal can become dirty and possibly smell. Use an eraser sponge  to remove any dirt, grime or food particles from the seal. Check the racks and  the silverware basket to make sure they are clean as well. Over time, dirt can build-up and food particles can become trapped, especially inside the basket.  Some silverware baskets are removable and can be cleaned in the sink. An eraser sponge can also help remove dirt and grime from racks and the basket.

Remove and Clean the Dishwasher Filter 

Check the bottom of the rack or consult your owner’s manual to see if there is a removable filter that should be cleaned.  Many newer-models of dishwasher have a filter that can be removed and washed out in the sink.  The filter traps food and other foreign objects from being sucked into the dishwasher pump and damaging or clogging it. To clean any filters, pull out the bottom rack and check for a removable filter. You may also have protective caging at the bottom of your dishwasher that is removable as well. Unsnap it and rinse it off in the sink with a sponge. Snap the caging or replace the filter back into place once it is clean.

Run a Cleaning Cycle 

Many modern dishwashers have a cleaning cycle that can be run to clean the inside of the dishwasher. Use a commercial dishwasher cleaner,  or else place a cup of plain white vinegar in the top rack of the dishwasher and  run a normal cycle. Some blogs suggest using bleach to clean your dishwasher, however if the inside of your dishwasher is stainless steel this can lead to corrosion and damage. As ever, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to extend the life of your dishwasher and minimize maintenance.