Your dishwasher is a life-saver when it comes to keeping your kitchen in tip-top shape, but if it isn’t working properly, it becomes nothing more than a huge space waster. Cleaning a dishwasher isn’t the most pleasant task you can find in the kitchen, but the pay-off comes from the hours of time and energy you save by not having to do the dishes by hand. You should clean your dishwasher on a regular schedule. As a general rule once a month is adequate. If you have a large family and run multiple loads each day, you may need to clean it twice a month.
When cleaning a dishwasher, first, run your dishwasher through a complete wash cycle without any dishes in it. You can turn it off when it gets to the drying phase. Next, make sure that it is unplugged or turned off at the circuit-breaker, and also make sure the water supply is turned off. Then gather your cleaning materials including rubber gloves, cleaning cloths or a kitchen sponge, a small bucket, toothpicks, an old toothbrush, bicarbonate soda, and vinegar.
Remove the upper and lower baskets. Put warm water and a cup of vinegar into the bucket. Use the sponge or cloth to wipe down the interior of the dishwasher, the gaskets around the front of the dishwasher, and the spray-arms. Pour a small pile of bicarbonate soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and dip your old toothbrush in it. Use the brush to scrub around the drain holes and clean out the gunk that builds up in the corners and crevices. Pouring a little vinegar into the soda to get foaming action may help remove the really stubborn grime. Finally, use toothpicks to clean out the holes in the spray arms. Wipe down the baskets before replacing them. Turn the water supply and electricity back on and run your dishwasher through the rinse cycle one more time. While it is rinsing, you can quickly wipe down the front of the dishwasher, just be sure you don’t accidentally hit the “off” button.