How To Clean A Dishwasher?

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Dishwashers are a relatively new entrant to many Indian kitchens. They found their space during the Covid lockdowns and have now become an indispensable part of our kitchens.

Unlike other appliances, a dishwasher needs to be cleaned regularly, failing which, will adversely affect its cleaning performance. The interiors will start developing a nasty odour and the dishes will remain gritty even after washing. So, let us take a look at how to clean the dishwasher and maintenance tips to enhance its wash performance.

Related reading: Bosch Dishwasher Review After Using For 2 Years

How To Clean Your Dishwasher?

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Though a dishwasher requires regular maintenance, the process is fairly effortless. You just need to spend 10-15 minutes every fortnight and a few minutes every month. Of course, using the right cleaning supplies makes the task a lot easier. So, let us look at the methods to do it right.

  1. Clean The Filter Fortnightly

    Have you ever wondered why a dishwasher takes lesser water compared to hand washing? It is because the machine reuses the water for 1-2 cycles and then finally rinses the dishes in clean water before drying. Before directing the used water to the spray arms, it passes through the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher. If the filter is not clean or if the dishes have minute debris, the filtration process will not be effective. As a result, gritty water will be used for rinsing and it will remain on the dishes even after the final rinse.
    Hence, it is important that you clean the dishwasher filter every 2 weeks. You can remove the filter by rotating it anti-clockwise. Then, keep it under running water or immerse it in soapy water and gently scrub away the residues using an old but clean toothbrush dipped in dishwashing liquid.
    Sometimes, the dirty dishes you have put in may have minute food residues that won’t get captured in the filter. One such example is the ground coconut pulp after milk extraction. They are too fine for the filter. Hence, while keeping utensils ensure that you rinse away such minute food residues.

  2. Clean The Rubber Seal

    The dishwasher door provides a leakproof seal because of the rubber seal that surrounds it. This seal doesn’t come in contact with water during the washing process. As a result, it gets dirty from the food residues that may drip on it while you place dishes in them. Hence, clean it every 2 weeks with a soft damp cloth dipped in diluted dishwashing liquid. If food is stubbornly stuck, gently scrub with a toothbrush. Avoid using vinegar for cleaning as it may damage the rubber seal in the long run.

  3. Rinse the Spray Arms

    Sometimes food particles may get stuck in the holes in the spray arms. As a result, water won’t be sprayed effectively on the dishes. To clean the spray arms, remove them by gently pulling them from the holder. Then, take it to the sink and pour water into its mouth. Check if water flows out through all the holes. If there is any block, use a safety pin to gently dislodge it. Check again to ensure proper flow.

  4. Deep Clean Every Month

    If you follow the steps mentioned above, deep cleaning can be an easy exercise. This only amounts to descaling the limescale deposits gathered inside the dishwasher, the heater, pipe and other components.
    Add descaling powder to the detergent tray in the dishwasher and run it in the hottest and longest wash program. Ideally, use descaling powder sold by your dishwasher manufacturer.
    Some users recommend keeping a bowl of vinegar to descale the dishwasher. However, a few professional cleaners are against it as vinegar can damage the rubber and pipes inside the dishwasher in the long run.
    Even if you have a good quality water supply with a low TDS, it is advised to descale the dishwasher every 1-3 months to enhance its durability. You can reduce the quantity of descaling powder accordingly.
    how to clean dishwasher

  5. Wipe The Exteriors On A Monthly Basis

    The exterior surface of the dishwasher may get dirty with spills, dust and dirt. Hence, ensure that you wipe down the surface with a damp microfibre or cotton cloth regularly. If your dishwasher is on a stand with wheels, move it and vacuum underneath the dishwasher too.

  6. Tackling Mold On Dishwasher Rubber Seal

    In case you find mold on the rubber seal, apply a mixture of baking soda and bleach and leave it overnight. The next day, wipe it with a damp microfibre cloth. Applying bleach to the rubber on a regular basis may damage it. So, as with everything else, prevent mold instead of remedying it.

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