Are you worried that your dishwasher might not be cleaning the dishes properly? This could be because there is some debris inside the dishwasher that’s preventing it from doing its job well. Cleaning the dishwasher routinely should be done to remove any dirt that’s lodged up inside. To do that, follow these steps:
The best time to clean the dishwasher is after it has just completed a run. After that, empty the dishwasher of any dishes.
The first part to check for any signs of debris is the cleaning arm. This is where water runs through, so if there is any debris, you should remove them. Needle-nose pliers, a toothpick, a fine wire, or compressed air can be used to remove any debris. Make sure that whatever you use is large enough to go through the holes in the spinning arms. If you are using metal-pointed objects, be careful not to scratch anything.
Wipe areas that are not washed during the dishwasher cycle such as around the edges of the door and around the gasket. You can use a damp cloth with mild spray cleaner. An old toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used for corners and hard to reach areas.
Also clean the bottom of the door. This is a spot that is not reached by water, so you need to clean this manually.
Check the bottom of the dishwasher for any debris. Debris might clog this area, in which case you need to remove it to let the dishwasher do its job. If there are dirt deposits inside, you will need to disassemble this part.
If needed, remove any hard water deposits. Run your dishwasher on a light or short cycle without any dishes. Use your preferred mild food acid. In case you have missed anything from the cleaning steps above, this could clean them up better. Put powders on the detergent cup and put liquids on the bowl located at the top rack. You can use Dishwasher Magic, Lemishine, or Finish Dishwasher Cleaner. Sugar is not necessary.
Avoid using food acids with strong colors because these might leave stains.
After running the food acid cycle, run the dishwasher again, this time using Dishwasher Magic, LemiShine, or Finish Dishwasher Cleaner to remove mold or mildew. Mold and mildew can be prevented by leaving the dishwasher loosely open after a cleaning cycle to let it dry.
For any rust stains, use a dishwasher-safe rust remover. Look for any flaking or chipping wire basket that might have caused the rust. If you see these, use paint-on sealants to cover them. Also check the bottoms of the racks. If there are many tines damaged, replace the entire rack. If your water supply is the one with a lot of iron or rust, you might want to look into this separately.
Use a mild spray cleaner to spray the front of the dishwasher, then wipe it down with a sponge. A soft cloth could also be used to clean the controls and handle. The ledge between panels should also be cleaned.
Once a month, refill the dishwasher’s rinse aid dispenser. You can do this by unscrewing the round knob at the dishwasher door. The rinse aid should be poured according to the directions from the manufacturer’s manual. Sometimes white vinegar can be used as a substitute for rinse aid. Note that you should not use rinse aid if you are using water softener.
Lastly, clean the flatware basket. Liquid dish soap and soft brush can do the trick.