Published 26th October 2021

How To Clean Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers have become a staple part of most kitchens, taking the hard work out of cleaning dirty crockery. By purchasing a dishwasher, all you must do is load the machine with used dishes, switch it on to your desired programme and let it do its magic.

But what happens when your dishes and glassware are not coming out as sparkling as you would like?

Over time, food grease and debris can build up inside, giving the appliance a dirty appearance and unpleasant odour. Food waste also prevents the machine from draining efficiently, which can cause it to flood.

If your dishwasher gives off a stale smell, or you see standing water inside, then try the following tips.

1. Remove and Clean the Dishwasher Filter

First thing’s first – clear any crockery or cutlery from the dishwasher. Remove the lower rack, so you can access the drain – on some models you may not be able to remove the bottom rack, in which case, slide the drawer out as far as it will go.

Examine the drain for any debris or food waste that could be causing a blockage. If you see anything clogging the filter, put on some rubber gloves and pull it free.

Remove the filter from the drain. Dishwasher filters can accumulate a layer of grime over time, as they separate food waste from the water. Prepare some warm, soapy water and leave the filter to soak for 10 minutes.

If any food waste remains on the filter, gently scrub at the food marks with a toothbrush. Be careful not to damage it though, as they can be fragile. Once the filter looks clean, return it to the dishwasher.


2. Unclog the Dishwasher Spray Arms

  • Remove the spray arms by unscrewing them.
  • Add a cup of white vinegar to warm, soapy water and soak the spray arms.
  • Use tweezers to pull out food from the holes.
  • Use a toothpick to push back any remaining food and clear the holes.
  • Rinse the spray arms thoroughly until all debris has washed away.
  • Shake away the water and wipe over with a soft cloth.
  • Once clean, return the spray arms to the dishwasher.

3. Give the Dishwasher A White Vinegar Wash

Add one cup of white vinegar to a dishwasher-safe bowl and place it in the top basket, then run it on a hot cycle. This helps to break down any remaining food particles and cuts through any grease or fats that have settled in the bottom of the machine.

Running an empty dishwasher cycle with white vinegar from time to time will combat odours and stale smells.

Just remember that white vinegar is an acid, and, over time, it can cause damage to parts of your machine such as hoses and rubber gaskets.

It is recommended to use white vinegar around once a month.

4. Give the Dishwasher A Baking Soda Wash

For a more thorough clean, sprinkle in a cup and a half of baking soda in the bottom of your empty dishwasher once the vinegar hot wash has finished. Run another short cycle with hot water.

This baking soda wash tackles stains while also deodorising your appliance.

5. Scrub Away Any Remaining Marks

If the previous two steps haven’t left your dishwasher spotless, grab a cloth, brush or sponge and wipe down the interior to clean away any marks.

Sometimes food debris can cling to the door seal– a toothbrush is perfect for getting into these nooks and crannies for a better clean.

Keep Your Appliance In Top Condition

Keeping your dishwasher clean is one thing, but what else can you do to ensure it remains at its best? Here are a few extra tips to help keep it healthy:

Scrape your plates after eating – Scraping excess food debris from your plates before loading them into the dishwasher means less work for your appliance. If there’s something blocking your dishwasher filter, chances are you could have scraped it into the bin in the first place.

Don’t overload the dishwasher – As tempting as it can be to fit one more place setting in, overcrowding the rack will stop your items from being properly cleaned. The extra food waste also means a tougher job for your dishwasher filter.

Test your water – Hard water can leave mineral deposits in your dishwasher that will eventually cause the appliance to breakdown. These mineral salts don’t just affect the dishwasher, but even the dishes themselves, leaving a cloudy white residue on your glasses, cutlery and more. If you live in a hard water area, rinse aid will help to flush these minerals out, leaving your dishes sparkling.

By following these steps, you’ll prevent any musty smells while keeping your dishwasher in perfect working order - you’ll enjoy sparkling dishes wash after wash. Just make sure you keep an eye out for any curious furry friends first!

To browse our range of dishwashers from top brands such as Bosch, Beko, Blomberg, NEFF, Hotpoint, and Siemens, click here.

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