Do you know how to clean your dishwasher? It’s actually a lot easier than you might think! In this blog post, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your dishwasher. This is a task that should be done on a regular basis in order to keep your machine running smoothly. So, without further ado, let’s learn how to clean your dishwasher.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher

Let’s dig into the steps for how to clean your dishwasher and how to clean the different areas, starting with the inside.

Steps to Clean Inside Your Dishwasher

What is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher: We’d recommend adding either baking soda or vinegar to wash your dishwasher or for an extreme clean, one round of each. Place a bowl of vinegar in the dishwasher, run an entire hot water cycle for vinegar, or if you want to use baking soda, add a handful of baking soda and run a short wash, hot water cycle. If you’re dealing with mold or mildew, this may be a job for bleach. Add a cup of bleach to the bottom and run a full wash cycle. Make sure your dishwasher is safe for bleach as it can damage some surfaces like stainless steel.

how to clean a smelly dishwasher

Steps to Clean the Dishwasher Filter

Your dishwasher has a filter that helps to catch food particles and other debris. Over time, this filter can become clogged with gunk. Cleaning your dishwasher’s filter is a simple process that should be done on a monthly basis.

How to clean a dishwasher filter (or how to clean a dishwasher drain trap): First you’ll need to remove the bottom rack to access it. Then locate the filter and remove it from the machine by twisting it to unlock it and pulling it out. Next hand wash it with warm soapy water and then rinse it out with water. If the filter is extremely dirty, you may need to scrub it with a soft sponge or old toothbrush. Once the filter is clean, reinsert it into the dishwasher and you’re good to go!

how to clean a dishwasher filter

Steps to Clean a Clogged Dishwasher

How to clean a clogged dishwasher: First, you’ll want to clear out your garbage disposal. If there is food or debris caught in there, it could be causing the dishwasher to back up. Next, clean your air gap. This is a small hole located on the back of your sink. It allows air to enter the dishwasher and helps to prevent clogs. If this hole is clogged, it could be causing your dishwasher problems. Finally, you can try clearing the clog with a solution of vinegar, baking soda, and warm water. This combination can often break up tough clogs.

best phosphate-free dishwasher detergent

Image Source: Amazon

Should I Use Phosphate Free Dishwasher Detergent?

One of the latest battles between civilization and the environment is happening in our dishwashers. Historically, phosphates have been the main ingredient of dishwasher detergents. Called “builders,” they improve the detergent’s ability to clean. Areas with “hard” water have considered phosphate-added dishwasher detergents to be especially important.

Several years ago, many states banned using phosphates in dishwashing detergents. The manufacturers began making only phosphate-free products, not willing to produce separate formulas to sell in different states. Suddenly, dishwashing detergents weren’t cleaning as well as they had been. Lipstick stains and fingerprints were remaining on dishes after the wash cycle. Pots and pans became dingy. Aluminum utensils began to turn black.

Over the past few years, several phosphate-free dishwasher detergents have emerged as excellent and effective products. Looking for the best phosphate-free dishwasher detergent? One of our favorites is Cascade Complete ActionPacs.

Another fantastic phosphate-free detergent is Finish Powerball Quantum Dishwasher Detergent Tabs.

Should You Use Rinse Agents in Your Dishwasher?

Dishwashers are certainly timesavers, but their efficiency lies in more than their ability to clean dishes quickly. The quality of their output should rival that of good old-fashioned hand-washing. More and more new products have come on the market to help these handy appliances clean better, and rinse agents are some of the most recent newcomers to join the cleaning group. Used in conjunction with dishwasher detergents, rinse agents can effectively combat the remaining residue on the dishes.

Rinse agents are formulated to help remove spot-causing, filmy residue from dishes, glasses, and flatware. Regular dishwasher detergents are most active in the washing cycle. However, spots tend to form in the dishwasher’s rinsing cycle when most of the detergent is no longer present. Rinse agents cause the water to rinse off in sheets during the rinsing cycle. These clean-boosters lower the surface tension of water, so the water “sticks to itself” instead of forming droplets. The drying cycle yields clean, spot-free, film-less dishes without remaining drops on the tableware.

Rinse agents have multiple benefits in the dishwasher, including energy conservation and less spotting from hard water. These days, everyone is becoming more energy-conscious. Using rinse agents allows air-drying to yield drying cycle results while cutting the appliance’s energy usage by up to 50 percent and reducing the carbon footprint. In addition, many homes still have relatively hard water with heavy mineral content.

best dishwasher rinse aid

Image Source: Amazon

The spotty appearance of dishes washed with hard water and detergent alone is due to dried cleaning residue and minerals that have been re-deposited. Rinse agents help discourage the food particles and hard-water composites from reattaching to dishes and leaving film or spots.

The latest dishwasher models have built-in reservoirs for rinse agents. Typically situated close to the detergent cup, these dispensers are easily filled with liquid rinse agent products. Clip-on solid rinse aides are used in dishwashers that don’t have these dispensing cups. The solid products are just as effective as their liquid counterparts but need to be clipped to the top rack of the appliance. Whether solid or liquid, rinse agents can provide substantial cleaning and energy-saving benefits.

Looking for the best dishwasher rinse aid? We recommend Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Aid.

Another fantastic dishwasher rinse aid for hard water is Cascade Power Dry Dishwasher Rinse Aid.

We hope you found this guide on how to clean your dishwasher helpful! Cleaning your dishwasher is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. However, it’s important to do this on a regular basis in order to keep your machine running smoothly. If you’re running into an issue like your clogged dishwasher leaking check out some other blogs around the site. And if you need dishwasher repair, the team at Appliance Repair Specialists is only a quick call away!