1. CLEAN THE INTERIOR
Get rid of musty odors, wash away grease and grime, and help prevent soap buildup with routine cleaning. Here’s how to give your dishwasher’s interior a thorough rinse:
- Once a month, use a cleaning solution like finish® Dishwasher Cleaner to remove mineral deposits, scale buildup, and hardwater stains.
- You can also use a citric acid cleaner every few months to clean and deodorize your dishwasher.
- For a DIY remedy, run a vinegar rinse. Pour one cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your empty dishwasher, choose a deep cleaning cycle, and run the dishwasher at the hottest temperature available. Repeat every few months or as needed.
2. CLEAN THE DRAIN FILTER
To avoid a clogged drain—and a smelly dishwasher—clean the drain filter every few months. Remove the drain filter from the dishwasher and soak it in hot, soapy water. Clean off debris with a sponge or scrub brush. Before reinserting the filter, check that the dishwasher drain is free of debris and remove any particles.
To help prevent food particles from getting stuck in your filter in the first place, scrape large pieces of food off your dishes and give them a good rinse before putting them in your dishwasher.
3. UNCLOG THE SPRAYER ARM NOZZLES
To help maintain the cleaning power of your dishwasher, make sure the nozzles of the sprayer arms are not clogged. If they appear to be blocked, remove the sprayer arms from the dishwasher. Fish out particles from the individual nozzles using a cotton swab or a paper clip. Soak the sprayer arms in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Give them a thorough rinse to remove any remaining particles and return them to the dishwasher.
4. WIPE DOWN THE DOOR SEAL
Your dishwasher’s door seal ensures water stays inside the appliance during cycles and cleans your dishes effectively. Routinely wipe down the seal using a vinegar and water solution to avoid mold and mildew buildup. If you notice any stubborn food particles stuck to the door seal, you can scrub them off using a toothbrush and warm, soapy water.
5. AIR OUT YOUR DISHWASHER
If you don't let your dishwasher air out after a cycle, moisture can get trapped inside and cause mold to grow. If you do notice mold, fill your detergent holder with bleach and run a cycle in your empty dishwasher. If the interior of your dishwasher is stainless steel, use a citrus drink mix instead—it will clean mineral deposits and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh.
6. LOAD DISHES WITH CARE
The key to avoiding rusty dishwasher racks and extending their life is to gently place your dishes in the dishwasher. Most dishwasher racks are coated with vinyl to protect them from rusting. When this vinyl coating gets nicked from rough or hasty loading, rust can form. Take an extra minute or two to carefully and properly load your dishwasher. This not only helps prevent nicks and breakage, but it also ensures you get the most effective clean.