A mom who likes to live outside the norm

How to clean your dishwasher

Since this beautiful fall weather gets me in the mood for some deep cleaning (okay, not really.  It’s just that I can open the windows wide and handle the noise and heat some of this cleaning requires), I thought I’d share how to get your dishwasher clean and working well.

What prompted this was my dishes being filmy and it doing a poor job of getting everything off my PLATES!  Those almost always get clean.

First step is to run your garbage disposal while running hot water to get the water in the line heated up and your drain pipes cleaned out.  Then, run your dishwasher with nothing but a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack on the hottest wash you can.  Be sure to clear out any big chunks of buildup along the bottom.

Second, sprinkle baking soda around the bottom of your dishwasher and run another load on the hottest setting.

That should get your dishwasher cleared out and running better.

General tips for making your dishwasher clean better:

  • Always run your garbage disposal before your dishwasher to clear blockage.
  • Run the hot water in the sink before running your dishwasher so that it can clean more effectively with nice, hot water.
  • Only scrape of the big stuff off your dishes and only pre-soak baked on gunk if necessary.  Your dishwasher needs a certain level of dirt and grease to clean your dishes or it will leave a film and eventually harm your dishes.
  • If your dishes are relatively clean, use less soap.
  • Make sure your dishwasher is mostly full, but don’t cram stuff in either.

And did you know that you can use vinegar as a rinse aid?  And you can use lemonade flavored kool-aid as a dishwasher cleaner?  (don’t use other flavors, it can stain your dishwasher!)

One of these days I will find a homemade dishwasher detergent recipe that works, and will share it when I have it tweaked to optimal cleaning power!

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