Friday, March 9, 2012

Cleaning the Dishwasher

I have been seeing a lot of pins on pinterest lately about cleaning your dishwasher.  I am almost embarrassed to admit, that I have never done this.  Of course, I have wiped down the outside, but it never occurred to me to clean the inside.  It was always washing dishes, so therefore, wasn't it just self cleaning?  Apparently, I was not alone in my misconception.  Today, I decided to give my dishwasher its first good cleaning - inside and out.


This is my embarrassing before picture.  We have really hard water here, and apparently the drying agent I have been adding to my dishwasher isn't doing that great of a job.  Anyway, I cleaned out the filters on the dishwasher.  Luckily nothing too gross here, but I did find a couple of shards of glass from a drinking glass that had broken in there awhile ago.

Then I gave all the areas that are closed up during the washing process a good scrub.  (i.e. the spaces the door covers when it closes, but the water doesn't get to while it is washing dishes.)  I had to use a toothpick to get some of the gunk out of the corners on the bottom ledge.


I then scrubbed the inside ledges on the door.


I read quite a few different methods for cleaning the inside of the dishwasher, and finally decided to combine two of the ones that I liked best.  First, I added two tablespoons of citric acid to the detergent cup.  (I get citric acid at a health food store, but if you can't find it, some tutorials on pinterest were saying you can use tang or lemon Kool Aid powder because they contain citric acid.)
I then filled a heavy old mug with white vinegar and put it in the middle of the top rack of the dishwasher.  I closed up the empty dishwasher and ran a full cycle with the hottest water I could.

While it was running, I gave the outside of the dishwasher a good cleaning.

These are my results.  Still a few hard water marks, but sooooo much better.  I think those will clear up with regular cleaning.  Seriously, not bad for cleaning up a few years of accumulation.

And remember that old crusty detergent cup?  Much better!!
I will now be adding "clean the dishwasher - inside and out" to my quarterly cleaning list.
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