We’re contining the clean and organized kitchen series today by focusing on another appliance…the dishwasher!
Step 5 :: Clean the Dishwasher
I suppose it’s logical that hot, humid conditions cause fungus, mold, mildew & disgusting gook to grow in the dishwasher. But it’s also logical to think that a machine designed to clean our dishes would also clean itself. Sadly, that’s not always the case!
When the dishwasher door is shut for long periods of time, the moisture is trapped inside it causing bacteria to build up in all the crevices. Unfortunately, that’s why we need to focus on cleaning the dishwasher periodically.
Depending on the condition of your dishwasher, feel free to follow as many or as few of these steps as you’d like.
How to clean a dishwasher:
1. Using an old tooth brush, scrub the following areas of your dishwasher:
- around the door frame (pay particular attention to where the the bottom of the door hinges)
- in the detergent dispenser
- behind the silverware rack
- under the float valve (that thing in the bottom of the dishwasher that just seems to be in the way :)
- around any plastic parts that connect to the bottom or top of the dishwasher
- inside the door vent (if it comes off, you may be surprised what you find in there!)
2. Depending on how much debris is left after scrubbing, you may want to wipe it up with a paper towel. And if you’re really grossed out by it, you can use an old grocery store bag as a barrier between your hand and the paper towel.
3. After scrubbing and/or wiping the above areas, you may want to use an all-purpose spray to clean around the door frame since it really doesn’t get clean during a wash cycle.
4. Next, place a cup full of vinegar in the top rack of your empty dishwasher and disinfect the dishwasher by running it on the hottest cycle possible. If you aren’t anti-bleach and you have a serious mold/mildew problem, you could just dump a cup full of bleach in the bottom of your dishwasher during the cycle instead. But, keep in mind that it should be used periodically and never on a dishwasher with a stainless steel interior door.
5. Refill the rinse aid dispenser (vinegar works great) and enjoy your newly cleaned dishwasher!
If you don’t have a dishwasher….um…I’m sorry! Although, I know several people who are prefer to hand wash their dishes. The good news is that you get the day off!
I’d love to know, on a scale of 1 to 10, how dirty does your dishwasher get?
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