follow TidyMom on Pinterest

How to Clean your Dishwasher & Spring Cleaning Challenge

 

Keep your house in tip-top shape.

 

Last week I shared on Instagram and Facebook that I was cleaning my dishwasher.

Seems cleaning a dishwasher peeks a lot of interest! lol

The days are finally getting longer, the sun is warm and the trees are filled with chirping birds.  Signs of Spring always get me in a mood to do some Spring cleaning

Spring CleaningTo get YOU in the mood for spring cleaning, I’ve teamed up with 9 other bloggers for a Spring Cleaning Challenge later this month and there are some pretty amazing prizes that are sure to motivate you and get that elbow grease going!  {Hint: new GE Washer & Dryer} Don’t miss the end of this post to get all the details!

 

How to clean a dishwasher

Cleaning Dishwasher with Vinegar:

 

It might sound odd to “clean the dishwasher”.  After all, you are using it to clean dishes, so you would think the dishwasher would say clean as well, right? Wrong!  You need to clean your dishwasher periodically to keep it running efficiently and smelling fresh!

What I do is pretty simple. The directions might look involved, but really, it’s very easy.

What you need to clean a dishwasher:

Distilled White Vinegar

Baking Soda

Old soft toothbrush, q-tips, toothpicks

Soft cloth

Paper towels

cleaning a dishwasher

Steps to clean a dishwasher:

  • Start with an empty dishwasher.
  • Fill one side of kitchen sink with distilled white vinegar water (I just dump, but I would say 1-2 cups of vinegar with a half full sink of water)
  • Remove the utensil holders and racks. Wipe them down checking  for stuck-on food bits and debris in the bottom of washer. 
  • Remove and disassemble the arm and grate and filter, if you have one, from the floor of the dishwasher (I remove all parts that I can remove by hand).  Place in sink to wipe down with damp rag and vinegar water.  Make sure the holes that spray the water out on the blades are clear of tiny bits of food, you can use a toothpick to clear them if necessary.
  • Using paper towels, remove debris and food gunk (I’ve even found hair??) .
  • Use a damp rag that’s been wet with vinegar water to wipe down inside and edges of door, use a toothbrush or q-tip to get in tiny places. *if you are having trouble removing some gunk, try using a soft toothbrush and a baking soda paste.
  • Reassemble and replace all parts.
  • Clean garbage disposal.  Click here to read how I clean my drains with vinegar and baking soda.  Then run the garbage disposal and dump a cup of ice cubes down while it’s running, to help remove any debris in the garbage disposal.
  • Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and turn it on to Energy or Low Wash. Stop the machine in mid-wash, so the vinegar can set on the bottom and work. Let it stand for about 20 minutes, then turn on to finish cycle. (sometimes I will let it sit over night, and turn it back on to finish when I get up)
  •  When done, wipe out the inside with dry paper towels.
  • Don’t forget to wipe down the outside while you’re at it.  Depending on the type of dishwasher you have,  spray the front of your dishwasher with a mild spray cleaner or stainless steel cleaner.
  • step back and enjoy your clean dishwasher!

cleaning dishwasher

I’ve heard you can clean your dishwasher with a packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid .  I have not tried this, but would love to hear if anyone has.

Since we have hard water, I use Lemi-Shine in most cycles to help cut down on hard water build up on my dishes and my machine.

As far as detergent goes, I usually buy what ever is on sale or what I have a coupon for, although I’ve heard Finish is supposed to be the best.  What dish washing detergent do you use?

 I put the instructions on how to clean a dishwasher into a free printable for you.  Just click the picture then use your browser print option to  print.

Ready for Spring Cleaning with TidyMom?

I’ve teamed up with some wonderful bloggers who are ready to motivate and inspire you for a little Spring Clean Challenge! On the first day of Spring, March 20, we’ll each tackle one area of the home and share insights and tips .  Then we’ll open up a combined linky so you can link up your own Spring Cleaning efforts posted on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry…you can still participate by linking up a photo album housed on Google+, Flicker, etc.

 Need a little motivation to get going? Check out these incredible prizes up for grabs!

 EDITED:  GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Spring Cleaning Prizes - TidyMom

Prizes up for Grab: TWO Washer/Dryer sets
(They’re actually top secret brand spanking new Washer and Dryer sets, and no one outside of GE knows what they look like. The only thing we do know is that they’re going to have some amazing new features you’re going to love!)
Spring Cleaning Challenge GE Appliances Washer and  Dryer
 
Prize up for Grab: Do-it-Yourself Easy Track Deluxe Closet Organization Kit
Spring Cleaning Challenge Shark Steam Mop
 
 
Prize up for Grab: Professional Steam Pocket Mop
Spring Cleaning Challenge DIY Closet Kit
 
 

Spring Cleaning Bloggers - TidyMom

i Dream of Clean : Facebook : Pinterest : Twitter
Amy’s Finer Things : Facebook : Pinterest : Twitter
Home-EC 101 : Facebook : Twitter
Tidy Mom  : Facebook : Pinterest : Twitter
Untrained Housewife : Facebook : Twitter
Live Renewed : Facebook : Pinterest : Twitter
Biblical Homemaking : Facebook : Pinterest : Twitter
Living Well Spending Less : Facebook : Pinterest : Twitter
The Greenbacks Gal : Facebook : Pinterest : Twitter
Warrior Mama : Facebook : Twitter

 

Spring Cleaning dates- TidyMom

 

TODAY:

  • Start thinking about your Spring Cleaning plan of attack……and dream about having one of those incredible prizes in your home

TUESDAY, MARCH 20:

  • Check back with each of the host bloggers to read their tips for Spring Cleaning.
  • Linky will open so get your blog post (or online photo album) ready. For two weeks we’ll share, learn, and clean!

THURSDAY, APRIL 5:

  • Challenge will end and winners will be notified and announced by the end of April

  

Spring Cleaning Hashtag- TidyMom

We would love for you to tweet about your progress, use the hashtag #SpringCleaning12 so we can all follow along and encourager one another.

If you’d like to help spread the word, feel free to tweet :  I’m joining the #SpringCleaning12 Challenge w/ @TidyMom and hope to #win washer/dryer from @GE_Appliances http://bit.ly/SCC2012

What area of you house are you going to tackle?

If you’re new to TidyMom, I would love for you to subscribe for free updates! You can subscribe via RSS feed or Email. I would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for visiting!
About TidyMom

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

Comments

  1. 70

    Thank you so much for posting this article! My dishwasher lately has not been getting my top rack of dishes clean, I used your tips on cleaning the dishwasher, I wasn’t able to take the spray arms out as mine are bolted in (too lazy to go find a wrench) I sat on the floor with a opened up paper clip and couldn’t believe the gunk that came out of the little holes on the arms YUCK. I use vinegar to clean most of my house but never thought to use it in the dishwasher! I have it on speed cycle right now can’t wait to see how much better it will clean now. Sorry I missed the entry to win the washer and dryer, both my washer and dryer are 15+ yrs old the washing machine gets rust on my clothes and the dryer you have to use two dry cycles to get anything dry grrr! Oh well I’m just glad I found your article! Thanks again!

  2. 71

    An owner of an appliance business told me to run the dishwasher without dishes periodically, and look inside during wash at all the soap that appears. It is amazing how much residual soap there is. He also recommended using less liq soap than manufacturers recommend.

  3. 72

    we used to use the finish liquid tabs until i noticed it started giving the silver parts (inside door, etc) of my dishwasher a blue hue to them. almost like iridescent. I’m excited to find this article in hopes that it will get rid of the hue! Thanks!!

  4. 73
    Beth and Andy says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Great article! I heard that half a lemon in a dishwasher can give it a clean and fresh smell, is this true?

    We had an incident with a smelly cup that needed blitzing in our dishwasher and it has left a bit of a nasty smell.

    Many thanks,

    Beth and Andy

    • 74

      My helpful 10 yr old son ran the dishwasher for me and absentmindedly and innocently used dishwashing liquid instead of dishwasher detergent. Yes, we had suds billowing out of the machine. I quickly Googled how to remedy this and discovered that a capful of liquid fabric softener will do the trick. And, sure enough it did. What I also discovered was that my dishwasher smelled terrific for a long while after that! So, now I do that a few times a year just for fun :)

  5. 75

    Thanks for a chance to win such great prizes. I use alot of vinegar also when cleaning my house. I just discovered blue Dawn with vinegar and it works awesome on tub soap scum. I’m definitely add you to my favorites….. thanks, Kristy

  6. 76

    i am 85 years old and is difficult to do everything. i can use the white vinegar and brush a little. thanx for your help.

  7. 77

    That you so much for this post! I recently moved into a new place and have been looking for a way to clean my dishwasher. Also, the closed soap spot hasn’t been opening lately during the wash. I couldn’t figure out how to get the pieces out of the dishwasher, so I skipped that

    • 78

      That you so much for this post! I recently moved into a new place and have been looking for a way to clean my dishwasher. Also, the closed soap spot hasn’t been opening lately during the wash. I couldn’t figure out how to get the pieces out of the dishwasher, so I skipped that part. But while the vinegar water was sitting in the bottom of the washer I scrubbed around with a toothbrush. And oh my gosh, I have never been so disgusted in my life! Food scraped off into the water. Eww. Also, black/ greyish hair looking stuff came off into the water from the thing that opens the closed soap container.. No wonder it didn’t work! This post really helped!

  8. 79

    .I have always loved the science part of clean… the acid and a base taking care of all the elbow grease (and the scum and left-over grease too). However, If you ever see lemons on sale and are cleaning your dishwasher; they will foam up your baking soda just as well as the vinegar. I just prefer the smell.

  9. 80

    I recently bought new silverware. The instructions said to not use any kind of cleaning agent with lemon in it or it would ruin the silverware…just FYI

  10. 81

    I have been surfing on-line more than 3 hours today, but I by no means found any interesting article like yours.
    It is lovely value sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet will be a lot more helpful than ever
    before.

  11. 82
    Wendy Nichols says:

    Good stuff!

  12. 83

    My aunt has used Tang for years to clean her dishwasher. Now I do the same. Just fill the detergent cavities with tang dry mix and run. Cleans and smells fresh!

    • 84
      Kate O'Connell says:

      We do the same thing! It really does work! I was actually reading the posts to see if anyone had suggested it, so thank you Debbie :-)! (Only problem is it’s getting harder and harder to find Tang these days!!! LOL)

  13. 85
    chrissie says:

    I have a winter home in Arizona, so when its time to shut the house up for the long hot summer, I worry about things that could get stinky. Namely the dishwasher! Mine has a lip at the bottom of the door that hides food really well. That lip is not exposed to the regular wash cycle (cheap old DW). Before I leave, I make sure that lip is scrubbed down, now with your handy hints I can do a more thorough job – which is similar to the one I do once a year on my better DW at my permanent home.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The Spring Cleaning Challenge starts on Tuesday, March 20.  Get all the details and see how you can enter to win one of 2 brand [...]

  2. [...] week I mentioned today would start the Spring Cleaning Challenge and I’m tackling the [...]

  3. [...] look around for a local food drive to support, or find your local food bank. And check out these tips for how to clean your dishwasher from [...]

  4. [...] Clean the dishwasher. I’m hoping this will take care of soap scum on [...]

  5. [...] related to the above) Cleaning with Vinegar Variety of Homemade Cleaners for Various Jobs How to Clean a Dishwasher How to Clean Gas Stove Grates How to Clean a Glass Top [...]

  6. [...] The kitchen is coming together.  I spent hours scrubbing out the dishwasher something like this and the stove.  I have the refrigerator left then I need to stain the cabinets natural, paint the [...]

  7. [...] and smears of spaghetti sauce on the dishes. I Googled “how to clean a dishwasher,” thinking this would help. It [...]

  8. [...] Clean Dishwasher. Cleaning 101 for the Dishwasher, found here. [...]

  9. [...] Learn how to clean a dishwasher here.  [...]

  10. [...] 5.  How to Clean a Dishwasher by Tidy Mom [...]

  11. [...] to Clean Your Mattress from Make it Do The Best Way to Clean a Dirty Tub from Finely Ground How to Clean a Dishwasher from Tidy Mom How to Keep Baseboards Clean from Apartment Therapy  How to Remove Hairspray from Bathroom [...]

  12. […] how to clean your dishwasher […]

  13. […] Clean your appliances. It’s likely that certain appliances will be used a lot in the coming days. Go ahead and clean the oven, wipe down the microwave, and wash out your dishwasher (yes, it can be cleaned; see how here). […]

  14. […] to clean a dishwasher – this is important stuff people, we eat of these […]

  15. […] Wow. This American blogger clearly likes a clean dishwasher. She has a printable and detailed instructions with step-by-step pictures on how to clean your dishwasher so it sparkles. Personally, it looks way too time-consuming for my liking. Reading this post makes me want to hire a cleaner. Read her instructions here. […]

  16. […] 5. Clean out your dishwasher. This is a task that is not necessarily forgotten, but skipped over because it takes some time. To clean your diswasher, you should first start by removing the racks and clearing out any debris and gunk from the drains. This includes cleaning out the little holes on the spinning arms. Once you’re finished with that, all you need to do is run your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda. Click here for more details. […]

I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment

*