How to eco-clean your dishwasher….
- You will want to start with an empty dishwasher. This will include removing the utensil holder and racks and individually clean them with vinegar (or soap if you are careful to rinse thoroughly). You can clean with vinegar by half filling your sink with water and add about 1 or 2 cups of vinegar to the water.
- Carefully wipe down the arm (you can remove it if you are comfortable with it) and use Q-tips (or a toothpick but be sure not to break the toothpick off inside) to clean out the holes of the arm.
- Wipe down the bottom and the sides of the washer, clean the grate and filter with a vinegar soaked rag. (Our grate had food, hair and even paper I think stuck to it, how hair and paper got there, I have not the slightest idea.)
- If your dishwasher comes with a garbage disposal system, you will want to try to clean that out now as well. This can be done with some ice cubes.
- If you did disassemble anything, now is the time to reassemble it and place the racks back inside of the machine.
- Next, add 2 cups of white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher, close the dishwasher and turn it on to rinse. Stop it midway (do not open the door) and let the vinegar set on the bottom for 20 minutes and really work cleaning it all. Then turn it back on to finish the cycle. If you think it is really dirty, you can let it set overnight and turn it on when you wake up.
- Once done, wipe out the inside with dry paper towels or dry rag and don’t forget to wipe down the outside and edges while you are at it.
- Lastly, it is a good time to wipe and clean the front of the dishwasher to have a wonderful final shine.
Note: If you suffer from mold in your dishwasher, you can place 1 Tbsp of bleach in your dishwasher, however, it is very important that you do NOT mix bleach with vinegar as it creates a toxic chlorine gas. You will want to do a quick rinse with bleach then once done, begin cleaning with vinegar.
Also, some people have used a packet of Orange Tang Drink Mix to clean as well. The citric acid in the mix is similar to the vinegar and will remove any build-up however, I have not used this method though.
For extra cleaning and help with removing a little bit of grime, you can try placing 1/4 cup of baking soda in the open tray of the soap dispenser and that will help clean the dishwasher very nicely.
And now a word of caution: NEVER use ordinary dish soap for cleaning the dishwasher. Even small amounts will create mountains of thick bubbles and it is no fun to clean up that mess. (I had to learn it the hard way...) You have been warned!
Enjoy the clean dishwasher everyone!