This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in July 2014.
The act of cleaning the dishwasher presents a lot like the act of cleaning the washing machine: “I wash stuff in there all the time, wouldn’t that mean it’s already clean?”
First of all, I like to think that I’m super clean and tidy. You probably do too. But even the dishwasher, the master of all kitchen automations, I compare to the inside of the shower (time to put down your sandwich): Scum is inevitable, even in basins that we consider to be “clean zones.”
Knowing the best way to clean your dishwasher is imperative for the cleanliness of your dishes, and for the efficiency in operation of the machine itself. Plus, smells. You’ve probably found the remnants of a soggy casserole noodle at the bottom of your dishwasher after running a load, or caught a whiff of something unfavorable if a few dirty plates have been . . . marinating for a few days before you start a new cycle. Sorry if I turned you off to your lunch all together.
So, let’s take 10 minutes to clean this thing, shall we?
Start by filling a spray bottle with a cup of white vinegar.
With your dishwasher completely empty (I know – how often does this happen?), slide the racks out, and disconnect them from the tracks. Use the spray bottle and a dry rag to give the visible interior a wipe-down. Remember to reach up to the ceiling, and clean any top-mounted sprayers as well.
With the drawers still extracted, spray the vinegar to clean around the base of the main drain as well. Use a toothbrush to get in between the holes in the drain.
Finish by spraying and wiping down the racks using the vinegar and a sponge, and cleaning the rubber seals around the edges of the door, and the silverware holders, which are both notorious for capturing crumbs and getting a little icky.