Thank goodness for your dishwasher! Can you imagine life without it? It takes the pain out of doing the dishes and gives you time to put your feet up. But don’t forget, you still need to clean the appliance from time to time to keep it working at its best and to prevent any nasty odours from developing. Keep reading to learn how to clean a dishwasher effectively.
Are you wondering how would you clean a smelly dishwasher? Let this handy guide take you through what you need to do to keep your dishwasher clean and odourless.
Get your tools ready:
You need a sponge, a few pieces of dry cloth, a toothbrush, a running tap, dish soap or some other non-abrasive cleaning product. Don’t even think about using metal aluminium sponges or rough, heavy-duty cleaning agents as these will do little more than causing scratches and even corrosion on your appliance.
Preparing Dishwasher for cleaning
The first thing to do is to take out all the removable parts. Pull the lower basket out and set it aside.
Release the upper spray arm by twisting the fastener anti-clockwise. The lower spray arm just needs to be pulled up.
Next, remove the drain filter and the thin metal grate covering the housing.
Cleaning all the pieces
Now it’s disassembled, see the best way to start cleaning your dishwasher. First, gather the spray arms, the filter and the grate and rinse them all under the tap. You can use a drop of dish soap if you like.
Next, the essential part of your dishwasher to clean is the drain filter. This is usually the culprit which makes you think, ‘why is my dishwasher smelly?’. This is where all the food particles from dirty dishes end up. If you don’t clean it regularly, dirt build-up will cause bad odours and your dishwasher will not be able to clean as effectively. Wondering how to clean a dishwasher filter? You can rinse the filter in the running tap water and scrub it with a toothbrush.
Next on the list are the spray arms. It’s crucial that the nozzles on the spray arms are free from obstruction. Be sure to let hot water run through the spray arm nozzles to make sure they’re not blocked. Clean the spray arms at least once a week for the machine to operate efficiently.
Pat the components dry with a kitchen towel or let them air-dry before replacing them. Depending on how heavily you use your dishwasher, you should do this routine at least once every two to three months to keep your dishwasher working properly and free of odours. Even if you skip the other parts, filter cleaning is a must for a hygienic and fresh dishwasher.
Give the inner surfaces a wipe
Use a soft damp cloth and wipe the inner walls of your dishwasher. Make sure to dry them completely before reassembling the pieces. Moisture trapped inside your dishwasher will cause nasty odours. And you know where odours come from: bacteria!
Clean the outside surfaces (for freestanding dishwashers)
If your dishwasher is a freestanding one, you should give the outside surfaces a good wipe too. Cleaning the outside of your dishwasher is fairly straightforward.
As with most other appliances, you can simply clean the product’s outer surface and door gaskets gently with a mild cleaning material and damp cloth. Wipe the control panel only with a damp cloth. Let the surfaces dry fully to prevent watermarks.
Run the self-cleaning programme regularly
Most dishwashers feature a self-cleaning programme to clean any nooks and crannies that a regular cleaning can’t get to. Also, it uses the advantage of heat to kill any bacteria inside the appliance all through to the filter and drain system. If your dishwasher doesn’t have a self-cleaning programme then run the dishwasher empty with no detergent on the hottest heat setting cycle your dishwasher has.
Remember not to use regular dishwasher detergent with this programme. Either run it without detergent, or with commercially available self-cleaning agents. You can refer to this video about how to clean your dishwasher for more context.
Cleaning your dishwasher regularly is more than just good housekeeping. If your dishwasher is dirty, this will affect its cleaning performance. Also, keeping appliances clean is one of the first rules to a longer-lasting product.
How to clean a dishwasher naturally?
It is always advised to get in the habit of removing the food bits inside your dishwasher before and after each washing cycle. Ensure you clean out the food particles from the bottom rack so that it does not fall in the filter beneath. Remove leftover food with a paper towel or sponge, and you’ll be able to avoid build-up and bad smells. If you see grime settling onto the interior surfaces, use a damp sponge or a soapy water cloth to wipe it away.
How often should you clean your dishwasher?
Daily cleaning of the dishwasher may include scraping the residual food particles as described above. You can also leave the dishwasher door slightly open for air circulation to avoid the pungent odour. It is advised to clean the dishwashers’ interior with a damp cloth weekly along with the filter. Use your dishwasher regularly to avoid deposits that may block your pipes. Remember to use the self-cleaning programme once every few months or run the dishwasher empty with the hottest heat setting cycle to ensure efficient working of your dishwasher. Find more information about dishwasher maintenance to improve its long-term efficiency
You can also read more about how to clean your dishwasher in Beko’s dishwasher instruction manual.