Do Dishwashers Need to be Cleaned?

Do Dishwashers Need to be Cleaned?

The short answer? Yes! Though every dishwasher cycle leaves your washer full of hot soapy water, leftover food and grime can really start to build up over time. Did you know that the average dishwasher runs over 200 cycles per year? Reliance recommends cleaning your dishwasher every two or three months to avoid buildup and musty odors when unloading clean dishes. Here are a few steps to consider when cleaning your dishwasher:

Hot, Soapy Water

Use a wet cloth or sponge to thoroughly wipe every surface inside the dishwasher including dish racks and the door. This process will remove mineral buildups and food particles that can be the root of all those unsavory odors.

Clean Out the Food Strainer

If you’ve never done this before, this may be the main source of your smelly dishwasher. Simply remove the bottom dish rack and check for any leftover food matter caught on the drain strainer. Wipe clean and replace the dish rack. 

Vinegar Steam Bath

Many companies offer dishwasher cleaning products that are especially effective in homes that use hard water. But sometimes a steam bath is all your dishwasher needs. Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with one cup (eight ounces) of white vinegar and place it snugly between the prongs in the top rack. Then run the dishwasher on the hottest water setting possible without any detergent. The vinegar breaks down any remaining grime and odors. Once the cycle is complete, leave the dishwasher door open to allow the interior to fully dry. Repeat this process every few months, or as needed to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.

Deep Cleaning Your Dishwasher

If these methods don’t work, it’s time to step up your cleaning game. You may have mold or mildew growth. Place one cup of bleach in a bowl on the bottom rack of the washer and run a full cycle. DO NOT use bleach if you have a stainless-steel interior dishwasher. Bleach can corrode or stain stainless steel washers.

Some problems can only be fixed by a professional. If these options don’t work, call Reliance or schedule service online to have your dishwasher and kitchen back to normal and smelling fresh in no time.