How to Clean a Dishwasher and Prevent Odor Buildup

Learning how to clean a dishwasher it important to a healthy and fresh-smelling home. If you are like most people, you use your dishwasher every day to wash your family's dirty dishes, but you hardly give a second thought to keeping it clean. Dishwashers clean themselves, right?

It is important to clean your dishwasher regularly. All those food particles from your dirty plates accumulate over time in the crevices of the machine. The interior of the dishwasher is hot and moist, so you have the perfect place for funky odors to develop.

Cleaning your dishwasher can be a little time consuming but it is worth it. The dishwasher will work better and last longer, and you can say goodbye to funky odors

The Cleaning Process
Begin by using a small brush, such as an old toothbrush. Dip the brush in hot, soapy water and scrub around the rubber seal of the dishwasher door. Pay special attention to the bottom of the door and hinges, a lot gunk gathers there. If there is a lot of buildup, you can use a commercial cleaner like Soft Scrub to loosen it.

After the seal, scrub the interior of the door with either the hot soapy water or the commercial cleaner.

Remove the bottom rack and check the drain. Larger food particles frequently get lodged in the drain; if they are, scoop them out until the drain is clear.

With a clean, wet sponge or rag, wipe the entire dishwasher from gasket to door.

Vinegar and Baking Soda
With the dishwasher completely empty, place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with white vinegar in the top rack. Run the dishwasher through a complete cycle using the hot water setting. It is okay if it is a short wash cycle. The vinegar not washes away the remaining grime, sanitizes and removes the odors.

If you don't have vinegar available, you can use baking soda. Sprinkle a cupful on the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a cycle using the hottest water.

Baking soda sanitizes the machine and removes odors. It also removes any remaining interior stains.

Cleaning diswashers may not be the most fun you ever have in your kitchen, but it will help to keep your kitchen fresh. 

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