Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Fork on a dishwasher

Is cleaning your dishwasher a household chore that you despise? You’re not alone. Here are a few hacks to take at least some of the pain out of it.

Dishwashers usually come with instructions on the best ways to use them. However, these manuals are usually short on information about the best ways to clean them.

But, if you want to find out how to clean a dishwasher like a pro, look no further.

Let’s get to it!

A women expressing disgusted feeling

1. Clean the Outside, First!


Cleaning the exterior of your dishwasher is just as important as cleaning the inside. Therefore, let’s go ahead and start with this area. You know what they say about how to conquer the dirty jobs – in business and in housekeeping: eat that frog!

To clean and sanitize the outside of your dishwasher, do this:

  • Wipe the handle with warm water and a dishwasher cleaner
  • Use soft cloths on the door to avoid scratching or peeling off the dishwasher’s coating. Apply alcohol to more easily dissolve and wipe off stubborn streaks and fingerprints.
  • Clean the inside of the door in a similar manner. Take extra care with the soap dispenser, silverware racks, or anything else attached to the dishwasher door. Check for build-ups of detergents and rinses and eradicate these with alcohol if necessary.

2. Remove Any Rust From the Latch

The latch on a dishwasher gets rusty after it has been in use for a while. As a result, rust can spread into other parts of the machine and onto the dishes.

  • Dip a cotton ball into a stainless steel cleaner to rub on the latch.
  • Next, rinse and wipe away the cleaning agents with a clean, dry cloth.
  • To protect the latch from future rusting, coat it with clear fingernail polish to help waterproof the metal parts.

3. Clean Sticky Food Particles From the Silverware Baskets

One of the trickiest parts of a dishwasher to clean is the silverware basket. The basket is perhaps the area most likely to retain stuck-on food particles and other kinds of dirt.

  • Take this basket out of the dishwasher and wash it separately.
  • Then, clean it thoroughly with warm water, using a bottle brush to get the sticky gunk out.
  • For thick gunk residue, try using a sponge with an abrasive backing. Not only does gunk make dishes dirty, but it also makes the dishwasher smell funky.

4. Check the Filter for Blockages

Cleaning a Sink

The filter is at the bottom of the dishwasher. It is the part that collects the food remains from the dirty dishes. The filter can quickly become a hub for germs if not cleaned periodically. Also, the filter is prone to sticky food remains that are hard to get off.

  • First, take out the bottom rack of the dishwasher for easy access to the filter. Next, remove the filter if it is detachable.
  • Use hot running water to soften any food residue and make it softer and easier to remove.
  • Next, clean it with soapy water and a damp cloth (or a sponge if the gunk is very sticky). Finally, wipe the filter clean with a dry cloth and insert it back into the dishwasher.

5. Maintain a Clean Seal

The seal in the dishwasher plays a vital role in the functionality of the device. It keeps the water inside the dishwater and protects against leaks.

It would be best to clean the seal at regular intervals to ensure the longest life. The seal accumulates a lot of dirt, making it a perfect spot for bacteria and germs to hide. To clean your dishwasher seal:

  • Use warm water and a bottle brush to scrub all sides and edges of the seal
  • Wipe and dry with a dry and clean cloth to finish
  • Check for cracks and breaks. Replace at the first sign of a compromised seal

Dishwasher Green Cleaning Hack – Baking Soda and Vinegar

Cleaning methods

Using vinegar and baking soda is effective for cleaning and deodorizing dishwashers

Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that works perfectly for the routine maintenance of dishwashers. It cleans and deodorizes.

To use this green cleaning method,

  • pour a cup of baking soda into the lower compartment of the dishwasher.
  • Leave it for a couple of hours at least, then rinse with warm water. The results are pleasantly surprising

White vinegar will also get rid of almost all bad smells in dishwashers. It, too, is cheap and readily available. To use:

  • pour a half cup of vinegar in the tub
  • leave for a few minutes
  • then run a hot, deep cleaning cycle

Deodorizing your dishwasher is part of cleaning. Either of these two cleaning agents is sure to give your dishwasher an appealing scent. Using both will guarantee you good results

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Dishwasher Clean

There is this pervading myth that dishwashers are self-cleaning devices. Anyone who believes this couldn’t be more wrong. Unfortunately, this belief has led some people not to bother about the neatness of their machines. However, it is a crucial task you must do. Here are some reasons why you should clean dishwashers.

A Clean Dishwasher Adds to Your Home’s General Cleanliness

A dirty dishwasher – like a dirty home, in general – may send wrong signals about you. Therefore, if you see bits of dirt or stains on your dishes after washing them, check the dishwasher. Then, clean it. You would not want to hand dirty silverware to a house guest!

The Dishwasher Will Last Longer

Money doesn’t grow on trees, right? (Or so my mother always said!)

If you care about the longevity of your appliances, you’ll know that regular maintenance is a preventative measure.

One of the cheapest ways to increase the life cycle of your dishwasher is by cleaning it on a periodic basis. Make it a part of your once-a-month house cleaning routine. Indeed, clean dishwashers last longer than dirty ones. Accumulation of dirt in dishwashers often leads to frequent breakdowns and eventual damage.

When food particles accumulate, they eventually lead to blockages. Down the line, blockages will lead to dishwasher damage. So, instead of spending a fortune on repairs or replacement, clean your dishwasher regularly and enjoy it for a long time. (Or, get the professionals in to do it for you!)

Proper Cleaning Stops the Spread of Bacteria!

Did you know that your dishwasher is one of the coziest spots for germs and bacteria? Although it sounds shocking, it is true! Studies show that dirty dishwashers can make the user unwell. This is due to the germs and bacteria that lurk inside the corners of the machine.

Bacteria and fungi grow and thrive inside the very gadgets you trust to keep your utensils and dishware clean. Unfortunately, in many cases, illnesses caused by dirty dishwashers are usually not diagnosed — because you hardly suspect the source.

However, your dishwasher can quickly go from being a breeding ground for germs to an always fresh and clean kitchen resource. How? With regular cleaning!

Park Avenue Cleaning Specializes in Appliance Cleaning

Cleaning a dishwasher is no mean feat. It takes more than just physical effort to eradicate the toughest stains and putrid smells.

Here at Park Avenue Cleaning in Howard County and Baltimore County, Maryland, we know our way around dishwashers. We understand that dishwashers are different, which is why we don’t always take a one-size-fits-all approach to cleaning dishwashers.

Our team knows the best methods to remove tough, sticky dirt from all your kitchen appliances. And, rest assured, we use only the safest and most environmental-friendly cleaning agents.

Find out more ways Park Avenue Cleaning professionals can help you achieve a long-lasting clean for the dishwasher in your home.