Gritty dishes? How to clean the dishwasher

Cleaning a dishwasher is still easier than cleaning old ketchup off of a load of plates — here's how easy it is!

How To Clean Dishwasher

Everyone appreciates a homemade meal. But if you’re serving up fajitas and your plates have still got yesterday’s greasy burger juices all over them – it might take a bit of the shine off the evening… 

They might have tried to help you clean up last night – and that’s love. But when the dishwasher’s starting to smell more like the food bin, it’s time to learn about cleaning your dishwasher. 

How to deep clean your dishwasher

Before you start, remember to switch off your dishwasher and unplug it (safety first!). Then check out the manual for the best way to remove the various parts. All done? Here’s how to clean the dishwasher:

1. Remove the rack and spinning arms

The first of our dishwasher cleaning tips is a simple one. Make sure the dishwasher is completely empty of any crockery, drawers, racks, and spinning arms. Set them aside for a second and check the bottom grate to make sure that it’s completely clear of any stray teaspoons (count how many there are and see if any of your friends can beat your score!). 

2. Remove and clean the dishwasher filter 

Now it’s time to think about how to clean the dishwasher filter. First, you’ll need to remove it. There’s a good chance this job will be covered in old bits of stringy spinach and some sort of white gloop that’s probably cheese or mayonnaise or something. Basically: wear gloves.  

Once you’ve lifted it out, simply disassemble it and wash the filter parts in the sink, using an old toothbrush (double check it’s an old one…) or nailbrush and some warm soapy water. It should clear satisfyingly easily so maybe let the less-experienced cleaners of the household have a go at this bit. Finally, put the parts back together and put the filter back.  

3. Clean the inside of the dishwasher door

A really effective and natural way to clean the dishwasher door is to use vinegar: apply some to a few sheets of absorbent kitchen paper and give the door a good wipe down. Pay close attention to the seals and detergent compartments, and use a small brush to get into the tight corners.

Leave a review

4. Clean the racks and spinning arms

The spray holes in the spinning arms are key to the effectiveness of your dishwasher, so make sure they are unclogged. Cleaning your dishwasher spinning arms is easy – just use a pick or tweezers to remove any particles from the holes.

Run the arms under the water and make sure all the blockages are clear and then check the racks for any stuck-on food and give them a good scrub with your brush. Rinse them off and fit them back into your dishwasher, along with the spinning arms. 

5. Get a really clean dishwasher with vinegar

Once all the parts have been taken out, cleaned and reassembled, it’s time to get deep into the dishwasher’s inner workings. Wondering how to clean a dishwasher with vinegar? Simply pour a cup or two into the bottom of the machine and run a full hot cycle. That should break down hard water deposits and clean off any leftover residue that you might have missed.  

6. The natural way to clean dishwasher doors and buttons

You don’t have to use chemicals to get things shiny; a much more natural way to clean dishwasher doors and buttons is to use a combination of vinegar and baking soda. Give the door a gentle scrub with the mixture then wipe thoroughly with kitchen paper. And remember whilst you’re doing it that all those grubby fingerprints were once someone trying to help you out! 

There you have it: a shiny, efficient dishwasher, and no more mysterious gritty patches on your dishes and glasses. Now you can get back to letting your appliances do all the hard work!

Tip

An absorbent kitchen towel that’s strong when wet is the perfect companion when cleaning the dishwasher. Plenty Flexisheets are ideal, because they will hold together, even through soaking and wiping.

How to descale a dishwasher

It’s normal to get build-up of calcium deposits inside your dishwasher, especially if you live in an area with hard water. The minerals in your water can cause a white or greyish residue on the walls of your dishwasher, as well as calcification on both the inside of your dishwasher, and on your dishes. Thankfully, this is easy to get rid of so after some cleaning, your dishes will sparkle once again!

Descaling your dishwasher with vinegar

Once all the parts have been taken out, cleaned and reassembled, it’s time to get deep into the dishwasher’s inner workings. Wondering how to clean a dishwasher with vinegar? Simply pour a cup or two into the bottom of the machine and run a full hot cycle. That should break down hard water deposits and clean off any leftover residue that you might have missed.

There you have it: a shiny, efficient dishwasher, and no more mysterious gritty patches on your dishes and glasses. Now you can get back to letting your appliance do all the hard work. While you’re on the descaling hype, why not learn how to clean your kettle that’s covered in limescale or discover how to descale and deeply clean your coffee machine?


Did you find this article helpful?Thanks for your feedback!
or