Love them or hate them, dishwashers can lighten the workload of washing dishes. Simply load them with dishwasher safe items (hint: wood is not considered a dishwasher safe item), add dishwasher detergent, and set the desired wash cycle and start the dishwasher. Simple, right?
But what do you do when the dishwasher gets dirty on the inside? Have you tried running a cycle with an empty dishwasher in hopes that the resides is washed away? Sometimes residue can build up and it is mostly composed of food remnants and grease. Just how can you get your dishwasher back to a clean state? The solution is simple: baking soda and vinegar!
In our home, we are fans of eco-friendly solutions. Since this appliance is used to wash pots, pans, and dishes that we use for cooking and eating, we don’t like using harsh/toxic chemicals.
Our dishwasher has a stainless steel interior. That in itself tends to hold up better against staining than a plastic interior, but over time, residue will build up. No amount of running the dishwasher empty will clean this residue. It is time to take action.
To start the cleaning process, remove the bottom dish tray. (This gives you easier access to the bottom of the dishwasher and lower sides where residue tends to accumulate). Sprinkle baking soda over areas with residue. Next, spritz vinegar on the baking soda. Note: the baking soda will bubble up. After bubbling ceases, take a sponge (loofah) or gentle scouring pad (don’t use metal as it can score the stainless steel interior) and wipe across the baking soda/vinegar mixture. The residue should lift easily. If necessary, apply a second application of baking soda and vinegar. Allow it to bubble up and wipe again.
Now all that is left is to wipe clean with a damp cloth. Or for those of you who have a short cycle (10 minutes or less) on the dishwasher, set that cycle and allow to run. The interior should be clean and free of residue and baking soda.
The frequency of cleaning depends upon on how frequently the dishwasher is used as well as how dirty the pots/pans/dishes are that are washed in the dishwasher. In our household, we use the dishwasher approximately once a week. As a result, it may take a few years for residue to accumulate.
The best part of all of this? No harsh chemicals. That means that you can load the dishwasher right away without worry. So break out the vinegar and baking soda. You can use it for more than cleaning countertops and sinks.