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How to clean your dishwasher

Besides your home itself, the largest household investment you will likely make is in large appliances such as a refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and washer and dryer. But do you know how to protect that investment by properly taking care of pricey appliances?

My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency which works with only the best housekeepers in the business. Based in LaVerne, California, we offer professional housecleaning services all along the 210 corridor in the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire. And we’d love to share some expert hints about how to clean and care for your large home appliances. This week, we’ll focus on one of the most important appliances in your kitchen…your dishwasher.

One great way to care for your dishwasher is to use it regularly. Running it frequently will prevent food and other debris from building, which will, ironically, reduce the need to clean it.

Another great way to keep your dishwasher in good working order is to empty it completely after every load. Here are some other great dishwasher cleaning tips:

  • Make sure you run the garbage disposal every time you start your dishwasher. This will prevent waste from being pulled into the dishwasher.
  • Check spinning arms. Clear debris out of the holes under spinning arms.
  • Make sure holes are open so that water can run freely through them. To reach small holes, use needle-nose pliers, a toothpick or a straight pin. Take care not to scratch the interior of your machine in the process.
  • Don’t forget to wipe the edges of the door around the gasket. This space goes untouched during the dishwasher cycle. Use a damp cloth, an old toothbrush or a soft household brush.
  • Wipe under the bottom of the door, which is a spot where water and debris can accumulate.
  • On the surface of the dishwasher, use a brush or a cloth to loosen and remove hard water deposits.
  • To remove hard water deposits or scale, run your dishwasher when it is empty.  A “light” or short cycle should suffice. Place powders into the detergent cup. Place liquids in a bowl in the top rack. Use a rinsing agent to keep stains from accumulating on glassware. If you have a water softener, don’t use a rinse agent.
  • Other mild (somewhat surprising) cleaning agents—powdered orange drink (such as Tang), lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, commercial dishwasher cleaning product.
  • If you notice the presence of mildew or mold, remove with bleach. Don’t mix bleach with other cleaners or dishwasher detergent. If problems with mold and mildew persist, leave the dishwasher open loosely following each cycle in order to allow it to dry out.
  • If your dishwasher is stainless steel, avoid the use of bleach.
  • To clean the controls on your dishwasher, spray the front of it with a mild spray cleaner of your choice, then wipe with a sponge or soft cloth.
  • For water conservation, run only full loads. And don’t pack dishes too tightly. Water needs to be able to reach dishes to clean them.

If your commitment to keeping a clean home extends beyond your household mirrors, you could benefit from professional housecleaning services. My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.