How to Clean Your Dishwasher

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How to Clean your Dishwasher

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Your dishwasher works hard everyday to bring you sparkling clean dishes. But if you washer hasn’t been quite up to snuff lately, it may need a good cleaning to get it back on track. Luckily, cleaning your dishwasher is pretty simple!

Clean out the catch: If food bits have piled up around the drain, you can get them out easily with a paper towel and a little elbow grease. Try to get all of the little bits out from around the drain, and then wipe down the whole inside with a paper towel. It will ensure there’s no food globs or residue left inside of your dishwasher.

Scrub the racks: Pull out the racks and hand wash them, getting off any stick foods or stains. You can use baking soda mixed with water if you have particularly difficult stains. Rub down the utensil holders too; they may be holding onto some food particles as well.

Clean the jets: The jets or arms (the parts that spit water out during the cycle) can also get little bits of food stuck in them. You may need a pair of pliers or tweezers to get all of it out, but the result will be freely flowing hot water, so it will be worth all of the effort!

Use vinegar: Take a measuring cup and fill it with vinegar. Place the cup right-side up in the dishwasher and run it on the hottest setting possible. If you have a fill and hold setting, you can also use that to get the dishwasher really clean. The acids in the vinegar will scrub the insides and loosen up any hard stains that may be sticking around.

USE TANG:  This is another method that many Spend With Pennies readers swear by!!!  The acidity of Tang orange drink can shine up your dishwasher.    Add 1 cup of Tang to your empty dishwasher and run it through on the hottest cycle possible.  I would LOVE to hear some feedback on this method if any of you have used it!

Once your dishwasher is nice and clean, it should get your dishes cleaner and work more efficiently. Make sure to keep the trap free of food, and wash your dishwasher in vinegar every two months or so to make sure it stays clean!

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. My family has been using tang for over 25 years and it works great!!! Just fill up your soap dispenser with tang and sprinkle about 1-1 1/2 cups on the bottom of your washer then run a full hot cycle. It does not work on stainless steel though, only on dish washers that are white inside. You won’t believe the results.

  2. Try using about 1/2 cup chlorine bleach. I do this once a month or so & it works like magic. You can add it with your regular detergent or leave the machine empty & run it thru a cycle. Sparkly clean & fresh smelling!

    1. Please be careful using bleach on anything except washing machine and then I wonder because it is corrosive.I used clorox tabs in back of toilets and started going through a lot of flushing units then tied the two together…no more flushers went bad!!!

  3. Tang works GREAT !!! My dishwasher is on it’s last legs and I use Tang to keep it clean and working a little better. But I buy a small container and use the whole thing. I had never heard of just using one cup.

  4. Never tried tang in the dish washer. It works wonders in your clothes washer tho’. I’ve worked years in oilfield and mechanic positions. It cleans any grease and oil out of the machine.

    1. Wow! I’ve never heard that either… That’s an awesome tip and I’ll have to give it a try on some work clothes!