Sanitizing a dishwasher may seem a futile process, because its inside is permanently rinsed with water and washing detergent. However, periodically, the dishwasher must be cleaned thoroughly to avoid the accumulation of bacteria, rust and unpleasant odors.
Cleaning a dishwasher is not a difficult process. If you don’t want to involve the use of substances that are harmful to the environment, know that you can successfully clean the device using only white distilled vinegar and baking soda.
Here are the steps to clean a dishwasher:
1. First, unplug the dishwasher and empty it of dishes that may still be inside.
2. Fill the sink halfway with water, then add about 500 ml of distilled white vinegar.
3. Return to the dishwasher and remove the supports for utensils and pots. Wipe them with dry paper towels and look closely at the bottom of the dishwasher to notice if there are any residues (leftovers etc.).
4. Disassemble the water spray arm, the grills and the filter and put them into the sink. If the arm holes are clogged with the leftovers, use a toothpick to remove them.
5. After you have removed all detachable components, clean the inside with dry paper towels to remove all existing residues. For oily areas and any stubborn stains, use a clean cloth dipped in a solution made of water and vinegar (1:1). You could also try to apply a paste of water and baking soda to remove the hardened debris.
6. Assemble back the parts of the dishwasher and move to cleaning the drainage system, that can also be cleaned with water with vinegar.
7. For a thorough sanitation, complete the cleaning process running the dishwasher on an energy-saving cycle, after you have previously added 500 ml of distilled white vinegar into the detergent compartment.
8. Finally, wipe the inside with paper towels until everything is dry. In addition, now’s your chance to clean the exterior of the dishwasher, which could be sprinkled with dust, water, detergent or food stains.
9. In case you discover that the dishwasher emanates an unpleasant odor, carefully check the filter at the bottom, where you may find degraded food debris. It would not hurt to check the door as well, because it could store imperceptible leftovers.