What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cleaning a Dishwasher

The average home cook will run the dishwasher at least 5 times per week.  If you think about it most dishwashers use water, detergent and rinse agent so why would they need to be cleaned?  Most dishwashers have some type of filtering system.  These filters need to be cleaned from time to time.  Water deposits can build up in dishwashers reducing their cleaning potential.  This is especially problematic for those with hard water.  If the inside of the dishwasher is not stainless steel there may be staining from some foods as well.  All in all the inside of the dishwasher does require regular cleaning.  What is the best way to clean the inside of a dishwasher?

  • filters - Remove all filters and clean them under a spray nozzle or running water until they are clean.  Check where the filters go to be sure the area is clean before replacing the filters.
  • blockages -  Certain things like labels on jars will gum up and blog the holes of the dishwasher sprayer arms.  Manually remove any blockages.  In future do not put any jars with labels still on them into the dishwasher.  Don't put thing in your dishwasher that don't belong there and that includes things like ball caps and aluminum foil products as fiber from cloth as well as aluminum breaking down can cause blockages and/or discolourations. 
  • deposits - Hard water deposits can clog water lines, sprayer arms and leave spotting in the dishwasher.  Clear the deposits by using a package of lemon Kool-Aid or 2 tbsp citric acid or 1 c white vinegar in the dishwasher then run a full cycle to clean out the deposits.  If your water is hard and you don't have a water softener then do this cleaning at least once a month.
  • stains - Certain foods especially tomato based foods will stain the interior of plastic lined dishwashers.  The immediate reaction is to use bleach to get rid of the stains.  Do not use chlorine bleach in your dishwasher!  Bleach will damage rubber valves in the dishwasher causing more problems and repairs.  Bleach can cause the gasket around the door that prevents water from leaking out to deteriorate.  Stains can be removed using citric acid and they will naturally diminish over a few dishwasher cycles so just leave them alone.  A Mr. Clean Magic eraser will help manually remove stains from the dishwasher as well.
Garden Gnome