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Home Improvement  /  August 11, 2016

How to Clean and Maintain Your Dishwasher

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to neglect the appliances you count on to streamline your daily routine. That includes your dishwasher, the hard-working machine that performs time-consuming cleaning chores for you every day. Without regular maintenance, all the grease, soap scum, mineral deposits and food scraps that build up inside can impact the dishwasher’s performance, leaving you with less-than-sparkling results. These savvy tips from the pros at Handyman Connection of Austin can help ensure that the dishes you unload from your dishwasher are always clean and sanitary.

Use the Right Tools

For your family’s health and safety, it’s best to use natural products when cleaning the inside of your dishwasher. White vinegar, baking soda and a few other everyday items are all you’ll need to get the job done. A soft toothbrush comes in handy when scrubbing away grime from nooks and crannies like the crevices around the dishwasher door. Toothpicks or short lengths of stiff wire make it easier to dig out any gunk stuck in the drain or in spray arm jets.

Clean the Inner Equipment

Start by lifting the racks out of the dishwasher so that you can inspect the drain. Carefully remove any food residue or other blockages so that nothing impedes water drainage. Make sure that the holes in the spray arms are cleared of obstructions too. Use warm, soapy water to wash the grate, racks and spray arms. If your dishwasher has a removable filter, you’ll want to wash that out as well. Be sure to rinse everything well before reinserting them. Suds can cause damage to critical components.

Run a Vinegar Rinse

To disinfect the interior and help clear surfaces of stubborn soap scum and grime, place a cup of white vinegar on an empty rack and run the dishwasher on a full hot-water cycle. Don’t rush to open the door when the cycle is completed. Keep it closed for around 20 minutes so that the vinegar-infused steam can reach into the inner workings of the machine to remove damaging soap residue.

Use Baking Soda to Eliminate Odors

If an unpleasant odor emanates from your dishwasher every time you open the door, baking soda can help it smell fresh again. Simply sprinkle a half cup of baking soda on the bottom of the interior, and then run the machine through a short cycle. Because baking soda also helps remove mineral deposits caused by hard water, it helps keep the interior looking bright and clean too.

A Note on Dishwasher Exteriors

Regular rub-downs with a soft, damp cloth is usually enough to keep the exterior of your dishwasher clean. For persistent stains, be sure to use a cleaner that’s appropriate for the surface. From genuine stainless steel to smudge-proof look-alikes, dishwasher exteriors come in a variety of finishes, and using the wrong cleaner may cause lasting damage. Check your owner’s manual for more information.

Help from Handyman Connection of Austin

As with all the major appliances in your home, performing regular maintenance on your dishwasher helps prevent unnecessary repairs and breakdowns. Replacing an outworn model with a new machine, on the other hand, gives you a chance to enjoy innovative features ranging from soil-level sensors and timers to ultra-quiet operation. If you’re considering purchasing a new dishwasher, don’t hesitate to call Handyman Connection of Austin for help getting it set up. Our experienced professionals will make sure that the dishwasher is installed properly and safely.

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