Want to know how to clean a dishwasher the environmentally friendly way? Let me share my tried and tested eco-tips with you, for a clean and green machine.
Did you know that dishwashers are more energy-efficient than hand washing the same amount of dishes? Yes, it’s been proven that dishwashers use less energy, water, and soap than hand washing! This is brilliant for people like me who have a serious aversion to washing dishes by hand.
However, it’s a sad news day when you hear that you can’t just bung all your dirty dishes into your dishwasher, and voila, clean dishes. No, it turns out that dishwashers do actually need cleaning from time to time to be able to ensure that your dishes always come out clean, and to prolong the life of your dishwasher. Yup, that machine that cleans your dishes does actually need cleaning semi-regularly. If you need to take a moment to come to terms with this fact, then don’t worry, I’ll be right here – a virtual shoulder to cry on if you will.
The other week I shared with you how to clean a washing machine. The good news is that cleaning a dishwasher is a much less involved job. Here’s how to do it without using any dubious or expensive chemical-based cleaners:
How To Clean A Dishwasher
You can clean a dishwasher without breaking a sweat: promise! Let me show you my environmentally friendly cleaning technique that I swear by:
How To Clean A Dishwasher Filter
For a sparkling clean dishwasher, first you need to clean the filter.
Firstly, when the dishwasher is empty, remove the bottom rack.
Next, remove the dishwasher filter. To do this, turn it until it comes free, and then you should be able to lift it right out. Once you’ve removed the whole filter, separate it into its two constituent parts. Also, remove the metal drain cover. It should just lift off easily.
Next, pop these in a sink that’s been filled with hot soapy water, and give these a good scrub with a scrubbing brush. Once clean pop the filter back together, and place it back in your machine as you found them. Pop the drain cover back on. Now give yourself a serious pat on the back, because this is the hardest it gets when it comes to cleaning your dishwasher.
Give It A Wipe
Next, I like to wipe my whole dishwasher down with a homemade cleaning spray, such as this citric acid spray. With a gentle cloth, I wipe the door, the sides and the seals to remove any food residue, or build up.
I’ll also wipe the water spray arms of the dishwasher and inspect the spray holes on it for blockages. If there are any blockages, a quick scrub with a scrubbing brush or old toothbrush relegated to cleaning duties normally sorts this right out.
Bring On The Vinegar
Now it’s time to bust out one of my favourite natural cleaning products: white vinegar!
Don’t worry though, this is not a labour-intensive job. For this next stage of cleaning your dishwasher, you’ll be delighted to hear that it’s simply a case of running your dishwasher.
Take one small dishwasher-proof bowl, and fill this with white vinegar. Place the bowl in the middle of the top rack of your dishwasher. Then select the hottest cycle your dishwasher allows, and run this cycle with only the bowl of vinegar in the dishwasher.
This hot vinegar wash will clean out the interior and the pipework of your dishwasher and will help to remove limescale, soap scum, mould, accumulated fats, and oils from the drain hose.
My favourite thing to do at this stage is to sit in the kitchen with a cup of tea in hand, listening to the hum of the dishwasher, smug in the knowledge that I’m cleaning without actually having to lift a finger. However, it’s your call to do what you want with this time!
Once the cycle is finished, you’re done! The dishwasher is shiny and clean: no sweat involved!
How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?
You should clean your dishwasher filter once a week. However, a deep clean need only be carried once every six months or so. That being said, if you do notice a smell coming from your dishwasher, or your dishes not coming out particularly clean in the interim, then it certainly won’t do any harm to do another deep clean.
Heavily invested in dishwasher chat? Then good news – I’ve got more for you! Here’s my pick of the top plastic-free dishwasher detergents and tablets.