Banish foul smells and ‘stuck-on debris’ from dishwashers

Cleaning tips: Dishwasher hack with white vinegar and lemons

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Dishwashers need to be cleaned at least once a month to avoid a buildup of bacteria, germs and bad smells. Some of the tell-tale signs your dishwasher is dirty or clogged include cutlery not being cleaned properly, slow draining in the dishwasher, unpleasant smells in your dishwasher, gurgling sounds and a backup of water in the machine.

If you’re looking to give your dishwasher a spring clean, cleaning expert Courtney Walsh at Homeaglow has shared her advice for cleaning dishwashers naturally.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Soft-bristled scrubbing brush
  • Old toothbrush
  • Flexible wire
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sponge

1. Clean the drain filter

The first thing you need to do is clean the drain filter inside your dishwasher. To do this, remove the drain filter from the bottom of the dishwasher.

Then, remove any chunks and food waste from the filter and make a mixture of hot water and dishwashing liquid.

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Soak the drain filter in the mixture and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub it gently.

Then, rinse the drain filter with clean water and put it back in the machine.

2. Clean the spray arms and drain hose

Remove the upper and lower spray arms and clear the passages of stray food particles using a toothpick or scour brush.

Next, clear all the holes in the spray arm by running hot water through them and reconnect the spray arms in the dishwasher.

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3. Clean the interior walls

The upper and lower racks of the dishwasher need to be removed and rinsed under hot water.

Then, scrub the interior walls using a sponge dampened with hot water.

Courtney added: “Next, use white vinegar and a sponge to remove stuck-on debris. Lastly, wipe down the door gasket as it can accumulate dirt.”

4. Run a cleaning wash cycle

You will need to run two cycles – one with vinegar and another with baking soda – to eliminate any unpleasant smells.

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Courtney explained why white vinegar and baking soda are the best products for tackling bad smells. She said: “Vinegar and baking soda have multipurpose cleaning and disinfecting properties.

“They are handy in every home and help clean the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and other areas of the house.”

To do this, place one cup of distilled white vinegar into a small bowl. If you haven’t cleaned your dishwasher for a while or this is your first time, use two cups of distilled vinegar.

Next, add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture. This will help cover the vinegar scent.

Place the bowl on the top dish rack and run a regular wash cycle.

Next, add a cup of baking soda to the bottom of your dishwasher and run a second cycle at the hottest temperature setting. Leave the dishwasher open for at least one hour so it can air-dry.

5. Clean the exterior

The exterior of the dishwasher is rarely what causes unpleasant smells, however, it’s still worth giving it a once-over to remove any stains.

To clean the exterior, use a brush dipped in white vinegar to scrub around the dials and buttons. Then, wipe away residual vinegar with a sponge.

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