shutterstock_140821096The dishwasher is a modern day miracle, relieving householders of the tedious chore of the daily washing up. But just like any other household appliance, a dishwasher needs a little TLC to keep it running smoothly and looking its best. This article provides useful tips on how to clean and maintain your best friend in the kitchen.

Cleaning your dishwasher

Just as you would wipe down your bench tops and other kitchen surfaces, so your dishwasher will benefit from a regular clean with a damp cloth soaked in mild dishwashing detergent to keep the finish shiny and scratch-free. Clean the top, sides and door as part of your cleaning routine, and pay particular attention to knobs and controls where dust or food scraps can collect.

Occasionally, you also need to clean the inside of your dishwasher. This involves removing all interior hardware such as baskets and shelves, and scrubbing any grime and mildew off the interior surfaces with vinegar and water.

The rotating arms also need some attention, as the tiny jets can become blocked over time. Clean out each one with a toothpick or other sharp object to ensure water can flow freely from each. Finally, check the drain for blockages and clean with a toothbrush and also clean around the door seal gasket.

Maintaining your dishwasher

As well as regular cleaning, there are a few handy maintenance tips that will keep your dishwasher in tip top condition. Every so often, add two cups of vinegar and run the dishwasher without a load. This will not only keep it cleaner, but will help to remove any lingering odours as well. Baking soda will also have a similar deodorising effect.

Another good maintenance tip is to always leave the dishwasher door slightly ajar after use. This will air dry the interior and help to prevent mould from developing. Using your dishwasher regularly will also help in this regard, but remember to make sure it is fully loaded, in order to conserve water as much as possible.

Another piece of advice is to only ever operate your dishwasher according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This includes only using recommended dishwashing detergents and never cleaning objects such as paint brushes or filters in it, as they can discolour the interior.

It may seem like a chore to be lavishing all this attention on a household appliance, but a little bit of elbow grease every now and again can literally add years to the life of your dishwasher, so it is really a way of saving money as well.