I made this list because I often get a lot of questions about this on my list of countertop dishwasher reviews.
Hopefully, these professional cleaning techniques I have picked up here and there will give you the material you need to keep your portable dishwasher, or for that matter, any dishwasher, in peak operating condition, and help make it last for years to come.
The Best Cleaning Tips and Tricks For Keeping Your Dishwasher In Tip Top Condition
Below are five things you can do regularly to prolong the life of your dishwasher:
1. Remove Hard Water Buildup From Your Dishwasher
Many residential areas are prone to having a hard water problem. Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with” soft water “). Hard water is defined as water having high levels of minerals in it. Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of calcium and magnesium-containing minerals such as limestone, chalk, and dolomite.
When you run your dishwasher, a high concentration of minerals form deposits that can damage your machine over time. The most effective practice for eliminating hard water is the use of an acidic product to breakdown the deposits.
Now we aren’t talking about battery acid, just a general acidic liquid or powder such as these everyday things around the house:
- Sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda)
- Lime Juice
- Citric Acid Powder
- Rasna (Indian version of Tang)
- Lemon Flavored Chrystal Light
2. Disinfect Your Countertop Dishwasher
The best product by far, to purify your dishwasher and kill mold and mildew is bleach. It cleans and purifies the interior of your dishwasher leaving nice and shiny.
3. Thoroughly Clean the Countertop Dishwasher Drain
Probably the most critical areas of your dishwasher to keep clean is the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher. If not maintained properly the drain can clog, and your dishwasher will not be able to clean your dishes properly.
To clean, start by removing any food or debris from the drain sump area. You might have to disassemble the drainage system to clear it of any debris.
Follow the steps below to remove and clean your drain sump:
- Unplug your dishwasher from the wall outlet.
- Remove screw(s) from the drainage system cover plate.
- It’s important to fill the open hole with a towel to prevent anything from falling down into the drain.
- Remove any food particles by hand.
- Use a wire brush to remove any food particles from the drain cover.
- Reinstall drainage system.
4. Inspect And Clean the Spray Arms
Dishwashers spray water over the dishes using washer arms. They operate by letting water pass through small holes in the spray arms which allow water to spray across the dishes. Over time, these arms get plugged with a buildup.
If there is evidence of clogged spray arm holes, use a toothpick or strong gauge wire to pierce and clean out the holes.
5. Clean The Crooks and Crevices Of A Dishwasher
Parts of your dishwasher often get neglected when it comes to cleaning. For example, every so often takes the time to clean the edges around the door with a damp cloth and a basic household cleaner. I suggested using an old toothbrush to help breakdown the caked-on crud that typically exists in this area.
Don’t forget these areas as well:
- Rinse aid dispenser
- Cutlery basket
- The bottom edge of the door attached to the hinges
One Final Dishwasher Cleaning Tip(s)
The 5 cleaning tips and tricks offered in this post may seem like common sense, however, one of the best preventive maintenance tips is to use your machine regularly. But, I have one final and perhaps the most important tip.
For the best results, empty out your dishwasher. Remove the dish racks, cutlery basket, and any other removable interior accessories then do the following: Measure one cup of plain white vinegar, then pour it into the bottom of the dishwasher.
Select the longest and hottest cycle that you can and run your dishwasher. The vinegar is going to help disinfect the machine and help the break up any residues and gunk that’s been building up in there over time.
Next, you’re gonna Sprinkle that cup or half box of baking soda directly into the bottom of the dishwasher, close the door and pick the hottest and longest cycle that you can and that’s it! the baking soda is gonna help to deodorize your dishwasher and remove any stains that may have accumulated after prolonged use and no cleaning.
By doing these two simple things, you’ll get the most natural cleaning experience rather than trying to clean it when everything is dried out. Well, that does it for now, but I hope these tips will help with cleaning and preventive maintenance of your countertop dishwasher.
If you’re looking to buy a countertop dishwasher, be sure to read the latest reviews, how-to’s, and buying guides to make an informed purchase.