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3 Simple Steps to Clean Your Dishwasher

by The Experts at Johnnies Appliance

Ewww!!! How often do you clean your dishwasher? I know! I know! Nobody wants to deal with this task but somebody has to do it. When you open your dishwasher and you get this funky smell. What is that? Well just because you rely on this appliance to clean your dishes doesn’t mean that it’s going to keep itself clean or because you run it every night doesn’t mean that it’s getting that clean.  This is when we have to do what nobody else will do… get down and dirty with it!  I will list 3 easy steps to clean your dishwasher. 

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Here are a few things you will need to clean your dishwasher: 

  1. Distilled White Vinegar: Vinegar will help break down the remaining particles of food, grease, soap scum and other leftover grime. 
  2. Baking Soda: This will remove stains and fresher the dishwasher. 
  3. Essential Oil: This is just a bonus addition, but adding three drops of an essential oil will just give it that extra fresh smell you are looking for.  

Now let’s get to it… Here you will find a quick step by step guide for how to clean your dishwasher: 

  1. You will have to remove the racks to be able to get to the filter.  Make sure to wash the racks as well.  While those are drying off, spray the walls inside the dishwasher with some vinegar and using a cloth, wipe them off.  Check the filter for debris and food scraps. Make sure to remove any food scraps left in there.  This is where your smell is coming from, so this is a huge part of the cleaning process.  It is recommended that you clean this filter atleast once a week.  You can easily clean the filter by rinsing it with hot water. Then use a little bit of dish soap and rub it in with your finger.  Once done, rinse again with hot water until the soap is gone.  Now put aside and let’s move on… 
  2. Once you have cleaned the tub and the filter, put the clean racks back inside.  Now you will take a measuring cup with one cup of white vinegar in the top rack.  Yes, I know… stinky ol’ White Vinegar!  Well vinegar has powerful cleaning benefits. This method with the hot water and the white vinegar, will remove any built up grease and grime, leaving the dishwasher smelling fresh.  Once you put the vinegar inside, you will then turn the dishwasher on and let it run one complete cycle with only the cup of vinegar inside. 
  3. Once that cycle has completed, open your dishwasher and remove the measuring cup which should be full of water.  Now you will need some baking soda.  You will sprinkle a cup of baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher.  For a more intense clean smell, you can add about 3 drops of lemon essential oils to deodorize.  This baking soda method will help remove any stains.  Once you do that, you will run the dishwasher for a cycle under the hottest water setting.  Once that cycle is done, open your dishwasher and find a fresh smelling dishwasher! 

Cleaning your dishwasher about once a month is a great idea.  It will not only keep your dishwasher clean but it will also make your dishes cleaner and will deter mold and mildew from forming as well.  Doing this will also disinfect the inside of your dishwasher but also helps clean the plumbing that is connected to the dishwasher. We just have to remember to that it’s not only about taking your dirty dishes and putting them in the dishwasher.  It is important to rinse them off first to keep food particles from getting stuck in the mechanical parts of the dishwasher, then placing properly on the racks. 

If you want an easier way of cleaning your dishwasher, you can always use dishwasher tablets.  One main brand you might have heard of is Affresh. These are easy to use. If you are just cleaning your dishwasher, place one tablet in the soap dispenser and run it in the hottest water cycle.  For a deeper cleaning, place one tablet in the soap dispenser and a second tablet at the bottom of the dishwasher and run the dishwasher on the hottest water setting. There are many brands of this tablet, you just have to find your preference.  I will list a few: Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner (1/pk $8.99). This is #1 recommended by Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag and Amana brands. (*affresh* products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation);TrulyFree Dishwasher Cleaner (non-toxic, this is more of a subscription).

One pouch deep cleans your dishwasher with Zero toxic chemicals. Your dishwasher will look and smell brand new. For this cleaner, you sprinkle the powder on the bottom of the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher on the hottest cycle.; Finish Dishwasher Cleaner (1/ct $3.94). Finish Dishwasher Cleaner’s dual action formula tackles the hidden grease and limescale inside your dishwasher. Run the dishwasher empty with Finish dishwasher cleaner on the hottest cycle.Recommended to use once a month for clean and fresh dishwasher. These are just a few brands out in the market, you just have to find your preference and conduct your own testing. These will keep your dishwasher clean and smelling fresh.  

Since we are taking care of the inside of the dishwasher… let’s talk about the outside of them. When you first purchase that dishwasher and the outside has that brand new gleam to it, you don’t even want to touch it. But by the second, or third week all you see are fingerprints, water spots and grease splatter, just plain water wont get it to that first day look.

These products can help you achieve and restore that stainless steel glow. Per the Good Housekeeping Institute Lab, Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes or the spray is a great quick fix to get the brand new sparkle look. By taking a cleaner and microfiber cloth and wiping your appliance to get rid of dirt and grease first. Once you have completed this, spray your appliance with Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and with your microfiber cloth, wipe that cleaner off and you will get that glow. You will want to avoid abrasive powders, scrubbers and bleach. Never wipe against the metal’s grain, always wipe with to prevent streaking. And lastly, try not to let your appliances air dry after cleaning them. Make sure to use your microfiber cloth and wipe right after to prevent streaking, spots and it will restore that shine. 

Here are the 4 Best Reliable Dishwashers of 2022: 

Best Value: Frigidaire Gallery | FGID2466QD | Sound Level: 52 dBA 

frigidaire gallery

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Frigidaire appliances are always very good performers and considered easy to use. The control panel is hidden for a sleek look. If offers the option to wash half loads for a greater energy saver.  It’s fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, it has a sanitize option and a light beam that projects to let you know that the cycle is complete.   

Best Smart Dishwasher: LG Smart Wi-fi Dishwasher | LDT5678BD | Sound Level: 46 dBA 

smart LG dishwasher

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This model got great cleaning results and was found easy to load, eventhough the speeds are a bit slow.  This model does have four lower spray arms that spin with the pressure of the water.  It’s new technology fills the tub with steam in the pre-wash cycle for better cleaning.  This is a Smart Appliance, so downloading LG’s Smart Diagnosis app will allow you to download extra cycles onto the machine and it makes it easier to problem-solve in any issues. 

Best Dishwasher for the Home Cooks: KitchenAid Dishwasher | KDTM704KPS | Sound Level: 44 dBA

built in steel dishwasher

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First thing testers look at is how large the inside is. This dishwasher has a large second rack that is adjustable to accommodate tall items like platters or a stand mixer bowl.  The ProWash cycle adjusts the water temperature and time depending on how much soil is detected.  The dishwasher is easily programmed with only five cycles and six options. It’s additional dry options for better dry results on all dishes is a plus. This has a top control for that sleek look.   

Why Trust Johnnie’s Appliances?

Johnnie’s Appliances has been providing Signal Hill and Downey, California areas with incredible customer service and expert appliance support since the 1950’s. You are not a customer, but family, from the moment you step into the store. The family-owned business made a commitment years ago to have the most knowledgeable professionals assist you with your appliance purchases.

From sale and delivery to installation and service, Johnnie’s Appliances is your one-stop appliance store in California. Specializing in scratch and dent appliances and clearance items, Johnnie’s Appliances can help you find your favorite appliances for sale so you can get them at a discount. The best part? They service what they sell, so any breaks, appliance repairs, or issues can be resolved at Johnnie’s!

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Stop by the Signal Hill or Downey, CA appliance store locations to see what a difference buying local with an experienced staff can make. Or shop dishwashers online! Our friendly experts are always happy to help you— whether you call us at 562-861-3819, use our online chat feature, or visit us in person.

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