Monday, April 8, 2013

Mondays With the Maid

My dishwasher should change careers and become a vacuum because it sucks (I know.  Hardy har har.).  I find it so hard to understand HOW an appliance whose only job is to clean, can get so stupidly dirty.  Today I MUST clean my dishwasher so, I will show you how I do it then you can go clean yours. 
What?  YOUR dishwasher is immaculate and ALWAYS cleans your dishes perfectly?!  I bet your children are always well behaved and you wear a size two and never eat sugar or carbs too.  Cough, liar, cough.

How to Clean a Dishwasher
Step 1:  Remove the top rack jet arm thingy (This is a very exact and detailed description, obviously.).  To do this, see what kind of screw is holding it on.  You pretty much have to climb in and see.  Be careful, I took a rogue squirt of water to the eyeball. 
Mine looked like a phillips, but was actually a star shape.  Luckily, I married an EXTREMELY manly man who owns at least one of every type of screwdriver made and if he doesn't, he will happily go buy more. 
Now check to see if any other arms are easily removable.  The arm that hangs directly from the top of my dishwasher simply snaps on and off, so I removed that, but my bottom arm did not seem to easily come out, so I left it in.
Step 2:  Fill your sink with hot, soapy water and put in the removed pieces to soak.  I also added in a splash of bleach as my jet arms were especially nasty. 
Step 3:  While your parts are soaking, scrub the icky parts of the dishwasher.  For me, it was the sides of the rack extenders, the crevices at the bottom of the door and the rubber seals.  I use a toothbrush dipped in the water you filled the sink with.  As the toothbrush gets icky, I just rinse it off in that same soaking water.  If you need a little more cleaning power, squirt additional dish liquid on the brush like toothpaste and scrub away.
Step 4:  Once the parts have soaked for a while, use your toothbrush to scrub them clean.  Use a toothpick or skewer to clean any gunk from the holes.  Run clean water through to be sure all the holes are free of clogs.
Step 5:  Put the arms back in your dishwasher.  Fill a mug with 1 c. of vinegar and place it, right side up, on the bottom rack.  Run the heaviest cleaning cycle your washer offers. 
Step 6:  Sprinkle 1 c. baking soda into the bottom of the dishwasher and again run the heaviest cycle.
Step 7:  If needed, add a couple of tablespoons of bleach to your dishwasher and run again.  Mine did not need this added step this time, but if yours was particularly grimy (or you make a lot of tomato sauce), it might.
That is it!  It takes about half a day due to the repeated cycles, but it is worth it to have dishes that come out cleaner than they go in!

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