It may seem odd to clean the appliance that cleans your dishes, but yes, dishwashers should be regularly cleaned! 

If your dishwasher seems to not be performing well, causing spots on your glasses, or even gives off a strange smell, chances are it can all be solved by giving it a quick clean. 

Over time, your home’s dishwasher can accumulate residue from food, grease and soap scum. If left uncleaned, bacteria will start to grow and cause your dishwasher to give off a strange odor. Luckily, this can be solved by cleaning these 3 areas of your dishwasher every few months: 

Clean the door

Soap scum and build-up can accumulate in the door of your dishwasher from the dispenser. Sometimes, the build-up of soap can cause the dispenser to malfunction and not close or open properly. 

Clean the door by using a toothbrush to get into all the small crevices and grooves. Dip the toothbrush in hot, soapy water and scrub! Collect any excess grime with a clean, damp sponge. 

Check the filter

Most dishwashers have a filter to help catch any loose food particles that would potentially clog your dishwasher’s plumbing lines. It can usually be found in the back corner of the dishwasher and is a small, round cylinder with mesh. Simply twist the cylinder to remove it from your dishwasher, rinse it in the sink, and lock it back into your machine. 

The filter is usually the first place we suggest checking if your machine is giving off an odd odor. As with any food, bacteria can grow if left unattended over a long period of time. Additionally, if not regularly cleared, the food trapped in the filter can eventually cause the tub of the dishwasher from properly draining. This can escalate to cause your machine to leak or overflow, which can lead to your kitchen floor being flooded.  

Regularly cleaning the filter can help prevent this and keep your dishwasher smelling and working great. 

Run a cleaning cycle

A quick and easy way to clean the tub of your dishwasher, as well as it’s associated plumbing, is to run a cleaning cycle. You can find many different brands of dishwasher cleaner at your local grocery store, but we always recommend this simple DIY version instead: 

Fill a dishwasher safe cup with white vinegar and place it in the top rack of your dishwasher. Run your dishwasher on its hottest setting with only the filled cup of vinegar inside. The vinegar combined with the hot water will help remove any residue and bacteria from your washer and clear any associated pipes as well. 

Once it’s finished, wipe down the interior with a clean towel (or paper towels) to remove any residual residue. It’s important to note that your dishwasher’s door and filter should both be cleaned before running a cleaning cycle to ensure optimal results. 

While we may not be able to repair your dishwasher, we’re no stranger to plumbing issues that arise when a dishwasher is not properly maintained. Pipe clogs, flooding, mold and more can happen if your dishwasher isn’t regularly cleaned. 

If you ever find yourself in any of these situations, never hesitate to give your local Cape Coral & Fort Myers Plumbing experts a call. Our team of certified, licensed and insured plumbing professionals are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call Avis Plumbing & Air Conditioning at (239) 542-4421 or  (239) 481-1511 today! 

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