How to Descale a Dishwasher


Descaling your dishwasher is an integral part of its maintenance as it helps to remove the lime, calcium, and other minerals that can build up over time. Descaling helps keep your dishwasher running efficiently and prevents damage to the heating elements. This guide will walk you through the steps needed to descale your dishwasher, helping you keep it in top shape for years of reliable use. With regular descaling, you can ensure that your dishwasher runs smoothly and always looks its best.

Hard water can cause significant damage to household appliances, including dishwashers. If you notice white residue or spots on your drinking glasses, It’s time to descale your dishwasher. Descaling involves removing the appliance’s mineral deposits built up over time due to hard water use. This mineral buildup affects the dishwasher’s efficiency, leading to dishes needing to be adequately cleaned after a wash cycle. In addition, it can cause a white crust to form on the spray arms and bottom of the dishwasher. We will show you how to describe your dishwasher to ensure that it runs efficiently, and all your dishes are properly cleaned.

Proper cleaning of your automatic dishwasher is essential to ensure it runs efficiently and helps maintain its longevity. Food waste, grime, and residue can build up in the machine over time if it isn’t properly cleaned.

How Often to Clean Dishwasher

Routine monthly dishwasher maintenance should include a soft-bristle brush and everyday household items such as distilled white vinegar and baking soda. For more thorough cleaning, it is recommended to perform deep cleans at least twice a year using additional materials. Additionally, be sure to wipe down the exterior of the appliance weekly or as needed to keep dirt and grime away. With the proper attention, your dishwasher can remain clean and function optimally for years.

Regular monthly maintenance of your dishwasher is recommended for optimal performance and longevity. This can include using a soft-bristle brush and everyday household items such as distilled white vinegar and baking soda to remove dirt and grime. Additionally, it is crucial to perform deep cleans at least twice a year using additional materials.

Tools and Materials you need to clean the Dishwasher

Following these simple procedures every month should keep your dishwasher functioning effectively and eliminate the need for more aggressive cleaning. Here are some of the tools and materials you need to clean and descale your dishwasher:

  1. Soft-bristle brush Stainless steel cleaning product (for stainless steel)
  2. Flexible wire
  3. Olive oil
  4. Old toothbrush
  5. Dish soap
  6. Sponge
  7. Baking soda
  8. Microfiber cloths
  9. Distilled white vinegar

How to thoroughly Clean Your Dishwasher

A thorough cleaning is essential if you notice problems with dirty dishes or spotted glassware after running a cycle. You should thoroughly clean more often if you live in an area with hard water.

Clean Spray Arms

Start with an empty dishwasher. Remove the upper and lower racks to have better access to the water spray arms. Each spray arm has small holes that distribute water throughout the dishwasher, and these holes can become clogged with minerals from hard water or even bits of food. If the holes are clogged, the water might not be reaching the surfaces of your dishes and leaving them soiled.

Take your flexible wire and insert its tip into each hole to remove debris.

Remove and Clean the Strainer

Start by inspecting the filter on the dishwasher’s drain. If possible, remove it from its place and set it aside. Doing so will allow you to understand better what debris or gunk may be trapped underneath. You might be surprised – and even disgusted – by all of the buildups lurking there.

Once you’ve removed the filter, it’s time to clean it. Dip an old toothbrush into white vinegar – this will help loosen and remove any stubborn grime or buildup accumulated over time.

Scrub away at each nook and cranny with the toothbrush, making sure to get every bit of dirt and gunk off the filters. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse off the filter with hot water and set it aside to dry completely before re-installing it on your dishwasher’s drain.

Scrub the Utensil Holder and Detergent Dispenser

Before cleaning, remove the utensil holder and detergent dispenser from inside the dishwasher. This will give you better access to clean all the areas thoroughly.

Once you have removed the utensil holder and detergent dispenser, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any loose debris or food particles. This will help to remove the excess gunk and make scrubbing easier.

Use your old toothbrush to remove debris caught in the grid of the utensil holder. Also, scrub any buildup in the detergent dispenser. Make sure you reach all hard-to-reach areas, such as around knobs or valves.

Once you have finished scrubbing, rinse both pieces with warm water until all the residue has been removed. You may also want a cleaner specifically designed for dishwashers, such as white vinegar or baking soda, to help remove any tough stains or buildup.

Before placing the utensil holder and detergent dispenser back inside the dishwasher, ensure that both pieces are dehydrated. This will help prevent them from developing rust or corrosion in the future.

Clean the Rubber Seals

Cleaning the rubber seals around the interior of your dishwasher is a crucial step in keeping it running optimally. These rubber seals can become brittle and cracked without proper cleaning, leading to decreased efficiency and potential leaks. Fortunately, keeping them clean with just a bit of white vinegar is easy.

When cleaning your dishwasher’s rubber seals, start by dampening a clean sponge with white vinegar. Gently rub over the rubber seal along the edges of the door and inside. This will help eliminate any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on them and prevent future buildup from occurring as quickly. After you’ve wiped down the entire area, dry it with a cloth or paper towel.

Run a Cycle with Vinegar

Replace the racks and put 2 cups of distilled white vinegar in an open container on the top rack. Run a regular hot water wash cycle to complete the cleaning.

Using white distilled vinegar is the best choice for this job because it is mild enough to use without damaging the components of your dishwasher yet strong enough to clean away grime and buildup. To begin, remove all racks from the dishwasher and place 2 cups of distilled white vinegar in an open container on the top rack. Then, run a regular hot water wash cycle without detergent.

The vinegar will help to break down any dirt, grease, or grime that may have built up in the dishwasher over time and leave it smelling clean and fresh. After the cycle, you can put the racks back in and enjoy your freshly cleaned dishwasher! Additionally, running a cycle with vinegar every month will ensure that your dishwasher remains free of buildup and always smells excellent.

Cleaning your dishwasher regularly with white distilled vinegar is an easy way to keep your machine running like new for many years. This simple task prevents unpleasant odors from developing and helps ensure that dishes come out clean and sparkling. Plus, it’s an inexpensive way to maintain the life of your dishwasher and save you money in the long run! So don’t forget to run a cycle with vinegar now and then for maximum efficiency.

How to clean the exterior of your dishwasher

Cleaning the exterior of your dishwasher depends on its design and finish, but there are general steps that can be undertaken by most. Here is a guide to help you keep the outside of your dishwasher looking great.

Clean the Control Buttons

It is essential to regularly clean around any control buttons or dials on the dishwasher. An old toothbrush dipped in soapy water can effectively remove dirt or grime buildup. This will ensure that the dishwasher continues to operate correctly and efficiently with minimal maintenance.

Clean and rinse the dishwasher door

For plastic or painted metal exteriors, use a microfiber cloth or sponge with mild dish soap to remove any splatters from the face and handle. Rinse off soap residue with a damp cloth and fully dry using a separate dry cloth.

To ensure lasting cleanliness, polish surfaces after cleaning with a stainless-steel product approved for your specific model of the dishwasher door.

Variation for Stainless Steel

The best action for stainless steel doors is to use a stainless-steel cleaning product with a microfiber cloth and wipe it in one direction along the grain of the metal. Alternatively, mix mild dish soap with water and wipe down the front of your dishwasher. To remove any streaks, finish by applying a drop of olive or baby oil to a microfiber cloth. Always follow product instructions for the best results.

John, Larry, Mike, owners of Western Rooter & Plumbing

Need expert plumbing help?

If you’re having plumbing issues or emergencies, contact Western Rooter & Plumbing online or call our dispatch center at (626) 448-6455. We are the Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley’s number one plumbers – don’t wait, call now!



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