Michelle
Michelle
  • Hometalker
  • Wilmette, IL
Asked on Apr 6, 2012

How do I clean my dishwasher? I've tried bleach. I don't want to call a professional and my dishes are coming out dingy.

Vicki SholdSusan SKandee S
+41

Answered

44 answers
  • To clean it you can try placing a coffee cup filled with vinegar in the dishwashing rack and run a full cycle of dishwashing. If this doesn't work, check your water temperature to make sure it's high enough and you also might want to try switching detergents just to see what happens!

  • Celeste S
    on Apr 8, 2012

    I was having the same problem and was told to always use a rinsing aide like jet dry. I took the suggestion and no more dingy dishes, also make sure the water is hot enough. Hope this helps.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Apr 9, 2012

    White vinegar can also be used as a rinse aid on an everyday basis .. much cheaper and no.. your dishes wont taste or smell :)

  • Michelle
    on Apr 10, 2012

    Thanks for all of your responses. I've tried white vinegar before and it helped, but my dishes still weren't as clean. Then, I recently read about someone who cleaned their d-washer thoroughly by taking off the screws in the washer and cleaning the various compartments out. I did so and was surprised to see the filth that and mold that was on each compartment. Soaked everything in bleach, soap and water for hours, then scrubbed and scrubbed. Then put on rinse to make sure all cleaning residue was gone. I guess it costs about $150 for a pro to do this and many people don't realize that this needs to be done on a regular/yearly (?) basis. Helped a lot. And thanks a lot for the replies. I'll continue to use vinegar regularly to avoid dirty deposits.

  • Good tip on the white vinegar. It makes sense to do so on a regular basis to knock down any mold. Hometalk is such a great place to get ideas!

  • Joseph K
    on Apr 12, 2012

    simple green and it will deodorize 2!

  • Angela L
    on Apr 15, 2012

    I use white vinegar, rinse and hold for a while for really hard jobs, but a cup or two with every time you use your dishwasher helps greatly..

  • Susan S
    on Apr 17, 2012

    So while we're on the subject of dishwashers - I've noticed there's always some water left standing in the bottom even after running a complete cycle. I would assume there must be an accumulation of something which must be keeping the water from completely draining. Any suggestions??

  • Mamagothika M
    on May 7, 2012

    vinegar, run it threw with that a few times, Vinegar cleans everything it seems

  • Linda
    on May 14, 2012

    That water is supposed to be in the bottom of your dishwasher. If you don't use it often and it dries up, it could damage the seals, so I've been told. Also, you can buy a cleaner probably at places like Home Depot that sells dishwashers. I was given a sample when I last bought one and it cleaned up my used and highly calcified d-washer. You just run it through a normal cycle and it all comes out sparkling.

  • Susan S
    on May 14, 2012

    @ Linda - Oh, I didn't know there was supposed to be some water in the bottom of the dw. I have heard that the seal around the door can dry out if it isn't used very often. Actually, the REAL story is . . .I don't use it all that much but what I do is put my dishes in there to drain after hand washing so the majority of the water comes from the dishes dripping. However, I do run it through a rinse cycle every once in a while otherwise the standing water gets really icky (kind of "stagnant" like) but I still think way too much water is left in the bottom. I piggybacked this to Michelle's question and I KNOW I should have posted as a separate question. I appreciate your input but I sort of suspect there may be something keeping it fromj draining as well as it should.

  • Jeanette S
    on May 19, 2012

    My sister has a well and the inside of her diswasher was dark brown. I suggested she use Cascade and that cleaned it. She still uses it. FYI, last year all dishwashing products were changed to go green so the "drying" agent was taken out. The sparkling glasses you are used ot seeing are a thing of the past. I just bought an expensive new DW and it did not dry. Called for service, was told "energy saving required the drying fans are no longer used"! I had read in the manual that "there is a little water left in the bottom to keep the seals from drying out". OK, hot water plus no drying fans equals steam which equals wet dishes. I HATE IT! I am about ready to take it out and build in shelves and start pan washing my dishes again! And it is smelly...just like that fancy front loading washing machine we bought that you have to run a cleaning cycle once a month or your clothes come out smelling like a wet mop! I need a nearby creek with rocks in which to wash my clothes! (Please forgive my rant!)

  • Susan S
    on May 19, 2012

    LOL - understood Jeanette!! Sometimes we just HAVE to let off steam - sorry, pun WAS intened!! AS to the front loading washer - I got mine about 18 mos. ago and have not had any odor issues. Somewhere I read that the door should be left ajar after using so the inside can air out. Also, I put white vinegar in the fabric softner receptacle when washing towels. That keeps them from feeling hard & rough and also removes any detergent residue. If fabric softner is used on towels it reduces their absorbancy - FYI.

  • Jeanette S
    on May 20, 2012

    Susan S., I do leave my door open...hate that feature too! (They look so smart on the showroom floor but really tacky in your washroom with the door open!) You are probably not having odor problems because you are using the vinegar. I use bleach once a month and use the "clean" cycle (what kind of idiot makes a washing machine that requires a clean cycle...and what kind of bigger fool buys one! You don't read the manual before you purchase so all these cute things are a surprise!)

  • Susan S
    on May 20, 2012

    @ Jeanette S. One other thing you might not have noticed which could be adding to the odor factor - My washer has a wide rubber piece between the drum and where the door fits when closed. That rubber piece is a catch all for lint, items left in pockets and all kinds of crud so lift it up and see what may have accumulated in there!

  • Sherrie S
    on May 22, 2012

    It is so funny that the cheapest thing you can use for the dishwasher and the washer is Vinegar. It works better than the expensive and uncertain chemicals we all read about.

  • Susan S
    on May 23, 2012

    @Sherrie - just goes to show ya that the OLD tried & true methods are still sometimes the best. I absolutely cannot use strong chemicals anymore - have to be really careful w/spray paint, bleach anything w/fumes or I end up with a major respiratory infection then pneumonia. I have to wear a mask if I dare use any of that stuff but that drives me insane - hot & sweaty. Ugh!!

  • Karen B
    on May 24, 2012

    BOX OF BOROX...TRY IT

  • Jeanette S
    on May 24, 2012

    Susan S, I read this in the instruction booklet and it is cleaned regularly. The odor problem is common with these machines because a new product "washer cleaner" is being made that is used once a month to clean them.

  • Victoria S
    on May 24, 2012

    just get Rinse aide at the store,and yes Borax laundry is a freshener you can toss some in once a week,make sure the temp is high enough to heat properly

  • Susan S
    on May 25, 2012

    Goodness, I hadn't even thought of Borax - wow, that's a reeeeally old (but good) product. I really don't remember even seeing it on store shelves but then again, haven't actively looked for it. Some of you may be too young to remember this but seeing the name Borax evoked memories from waaaay back when it was called "20 Mule Team Borax" and it was one of the leading sponsors of some of the old TV shows - like Wagon Train. Now that was a trip down memory lane and I just seriously dated myself!! LOL I was just a little girl then mind you ;~)

  • Victoria S
    on May 26, 2012

    sure its available,in the laundry isle about $3 something,its also a pest control use,if you sprinkle it around in garage or carpets etc you wont have palmetto bugs, fleas,roaches anything, it drives them away, its all i use,our garage has never has a palmetoo bug in all the yrs here in florida,its also a freshener so I sprinkle on carpets in case the grandkids or dogs bring in any unwanted fleas etc..good luck!

  • Susan S
    on May 26, 2012

    @Victoria S. Well who knew - obviously you and a few others!! One thing I don't have issues with in Va. is palmetto bugs but I do know what they are and they get HUGE!! My daughter lived in Miami for awhile - I saw all sorts of critters I wasn't familiar with - people too!! LOL Wonder if it'll work to keep crickets out of the garage?? Thanks for the input - I see a box of Borax in my future ;~)

  • Amanda M
    on May 26, 2012

    If someone hasn't mentioned, I actually took my dishwasher apart and found a blockage in the drainage hole. It had paper from jars and food stuff. Nasty! Then I put it together, ran bleach, then ran a non-sweetened packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid. I have noticed a big difference. Please refer to your dishwasher's user manual for additional information. Many manuals can now be found online.

  • Victoria S
    on May 27, 2012

    lol amanda,ez way to rid that prob, you rinse off in sink,no paticles of anything!

  • Victoria S
    on May 27, 2012

    crickets too susan!

  • Susan S
    on May 27, 2012

    @Victoria - definitely gonna try the Borax. @Amanda M. Think I may need to do the same thing - I've long suspected there was probably some junk & gunk somewhere. It's only 14 yrs old - what could possibly be clogging it up?? LOL The Kool-Aid was to . . . . . .freshen it up???

  • Amanda M
    on May 28, 2012

    @ Victoria, when I was the dishes, all that is taken care of. However, I'm not the only one who does dishes in this house, and I cannot stress enough the importance of scraping off and prerinsing the dishes in the sink. :)

  • Sherrie S
    on May 28, 2012

    Amanda M, I think you are correct & I scrape & pre-rinse , too. I read an article that said that's why the foreigners don't use dishwashers. More work with the dishwasher. Hmmm.

  • Karen
    on May 28, 2012

    Speaking of hot water, I was told that the heater used by dishwashers to warm the water is inadequate--you really need to have hot water running into the dishwasher from the beginning. I run my kitchen faucet until the water comes out at least warm before I turn on the dishwasher. Not wanting to waste the water, I run it into my plant watering can. :-)

  • Marsha J
    on May 28, 2012

    Michelle, I have a wonderful product for you.. Dish Drops, Amway makes the very best and my dishwasher and dishes are a wonderful thing. Let me know, Marshajohnson@comcast.net and i'll ship you some.

  • Victoria S
    on May 29, 2012

    I dont have a bit of problems with my diswasher and in over 20 yrs havent...I use cascade liquid and rinse aide and your water temp has to be hot! thats it..never dull,discolored,dingy...sooo maybe its just what you all are using!!

  • Susan S
    on May 29, 2012

    I practically pre-wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher IF I'm actually going to turn the DW on. As I said waaay back, I wash the dishes and then put them in the DW just to drain. I positively despise a dish drainer & rack sitting out on my counter top. Don't have an excess of space anyway!! My water is HOT HOT HOT, and we're on city water. I'm sure alot of the issues can be attributed to whether you have city water or a drilled well, hard or soft water etc. etcl

  • Stephanie V
    on May 29, 2012

    Lemi Shine works really good to

  • Nancy Rhodes C
    on Jun 7, 2012

    I have to pull out my neat house guest's dishes because she doesn't prerinse. Sigh.

  • Joy D
    on Jun 7, 2012

    I squirt a little vinegar into my dishwasher every time I run it and dishes and dishwasher come out clean..no spots....

  • Priscilla E
    on Jun 8, 2012

    If there is a ton of water in the bottom it may be the pump. I had big problems in my condo with an expensive Maytag Dishwasher. If this happens all the time it can cause a flood. I had a tech out 5 times with Home Tec in Florida and the 5th guy figured it out. Also the pipe that was installed may be leaning the wrong way under the sink and the water can not drain. More info. I will have hubby write.

  • Maryanne S
    on Jun 10, 2012

    There are several dishwasher cleaning products. You must find your filer and clean it out. Also remove the arms that sprinkle the water and remove the gunk.

  • Nancy Rhodes C
    on Jun 11, 2012

    WOW! vinegar bottle here I come. I did not know that dishwashers get dirty. With all that soap and rinse aid, how can they? But I believe you and will consider it the same as the coffee pot - that it has to be cleaned. You know how they advertise no prerinse on TV. My batchelor husband believed them and it took me 3 years to get him out of my kitchen. All I know is to watch the service repair men because our last one on this last dishwasher sabotaged our dishwasher claiming to have pulled out old rusty bolts and screws that could NEVER have been dropped by us and calling for a new motor. I don't know how he did it like a magician. We watched him replace the motor with a new one and have had no trouble since. That was his third and last visit to our house. We have a wonderful silent WHIRLPOOL.

  • Susan S
    on Jun 11, 2012

    THE NOISE - THAT may be one more reason I really hate to use mine!! My kitchen - fam. rm. are all open but, when DW is turned on and I'm still on KP duty, I can't hear the TV - can't miss Wheel of Fortune!! LOL. Guess I see a "tear it apart" job in my near future! If I can't get it put back together I'm comin to find you Maryanne!!

  • Jan Y
    on Jun 12, 2012

    try oxyclean they made a a new cleaner made for dishwashers .

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 13, 2012

    powdered tang just like dish soap and run the dishwasher empty it will clean it right up.

  • Susan S
    on Jun 13, 2012

    May not be an issue any more FOR ME!! Decided to turn the DW on this morning - partly to clean out standing water (from letting already washed dishes drain in dishwasher) and Woh La - Nuthin!! Wouldn't turn on - no noise, no sound, KA-PUT!!!

  • Vicki Shold
    on Jun 4, 2015

    . you can run a cycle with nothing but vinegar in dw...you can also put baking soda in the drain area and then pour vinegar over it. or just for spotting I use vinegar in the area for spot treatment..AL OT cheaper and it does work

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