Asked on Aug 22, 2017

Help with cleaning a portable dishwasher!

Melissa V
by Melissa V
I used the bottled dishwasher cleaner, then ran it again with just straight hot water, but still found my heating elements and some areas needed scrubbing. See what you think , and if you have any great ideas. I tried a new scrubby, I was afraid I was scrubbing off too much!
This was after a little scrubbing with a dry sponge.
And that crud goes all the way around.
Oh, and then there's this crud...ewww!
  14 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 22, 2017

    Are you using any jet dry? You can try running a light cycle with orange juice if there is odor,or white vinegar if that is mold.How old is this unit?

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    • Shellee Janze Shellee Janze on Aug 23, 2017

      i use vinegar with load works wellcleaning food grinder see manuek may help to

  • Peg Peg on Aug 22, 2017

    It seems that your water is the issue. Can you use a filter perhaps?

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    • Peg Peg on Aug 28, 2017

      Thanks for the added info. It is much appreceated Melissa.

  • Fix It Jen Fix It Jen on Aug 22, 2017

    Looks similar to our local hard water type buildup. Try running it with vinegar and no dishes. After it's better, I add a sprinkle of "Lemi Shine" to my normal loads. It comes in a little bottle, found in the dishwasher detergent aisle. Use loose, just sprinkle inside the body of the dishwasher, in addition to your normal detergent. Also, I've found that the citrus- scented detergents work best to combat hard water if that's your issue.

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    • Melissa V Melissa V on Aug 23, 2017

      Oh, I'll give that a try. Thanks!

  • Maureen Lewis Maureen Lewis on Aug 23, 2017

    i use a special dishwasher cleaner twice a year and monthly I add one cup of white vinegar to the washing cycle. Works great

  • Jb225264797 Jb225264797 on Aug 23, 2017

    Oxcylic (sp) acid will clean stains like iron from your dishwasher. You have lime scale on the heating element. It's harmless and comes from the water. Every time the element comes on to boost the temp. of the water, lime is cooked out and onto the element. I'm an appliance servicer and can say that it won't harm your appliance. The minerals will etch your dishes and is most noticeable on glasses.

    • Melissa V Melissa V on Aug 23, 2017

      Yes! My brand new wine glasses are now etched ☹️.

      So I need to find some oxcylic acid and do what? Do I pour some in the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through another empty cycle on hot? Where do I find oxcylic acid?

      Thank you for your help! 👨‍🔧

  • Kathleen Finan Kathleen Finan on Aug 23, 2017

    Try running it with vinegar & baking soda. Thats my recipe I go to when I do a heavy duty cleaning. Do a full cycle like your washing your dishes

  • Sandie60 Sandie60 on Aug 23, 2017

    Use Tang in soap dispenser run full cycle. Looks hard water buildup.

  • Kay Kay on Aug 23, 2017

    Is it the water? If so, I would try a water softener in with the dish load. We had a similar problem with our washing machine, and mum used to add a water softener to the washing load, but then we had hard water. There are special dish washer descaling products on the market to, but I tend to use Bi carb of Soda, it works every time. and leaves a refreshing smell. Hope this helps. Kay Adelaide Australia

  • Jb225264797 Jb225264797 on Aug 23, 2017

    It is a powder or crystals and you put it in the detergent dispenser just like detergent. Use about the same amount as you would of detergent. You should be able to locate it at a local drug store or on line at Amazon or eBay. This will not help your glasses that are etched. Untill you get the water quality problem taken care of, you are just spinning your wheels. I wouldn't worry about the heating element and the interior of the dishwasher looks pretty good from your pictures.

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    • Melissa V Melissa V on Aug 23, 2017

      Oxcylic acid 🤓

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 23, 2017

    CLR...It may take a couple of cycles if it is really bad. Then maintain once in a while with citric acid, or any lemon powdered drink.

  • Jb225264797 Jb225264797 on Aug 23, 2017

    No, the element is just the same as the one in your oven. I'm still not sure why you want to clean it. As soon as you use it again, it will start building up again. I believe the correct spelling is oxalic. You aren't going to hurt the element as long as you don't sand through the outside metal sheath. At that point the element is ruined because it will short out due to the water. Again, I stress you are not going to correct this situation until the lime content in your water supply is under control. I wouldn't be worried about the dishwasher looks as much as the mechanical parts of your appliances and water heater for your home. Heavy lime will cause the lower element in the water heater to burn out early and the minerals are going to clog your water valves on the clothes washer, ice maker and fountain,as well as the valve on your dishwasher. If you are just wanting to clean the dishwasher element, The product "CLR or Lime-Away" will do that for you. But you still have the problem of a shortened life span of their parts i mentioned before. I would be looking into a whole house warer filter system for your home. I would stay away from the reverse osmosis systems as they introduce salts into your water, even though the salesman will say differently. Trust me on this.

    • Marlene currie Marlene currie on Sep 12, 2017

      Reply to Jb222333...I have had a Culligan water softener in all homes as far back as I can remember.

      I've never had lime or calk stains and the water is soft like bottled water bought in the stores.

      I have had driers, dishwashers, American water in the door fridges, water kettles etc nd have NEVER had to clea dirt from loe etc EVER...

  • Melissa V Melissa V on Aug 25, 2017

    Thank you all!!!

  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 10, 2022

    Hi Melissa, hope this helps you out, looks like you have hard water build up on the elements.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 10, 2022

    I know that Jet Dry type of products help keep spots and film from adhering to dishes and would think perhaps the same benefit would occur on the heating elements as well.