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These dishwasher cleaning hacks will leave your machine sparkling

Dishwasher cleaning hacks
(Image credit: Getty)

These dishwasher cleaning hacks can make the most convenient large appliance in your house work more efficiently, banishing built-up food and unsavory smells. Though it might not be first on your list of things to clean in your kitchen, tending to your dishwasher is essential to get the best performance from it. After all, if you’re using it after every meal time, your appliance is bound to need freshening up once in a while, with it being recommended that you take a few minutes out of your day every month to pay it special attention.

If you don’t know where to start with this particular cleaning task, then don’t worry, as so many of the best dishwashers are equipped to help you get it back to its original sparkling condition. Countless options are kitted out with high temperature cycles or even wash cycles to aid you on your journey. Armed with those settings and these hacks, you’ll be getting the best results ever from your dishwashing companion. 

• Read more: Best countertop dishwashers

Dishwasher cleaning hacks

Tackle your filter to get to the root of your dishwasher smell problem 

Running a clean cycle on your dishwasher and giving the outside a thorough clean are all worthwhile activities when it comes to cleaning your dishwasher, but to really get to the root of your dishwasher’s cleanliness, you need to clean the filter. Every design of dishwasher will be slightly different, so be sure to first check your manufacturer’s guide to your machine, and follow the instructions to extract your filter for cleaning. This will likely involve moving your rack to get better access.

Depending on how long it’s been (no judgment here), you might have some food build-up within your filter. Simply place your filter in dish soap and boiling water, and leave it for at least half an hour to soak. In the meantime, another great hack is to use a Dishmatic, which is available at Amazon, to clean the area around where you insert your filter, which might need some attention, with dish soap. 

dishwasher cleaning hacks

(Image credit: Getty)

Baking soda and vinegar are the key to a super clean machine

Cleaning your machine beyond the filter doesn’t need to be complicated. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom panel of your machine and then place a cup of apple cider vinegar on the top level of your dishwasher. Set your machine off on a clean wash, or on the highest setting possible, and enjoy the results when the cycle is done.

If you are lucky enough to have one of the best countertop dishwashers in a smaller space, then cleaning is also an important step to keeping your compact investment working smoothly. First, consult your manufacturer’s guide before taking any steps, and if applicable, try running a cycle in your countertop dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar, and repeat the process to get to the desired clean state. 

Invest in a dedicated stainless steel cleaner  

Anyone who has had to replace a broken one will know that dishwashers don’t come cheap, and that it’s essential to look after yours if you don’t want to go back to dishes by hand. That’s why it’s important to protect the exterior of your machine too, by spending a few dollars on a dedicated stainless steel cleaner. 

One of the best around is the Method Stainless Steel Cleaner, which is available from Amazon, and has a plant-based solution. Whilst you’re running a cleaning cycle, spritz a healthy amount on the exterior and enjoy the smudge and fingerprint-free results once you wipe clean.  

Inspect your spray arm  

In the process of retrieving your filter, it’s likely that you’ll encounter your dishwasher’s spray arm. This arm has holes in order to spray a concentrated amount of water around your machine, but if these become blocked the cleaning can be hindered. Take a good look at the spray arm to check that this isn’t happening, and if it is, take a small cleaning brush, like these Good Grips ones from Amazon, and root out the blockage. 

Molly is the Staff Writer for the Home Section at Top Ten Reviews, joining the team after finishing college. When she's not writing she enjoys baking and embroidery, as well as getting stuck into a good book. She now enjoys writing about kitchen appliances, gardening tools, and will even dip her toe into writing about fridges and ovens.