Cleaning the Automatic Dishwasher
The automatic dishwasher is the most desired kitchen appliances. It takes a huge load off the cook and the rest of the family. It is not just a convenient place to hide the dirty dishes. The dishwasher is the most efficient way to clean dirty dishes, pots, pans and utensils. The washing and hot drying cycles sanitizes your dishes which may lower the chance of families passing viruses to one another.
To enable the dishwasher to work at peak efficiency it must be kept clean. Soap buildup and calcium deposits from hard water may cause your glasses and utensils to become cloudy or streaked.
Most dishwashers do not require rinsing the dishes first, however large particles of food should be scraped off to help the efficiency of the machine. Solid pieces such as bone fragments or toothpicks and jar labels should be removed before being put into the washer.
Load your dishwasher according to the manual. If you have an upper and lower sprayer arm it may not matter how it is loaded. With only a lower sprayer arm large items such as bowls or pots may need to be on the top to allow the water to reach all the dishes without restriction.
Be sure items do not touch the sprayer arms so they can spin freely. Check the sprayer arms for particles of food or calcium buildup.
For interior cleaning nothing beats white vinegar, one cup of vinegar added to the rinse cycle about once a month works great for keeping your glasses sparkling. If you have a heavy build up of calcium add one cup of vinegar and one cup of baking soda and run the washer through a cycle without dishes.
Most manufacturers recommend the use of a particular brand of dishwasher detergent for best results, however, a non-toxic homemade soap works very well and costs much less.
Recipe for Non-toxic dishwasher detergent:
One cup baking soda
One cup Borax (sold in the laundry soap section)
½ cup salt
¼ cup citric acid (sold at supermarkets in the canning supplies section)
20 to 30 drops of essential oils (if desired)
Mix all the dry ingredients together and add the essential oils. Store in an air tight container. Use one to two tablespoons per load depending on water hardness. Most washers have dispensers for multiple wash cycles, you may need to add the detergent to each dispenser.
Occasionally wash the edges, upper and lower rims of the washer door, and check the drain for debris. With proper care your dishwasher should give you years of enjoyment.
Caution: Never add liquid dish soap that is intended for hand washing dishes or any foaming type of soap to your automatic dishwasher.