Thursday, September 11, 2008

Are you SURE those dishes are clean?

When is the last time you looked inside your dishwasher? At first glance, it probably looks okay. But literally stick your head in there and take a closer look.

I bent inside of my dishwasher this afternoon to grab a few lingering scraps from the last load and did a double take. At first I noticed some greasy buildup, which I guess is to be expected after years of use. Then on closer inspection, I discovered black grime and (gulp) tiny patches of mold. EWWWWW!!!

With some quick research and literally 10 minutes of elbow grease, my dishwasher is sparkling clean again and ready to tackle the toughest dishes. Here's how you can get your dishwasher in tip-top shape without using harsh chemicals:

1. Take the dishracks out of the dishwasher so you are able to easily access the inside of your dishwasher.

2. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar (yes, I love vinegar) and liberally soak all greasy, grimey, moldy areas. Don't forget to get the rubber seal, the bottom of the door, and the hinges. Trust me, these areas are the worst. ICK!

3. Using an old toothbrush, scrub the areas that you just sprayed down.

4. Wipe clean with a wet sponge and inspect your dishwasher again, repeating steps 2 and 3 as necessary.

5. Check out the drain area and remove any debris that may be stuck there.

6. Put the racks back in your dishwasher. Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the bottom of you dishwasher and run a full cycle on the hottest setting with no dishes in it. It's recommended to do this step once a month.

So I double dog dare you to stick your head in YOUR dishwasher and tell me what you find. I would LOVE to hear if you have any other dishwasher cleaning tips to share.