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How to Clean and Freshen a Dishwasher

This article was written as a response to the question:
Cleaning a dishwasher is easy when using a simple household product. It will also freshen the dishwasher and your drain pipes.

Over time a dishwasher can become yellowed and stained on the inside. It looks less than appealing to put your dishes in, much less take them out of to eat off of. There are simple ways to clean and freshen the dishwasher with out using harsh commercial products.

Remove all of the trays and the silverware basket, if there is a separate one. Place these in the bathtub. Fill the tub with hot water until the trays and basket are covered. Dump 1 cup of baking soda into the water. Let the racks sit while you are cleaning the rest of the dishwasher.

Make a paste of baking soda and water. It should be a fairly thin liquid. How much to make depends on how stained up the dishwasher is on the inside. You can always make more if you need it.

Use a soft, wet cloth or sponge and dab it into the baking soda paste. Wipe the interior of the dishwasher with this paste, paying special attention to the troublesome stains. If certain pots and pans have left small rust stains you may have to use a sponge that has a scouring side. Rinse the sponge often and continue cleaning.

Let the dishwasher sit open to circulate some fresh air while you wash the trays and silverware holder. Scrub the trays down with the scouring sponge. If they have troublesome spots or rust on them, use the scouring sponge dipped in the baking soda paste.

Rinse the trays and put them back in the dishwasher. Now you need to run the dishwasher on its regular cycle, but first you need to make a bowl of “freshener” for it. Use the excess baking soda paste if you have some left.

Make a baking soda paste that is very thin and pour it into a small, shallow bowl that is dishwasher safe. Set this bowl on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher through its normal cycle.

The wash cycle will dispense the baking soda paste all over the insides of the dishwasher, in places you could not clean. The rinse cycle will thoroughly wash the baking soda solution down your drains, giving them a fresh, clean smell as well.

Warning: Using too thick of a baking soda paste may clog the filter on the dishwasher, or even the drain pipes, depending on how the dishwasher is plumbed. Make sure the paste you run through the washing cycle is thin and smooth.

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