Believe it or not, but the dishwarsher is a source of contention at our house. I love that my husband will help with the dishes so much, but, and yes, there is a but, he likes to wash the dishes with soap and water before he puts them in the dishwasher. I tell him it is a waste of money and time to wash our dishes twice. I just rinse all the crap off of the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. I don't have all day to wash these damn dishes twice and it takes forever. I don't have that kinda time, or patience for that matter.
My husband's reasoning is that it will help the dishwasher clean the dishes better and not leave gross food particles or water spots . I have to admit, that when he does do the dishes, they do come out looking better than mine, but at what cost?
I then saw a commercial for dishwasher cleaner. "Oh great!" I thought. Just another thing being marketed to me to buy something that I probably don't need. So I started thinking, maybe it is our dishwasher that does need a cleaning to help it get food and water spots off better, without washing them first!
As I was doing research for this, I learned that you should not clean your dishes too good before you place them in the dishwasher. Dishwashers are made to work with a little bit of grease and food, otherwise it can create a lot of suds and can possibly make your dishwasher wear our sooner. I have yet to share this information with my husband.
I knew I wasn't going to waste my money to buy something to clean my dishwasher, but I wanted to have cleaner dishes and a cleaner dishwasher. We have had it just over four years. I'm sure it's time.
Here is how you can clean your dishwasher with items you probably have in your home and are a chemical-free.
The vinegar's purpose is to wash away any grease, dirt or grim and removes any loose particles and simultaneously sanitizes your dishwasher and helps to remove any moldy or musty smells.
I read that if you don't have any white vinegar you can use a packet of unsweetened lemonade mix in the soap cup, but that you should be sure not to use any other flavor as it can stain your dishwasher. I'm not so sure I trust that method, but if you know it works, you can let me know in the comments. I would love to know if that helped your dishwasher.
Tip: Run the water in your sink until it runs hot. Then start your dishwasher. That way, your dishwasher will start the cycle with water that is already hot.
After you have run your dishwasher with the vinegar wash, you can then sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom of your dishwasher (under the dish rack) and run your dishwasher again on the short but complete cycle on the hottest water setting. This step helps to freshen, clean and brighten your dishwasher and also removes any stains.
If you still notice any mold or mildew problems after these steps, you can pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup of bleach to the bottom of the washer and run a hot full cycle.
****NOTE Do Not use bleach in your dishwasher if you have a stainless steel interior!!!! *****