Kitchen & Bath Tidbits – Dishwasher Cleaning/Maintenance

Ever feel like your dishwasher just isn’t cleaning like it used to? Finding residue after a wash?

dishwasher tips

We found some great DIY tips at (Take a moment to visit the site and check out photos/video, too.)
  • Remove and unclog spray arms. Refer to your user manual or look online for tips on removing. Once removed, use picture wire or pipe cleaners like dental flos to clean out the holes.
  • Soak the spray arms in white vinegar to remove soap and scale buildup.
  • Clean the inside of the dishwasher. Check the bottom for any debris or big particles that could prevent the tub from draining. Remove the coarse filter and check the reservoir. There’s also a fine filter, typically round with mesh sections. Wipe clean with a sponge and run hot water through it to remove fin particles that can build up.
  • If you can, lift the fine filter and clean out build-up beneath. Make a paste of vinegar and baking soda, let it soak and then gently scrape/clean with a putty knife or steel wool.
  • Use a toothbrush to scrub around the rubber seals and perimeter of where the door meets up with the tub. Wipe down with a wet sponge. Don’t forget the soap dispenser cups.

Now that it’s clean, here are a few pointers to keep it running smoothly.

  • Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher. The dishwasher drains into the same pipe as your sink, so that drain must be clear.
  • Run hot water in your sink before running the dishwasher. You’ll get cleaner dishes if the water starts hot. (Collect the water you run and use it for watering plants or other purposes.)
  • Make sure the water starts hot enough. Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F. Water that is cooler than this won’t do a good job cleaning. Water that is hotter could scald.
  • Run full loads to conserve water and energy, but don’t pack dishes too tightly. Dishwashers wash dishes by spraying water over them, so the water needs to be able to get to the dishes to clean them.
  • If you’re inclined to pre-wash your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, consider this: Dishwasher detergent needs a certain amount of grease and dirt to do its job. Otherwise, it actually foams up during the cycle, which is not good for your dishwasher.
Custom Contracting, Inc. Phone: 781-648-2835
1267A Massachusetts Ave. Fax: 781-648-0907
Arlington, MA 02476 Email:


Custom Contracting, Inc. 1267A Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-648-2835 Fax: 781-648-0907 Email:

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