Guide to Cleaning a Dishwasher



Every once in a while, your dishwasher needs a little attention. Here is how to clean your dishwasher easily and quickly so it runs smoothly, smells fresh, and your dishes are sparkling.

Cleaning the Interior of Your Dishwasher


When you think of all the household chores you have to complete, cleaning your dishwasher interior probably doesn't rank high. The dishwasher does most of the work, not you.


Over time, soap scum, undissolved detergent, food debris, and grease can build up on its walls, seals, arms, and basin, as well as in its trap and drain. This residue and grime can become a breeding ground for germs, and they can be recycled around your dishes.


The minerals in hard water can also build up in your dishwasher, causing limescale and mineral deposits. These can be unsightly and could affect your dishwasher’s performance.¹


As well as this, the residue can give off a musty smell in the dishwasher, which nobody wants, especially in the kitchen where food is prepared.

How to Clean a Dishwasher


There are several DIY dishwasher cleaning tips, such as leaving a bowl of vinegar on the top rack and running an empty dishwasher, followed by another empty cycle with baking soda sprinkled in the bottom of your machine.


Some DIY cleaning strategies suggest cleaning dishwashers with chlorine bleach. Bleach can permanently damage and discolour stainless steel dishwashers if used to clean them. Cleaning your dishwasher doesn't require you to use chlorine bleach at all. Besides, who wants bleach near their food and cooking utensils?


Luckily, there's another way to quickly clean the inside of your dishwasher. With affresh® dishwasher cleaner tablets, you can take care of business in a few minutes and a single dishwasher cycle. You can even wash a load of dishes at the same time.² Here’s how:


Step 1: Prepare Your Dishwasher

Clean your dishwasher with your usual load or one that is empty.


Step 2: Add affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner

If you are running your dishwasher full of dishes (with your detergent in the detergent dispenser), place an affresh® dishwasher cleaner tablet in the bottom of the machine. If your dishwasher is empty, put the affresh® tablet into the detergent dispenser. To get rid of a lot of build-up in your dishwasher, place one affresh® tablet in the detergent dispenser and another one at the bottom then run the dishwasher without dishes.


Step 3: Perform a Normal Wash Cycle

Run a dishwasher cycle as normal.


Step 4: Relax

While affresh® dishwasher cleaner powers away limescale and mineral build-up, you can enjoy a tasty beverage and go about your daily routine

cleaning dishwasher

How affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner Removes Residue and Smell


Formulated with EPA Safer Choice® certified ingredients, affresh® dishwasher cleaner is specially formulated to help remove limescale and mineral build-up that can be unsightly and could affect your dishwasher’s performance.¹ During a normal wash cycle, one tablet in the bottom of your dishwasher will clean your dishwasher while your detergent will clean your dishes.


Any brand or model of dishwasher can be cleaned with affresh® dishwasher cleaner. And here’s a bonus: if you have cloudy glasses or dishes from mineral build-up, affresh® dishwasher cleaner will help descale and brighten those, too, all at the same time.


Affresh® dishwasher cleaner is safe for stainless steel dishwashers, septic systems and municipal water supplies. While it can be used on most dishes and pots and pans, it is a good idea to check your manufacturer's instructions before using it on your most important dishes.



Tips for Maintaining a Clean Dishwasher


Use affresh® dishwasher cleaner monthly for best results.¹ Set a reminder to make it part of your once-a-month cleaning routine. Here are a few more tips to help you take care of your dishwasher:


• Be sure to use the right amount of detergent. Too much will cause over-foaming and may force newer appliances into multiple rinse cycles. It will also lead to more soap scum build-up. Too little will affect how clean the dishes become.


• Run hot water from your kitchen sink, then turn on your dishwasher. The detergent and the appliance itself work best if the water is hot from the beginning of the cycle.


• Don't overload your dishwasher. Your dishes and glasses need to be able to reach the water from the spray arms.


• Rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, but don’t pre-wash. Believe it or not, your dishwasher detergent needs some bits of food on the dishes in order to work properly! Surfactants in the detergent bond with dirt and grease and without any, it can over-foam and lead to the issues above.


• Before putting jars or containers in the dishwasher, remove their labels.

• After you empty the dishwasher, leave the door ajar to circulate air and let it fully dry.


• After you empty a dishwasher, inspect the filter at the bottom. Consider rinsing the filter as a weekly maintenance chore and deep cleaning with affresh® cleaner monthly or after about 30 wash cycles.


• The dishwasher will not drain properly if there is standing water after a wash cycle, because it has become clogged with debris and residue. Your dishwasher needs to be cleaned. Remove the bottom rack, remove any debris around the filter and drain and use two affresh® tablets, one in the detergent dispenser and one on the bottom of the machine. Run the dishwasher on a normal cycle, without any dishes.


By using affresh® dishwasher cleaner regularly, you can ensure that your dishwasher is clean. It’s #1 recommended by Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag and Amana brands.³ You will be able to keep your machine clean - and smelling new.

¹ Heavily soiled machines may require extra cleaning cycles.
² Check manufacturer’s suggested cleaning instructions on all dishwasher-safe items.
³ affresh® products and the recommended brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.

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