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Tips to Clean Your Dishwasher and Keep It Running Well

January 15, 2021

Aside from cleaning toilets, one of the most daunting household tasks is, arguably, doing the dishes. It seems to be a never-ending chore.

For those fortunate enough to have a dishwasher, how has it been running lately? Do you notice any unpleasant odors coming from your appliance? Is the run time taking longer than it used to? Most importantly, are your dishes coming out as clean as expected?

It is not uncommon that appliances do not function optimally without proper cleaning and maintenance. Think about what we put into these time-saving devices:

  • Plates covered in crumbs
  • Baked on cheese and who knows what else
  • Drinking mugs crusted with milk and other beverages
gray dishes inside of a dishwasher

Selecting the right dishwasher to meet your household needs is vital when making a new purchase. Talk to the experts at Howard's to select the perfect dishwasher for your home! Once you have the right appliance — with proper cleaning and maintenance — your dishwasher can last for a long time and run as good as it did the day you brought it home.

Tips for Cleaning Your Dishwasher

  • Using warm, soapy water, wash the entire inside of the dishwasher. We suggest getting two sizes of a scrubbing brush for this task. One with a longer handle to reach the back of the dishwasher, and a smaller one to clean out the dispenser and other small hard–to–reach spaces.
  • Clean the spray arms. Over time, mineral deposits and gunk build up and clog the sprayer holes, leading to a less effective wash cycle.
  • Clean door edges and gasket. When you open the door of your dishwasher and notice a rim of yuck, also known as old food particles and leftover detergent, it is time to make use of your small scrubbing brush.

How to Maintain Your Dishwasher

Doing these simple maintenance tips every three months will help ensure you get clean dishes every time:

  • When the dishwasher is empty, pour one cup of white vinegar into the bottom and run a complete cycle. This helps to loosen the “gunk” we previously discussed.
  • Inspect your silverware holder and racks for cracks and other forms of wear. Pro Tip: Remove these completely from the dishwasher to easily inspect.
  • Does your dishwasher have a filter? (Refer to your owner's manual if you are unsure). If so, remove it from the bottom of the dishwasher to clean and rinse.
  • Check the drain and clean as needed. If the drain is clogged, then dirty water cannot drain properly. Not only will this cause an unpleasant odor, but it makes your dishwasher run harder than it should.

Do you have questions on how to best maintain your appliance? Or need help finding a new dishwasher that will last?

Stop into one of our 13 locations to shop in person and work with a specialist on finding the appliance that fits your lifestyle, or you can shop online at to see which appliances are available. Howard's offers free home delivery on appliance purchases over $399 to the Southern California area.

Contact us today for more information or to have one of our experienced product specialists help you find the perfect home appliance.

Jennair Pro-Style® 24inch Built-In TriFecta Dishwasher, 38dBA Pro Style Stainles

Jennair Pro–Style® 24″ Built–In TriFecta Dishwasher, 38dBA Pro Style Stainless

Whirlpool® Dishwasher with Fan Dry

Whirlpool® Dishwasher with Fan Dry

Kitchenaid 46 DBA Dishwasher with ProWash™ Cycle and PrintShield™ Finish, Front Control - Stainless Steel with PrintShield™ Finish

Kitchenaid 46 DBA Dishwasher with ProWash Cycle and PrintShield Finish, Front Control – Stainless Steel with PrintShield Finish

Kenmore 24inch Built-In Dishwasher, Front Control, Plastic Tub

Kenmore 24″ Built–In Dishwasher, Front Control, Plastic Tub

Bosch 100 Series Dishwasher 24inch Stainless steel

Bosch 100 Series Dishwasher 24″ Stainless steel


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