No, we’re not kidding! Your dishwasher needs to be cleaned every now and then. Over a period of time soap scum, grease, and gunk from your dirty dishes gets stuck on the door, sides, bottom, and drain area. I find it really handy to grab one of those dish scrub brushes with a long handle to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle some baking soda on the areas to be cleaned. You can also add a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Scrub with the brush, and then wipe with a wet sponge or dish rag. Also, check for and remove any debris that may be plugging the drain. This could save you a visit from the repairman.
When finished scrubbing, add a cup of vinegar to a dishwasher safe coffee cup and set it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run the (almost) empty dishwasher through one cycle.
Hint: A little preventative maintenance goes a long way. Rinsing dishes, at least the worst offenders, will help keep the drain unclogged and the dishwasher cleaner.
Also see our post titled Quick Tip to Deodorize Dishwashers
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