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Running a dishwasher cleaner: Is it necessary?

Running a dishwasher cleaner: Is it necessary?

We expect our white goods to last at least 10 years and dishwashers are no exception. A long life requires some commitment to proper dishwasher care, but maintaining your machine doesn’t have to be a burden. Whilst dedicated dishwasher cleaning products aren’t strictly necessary, they can make cleaning the appliance a lot easier. 

Cleaning your dishwasher – what are the options?

Whether your dishwasher cleaning routine consists of wiping down the outside of your dishwasher or giving the inside a thorough deep clean, there are several product options you can choose from to help speed up the job.

For the hands-on part of dishwasher care, you can just use your bare hands or wear rubber gloves to pick up any remnants of food waste. Alternatively, you can use a paper towel to wipe up any leftovers. It’s best to do this after every cycle to avoid a build-up of gunk. Your daily maintenance efforts will be rewarded with an appliance that runs smoothly for longer.

The filter should be taken out and cleaned once a week. All you need is some hot water to rinse it under. But if you’re giving the inside filter a more thorough clean, use a soft brush. You can add a bit of dish soap to loosen stubborn grease.  

On to the rubber seal of the dishwasher door! You can use a sponge or a wet towel to wipe down the seal once a week. Cleaning fluids can be useful to loosen stubborn dirt and grime. But try to avoid harsh chemicals such as bleach as they can damage the rubber material. Special sealant cleaning wipes are available, but if you’re keeping up with your dishwasher maintenance routine, you probably won’t really need them. You can use a wet wipe or some kitchen cleaning fluid to wipe down the outside of your appliance. Here’s another tip: Always leave your dishwasher open for a while after a run to allow the water to evaporate and avoid build-up of mould. 

When it comes to the once-monthly deep clean, you have several dishwasher cleaning products to choose from. There are various commercial products on the market or you can choose a natural alternative like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. 

Running an empty cycle with a cup of vinegar on the top rack can help get rid of foul smells and unclog grime, but it’s worth checking your manufacturer’s instructions because some dishwasher makers advise against using vinegar due to potential acid damage. 

Whichever option you choose, running a dishwasher cleaner through your empty appliance once a month gets rid of the more stubborn gunk. So how do you choose between natural versus store-bought options?

Are dishwasher cleaners necessary?

Here’s the thing: Dishwasher cleaners are not strictly necessary for optimal maintenance, but they do a good job. Some cleaning tabs can even be used as part of a regular wash and you may find that using them once every three to six months is enough. 

Most dishwasher cleaners have been specifically designed to get rid of limescale and grease, but they won’t break down food remnants (unfortunately, that remains a manual job). So, if you practice regular and thorough maintenance, you won’t need special cleaners to help you do the job. But if you’re like most of us and life gets in the way of even your best intentions to deep clean once a month, it’s a good idea to get some help from a store-bought product. 

But remember that even the top-rated dishwasher cleaners won’t help get rid of large pieces of food waste. So make sure to dispose of any big pieces in the bin before you turn your dishwasher on. This should also help to reduce any smells coming from your dishwasher.

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