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Do I really need to clean my dishwasher?

 
 
DrewDad
 
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 08:48 am
Aren't dishwashers kinda self-cleaning by definition?

I don't clean my washing machine, for God's sake.
 
View best answer, chosen by DrewDad
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:09 am
@DrewDad,
I never clean mine, but that's probably because I always wash the dishes before I put them in it.
Phoenix32890
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:13 am
I also rinse off my dishes before I put it in the dishwasher. I do one load a day, at bedtime, so I suppose that if I put in the breakfast dishes dirty, I would have a problem.

Sometime back, we were having a problem with the dishwasher, and called in a service. The guy told me not to fill the soap cups too high, and showed me when he ran the machine with no soap, suds mysteriously appeared.

I see absolutely no reason to wash out a dishwasher!
hamburgboy
  Selected Answer
 
  6  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:16 am
@Phoenix32890,
once a month run the dishwasher without dishes , but pour two cups of plain vinegar into the dw and let it run .
cleans the whole inside system from detergent residue .
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:17 am
@Phoenix32890,
Good tip. I always fill mine a little under half because we have a water softener...same for the clothes washer.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:19 am
@Phoenix32890,

my in-laws do not believe in rinsing the dishes.
i think it's from all the pre-dishwasher years of washing dishes by hand.
they just scrape and toss 'em in dirty, often letting them sit for hours before starting a load.

guess what happens?
half of the dishes are still dirty and have to go through another load.

dunno if they ever clean their dishwasher, but they really should... pee yew!
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:22 am
@hamburgboy,
Aha! Now THAT makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the tip!
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 10:34 am
@Irishk,
I'm not talking about pulling the plastic filter out occasionally and tossing whatever's gotten stuck. I do that regularly.

I've seen ads recently about products for cleaning the dishwasher. I know someone who went in with a toothbrush and cleaned their dishwasher by hand. I asked myself, "is this really necessary?"




I much prefer not to pre-rinse (wastes water, IMO). I prefer to have a dishwasher that can handle washing dishes.
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:01 am
I put half-n-half Borax and dishwashing soap in the container, then pour about a cup of vinegar in the bottom. Sparkle sparkle. We don't have a water softener and are on septic so vinegar goes down all drains now and then, as does Borax. Saves on bleach and all those expensive sprays.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:07 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:
I've seen ads recently about products for cleaning the dishwasher.


I avoid most ads like the plague (except for techy gadgets/fashion lol), so there's probably a lot of stuff out there I'm not aware of.

On the pre-washing...I get flak about that regularly from friends/family. It's a flaw I'm working on.

Pemerson: I use a lot of white vinegar in my cleaning regimens...try to remember to pour some down the drains regularly. I try to avoid bleach whenever I can.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:28 am
I always pre-rinse mine, too, and actually scrub stuff that heat will bake on, like melted cheese, egg, and potato water scum. It's a dish WASHER, not a scrubber, and all the food bits have to go somewhere. I'd prefer if they were in my garbeurator rather my dishwasher.

Once in a while I do that vinegar rinse, too, also with the coffee maker.
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:37 am
I'm currently working on a machine that washes dishwashers. And a vending machine that vends vending machines.

If I ever find out one of you has patented either of these inventions before I perfect them I will find and hurt you.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:40 am
Don't run cleanser, such as Comet or Ajax, in dishwashers. They will leak badly and need extensive repair or replacement. {Cheap as they are, I prefer to replace).
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 02:32 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Aren't dishwashers kinda self-cleaning by definition?

I don't clean my washing machine, for God's sake.


I absolutely agree. That's why I never launder my bath towel. It's only used immediately after showering and is probably the cleanest thing in the house.

Confused
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 03:40 pm
@DrewDad,
After seeing the inside of the components of our swamp cooler and air vents here in Albuquerque, I'd second Hamburger's advice about the vinegar for the dishwasher and regular cleanings for other systems in the house.

About two months ago we had to have just about all the mechanical components cleaned or replaced because they were so badly coated with minerals. Big chunks of mineral deposits would break off in my hands and then crumble to pieces. This all happened in the last year since the a/c was serviced the previous season. I guess I had some early warnings last year that something was going on with the quality of the water here. After BBB had her blood clot episode and was put on blood thinners, I bought and installed humidifiers for the rooms she uses most to prevent nose bleeds from the dry winter air. A fine white powdery film started coating the furniture and television screens, so thick it looked like talcum powder when you ran your hand across them.

Something similar happened with the air vents in the house last winter. We were seeing (and breathing) these small white flakey things fall from the vents when the heat was on. Michael, our neighbor and handy person, opened up each vent in the house and vacuumed out layers of what looked like sand and mineral deposits from each of them. So, I'd also advise having your air vents cleaned out every few years as well.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 03:45 pm
I almost never use my dishwasher. I enjoy washing dishes- the hot water, the smell of the soap. I have NEVER cleaned my dishwasher - it sits empty most of the time and it seems to be fine.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 12:33 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Aren't dishwashers kinda self-cleaning by definition?

I don't clean my washing machine, for God's sake.


What a fantastic place for germs to build up. Warm damp environment with regular food supply.

You should also clean your washing machine. Probably once every 12 months is enough.

Soap scum and lint build up in a variety of places.

use 2 cups of vinegar to a wash load of hot water on highest water level and check the lint filter afterward.

DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 07:06 am
@dadpad,
So am I to fight germs, or am I to fight soap scum?

Germs will get washed out everytime I run a load of wash. Same with lint.

I haven't noticed an appreciable amount of soap build-up in the washer; I imagine the rinse cycle is doing its purpose.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 07:11 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:
I don't clean my washing machine, for God's sake.


it should be cleaned once in a while

running a couple of cycles with water and vinegar is the easiest way to do it

the top should be popped and gunk cleaned out there as well

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 07:22 am
New info for me here, thanks all. I've never washed my dishwasher (relatively new) or washing machine (over a decade old), never thought of it. They do both seem just fine for now but sounds like a good idea to do the vinegar trick now and then.
0 Replies
 
 

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