Dishwasher Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Once in a while, I find out that the dishes no longer come out really clean from the dishwasher or that the machine smells bad. Time to clean the dishwasher.

Clean the dishwasher if it stinks or dishes don’t get completely clean. You can clean a dishwasher by emptying the dishwasher with a machine cleaner. Machine cleaner is a powerful agent that thoroughly cleans the dishwasher and the pipes.

Below you will find a handy step-by-step plan with photos to guide you through the steps. In addition, I have set out some suitable cleaning agents for you. Prefer to watch than read? Watch my video below!

General step-by-step plan for cleaning the dishwasher. Time does not include the time it takes for the dishwasher to run a full cycle.

Empty the machine

Make sure the dishwasher is empty. Always check the packaging of the machine cleaner you have chosen for how to use it.

empty dishwasher

Clean the filter

Detach the filter at the bottom and remove food residues from the filter. Then wash the parts with dish soap, hot water and a dish brush or sponge. Reassemble the filter and place it in the dishwasher.

Check the salt reservoir

The salt reservoir can be found on the bottom of the dishwasher. You will see a screw cap that you can unscrew. Below is a reservoir that is intended for softening salt. Check twice a year whether this reservoir is filled, and if not, top it up with softening salt. Cleaning the reservoir is not necessary.

Run the dishwasher with machine cleaner

There are various cleaning agents that are suitable for cleaning your dishwasher. I don’t think there is much difference in available cleaning agents, so choose the one that suits you best. I 

Let the dishwasher dry

The dishwasher will dry automatically when it has finished washing as part of the wash cycle. When the machine has beeped that it has finished the wash cycle, leave it with the valve open until all the moisture has dried.

Check off cleaning tasks

When you check off your cleaning tasks in a checklist, cleaning is a lot more satisfying and you have a better overview.

That’s why I made a free cleaning checklist, with daily, weekly and periodic chores.

Start each day off right with the daily checklist and tips.

Enjoy a clean house and a feeling of satisfaction by ticking off completed tasks.

Get a better grip on the household with the handy overview of periodic cleaning tasks.

You can now download the cleaning checklist for free. I personally find it useful to print out the PDF, but of course you can also keep it on your computer or phone!

Types of machine cleaner for the dishwasher

There are several options when it comes to dishwasher cleaners. Always check the packaging for specific instructions and follow them closely.

Cleaning the dishwasher with Calgonit

Calgonit is now called Finish. It’s the same cleanser with a different name. Finish machine cleaner is a liquid chemical that has a very powerful cleaning effect.

You use it as follows: Remove the cap from the bottle and remove the seal. Put the cap back on the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down in the bottom rack of the dishwasher.

Then turn on the empty dishwasher on a hot/intensive program. You can buy Calgonit at the supermarket or online: Finish dishwasher cleaner. View the link for the current price and delivery time.

Cleaning the dishwasher with Finish

Finish cleaning blocks can be used with dishes in the dishwasher. So you can simply load the dishwasher with dishes and then let it run with the cleaning agent.

Put a dishwasher cube in the compartment for the dishwasher cubes and place the capsule with Finish detergent elsewhere in the dishwasher.

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