Many of us forget that a dishwasher needs to be cleaned. When it is continually filled with dirty dishes, it is understandable that a dishwasher may start to get very dirty, but there is some simple maintenance advice to keep your dishwasher operating efficiently and effectively.


One of the most common dishwasher issues is a lingering, unpleasant odor. If your dishwasher has started to smell, or you want to ensure it stays fresh, you can easily deodorize it as part of your regular cleaning routine.

When the dishwasher is empty, use detergent to wipe down the surfaces to remove any residue. Next, remove the filter from the dishwasher floor and clear it of any food debris. You can use a small brush to scrub any stubborn particles before you rinse with clean water. Replace this in the dishwasher floor.

Now your dishwasher is clean; you can deodorize. The easiest way to do this is to put a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher safe bowl or cup and run an empty cycle. You won’t need any detergent during this cycle as the vinegar will need to circulate. If there are stubborn smells, you may need to put a little baking soda on the floor of the dishwasher and allow it to sit for twelve hours. After this time, you can run an empty cycle with your usual detergent.

Deal With Rust

Rusting can result from items, such as skillets or silverware being put through the dishwasher or metal parts of the dishwasher starting to age. To deal with rust issues, you should hand wash any rusted items or use rust remover before rinsing and putting in the dishwasher.

Be sure to pull each rack out fully to check for signs of rusted areas. These parts will need a sealing solvent, such as liquid rubber or certain types of nail polish, allowing them to thoroughly dry.

If your dishwasher is showing stains from utensils, you’ll need a citric acid compound that is specially formulated for dishwashers. You’ll need to follow the instructions, but it usually involves putting the compound in the detergent dispenser and running two cycles.

Draining Issues

If you find your dishwasher isn’t draining all the way, it is usually due to a blockage. You’ll need to ensure the power to the appliance is switched off and undo the screws to access the basket in the floor of the dishwasher. Use a thin piece of wire, such as a coat hanger to clear any food particles that are causing an obstruction.

Check the Hoses

The hoses connected to your dishwasher provide clean water for the wash cycle and carry dirty water out of your kitchen. Unfortunately, these hoses can be vulnerable to damage as they age, which can lead to leaks. So, it is a good idea to periodically check the hoses for any sign of damage. Check under your sink for drips or corrosion, particularly at the joints. Hoses typically last five years, so if your hoses are approaching this age, you should think about replacing them. This is a relatively easy task, and you can buy replacement hoses online or at your local hardware store.

Many of us consider a dishwasher to be an essential appliance, so it is important to ensure your dishwasher is well cared for. With some basic maintenance and TLC, you can ensure that your dishwasher works efficiently and effectively for years to come.

If your dishwasher is struggling and you’re considering a replacement, you can explore your options with this online dishwasher collection, or for further guidance and help, speak to a home appliance expert.