I ran a coffee shop for about 10 years and during that time, I learned a lot about the importance of maintaining one of the hardest working appliances out there: your dishwasher. I had to pay for many (many many) expensive service and repair calls, and the one thing that we always heard, every time the service guys came out, was that we had to keep the dishwasher clean and maintain it on a regular basis to keep it running smoothly.
We had a really fancy and expensive industrial dishwasher of course, but the concept of maintaining your dishwasher is really the same no matter what kind you have. You may think that your dishwasher at home is clean but everyday use can cause grease, lime scale, and soap scum to build up in tubes, spray arms, and other vital parts and cause it not to work as well. When you’re doing 100 loads of dishes per day in a commercial setting, you do need to run maintenance procedures almost constantly, but you probably don’t need to be quite as intense about it at home. Once a month should do it. 🙂
You’ll want to start with an empty dishwasher. I just happened to run my dishwasher in the evening on the day that I wanted to do my little maintenance routine so I waited until morning to actually start the process so that I could get some decent pictures to show you. I kept my dishwasher empty so that I could get started first thing in the morning, but this whole process is really so quick that you could easily go through it at night after you do your dinner dishes. I ended up with a sink full of dishes from evening snacks, lunch box dishes, and breakfast dishes, but it really wasn’t that bad. I documented that too, just so you can see that today’s post is all about keeping it real. 🙂
The first thing you’ll want to do is open up the door to your dishwasher and look inside at the bottom where the water drains out and anything that may have been stuck to your dishes likes to go to hide.
If you do see anything, which you probably will, grab a paper towel and pick it up and remove it to the trash.
Next, take a look at the interior of your dishwasher’s door. This is an area that most of us never think to look at, but it has a lot of grooves that can collect soap scum, food particles, and just general grime. Really, you’re going to be so surprised! If you haven’t done this in a couple of months (or ever) it will probably be pretty filthy!
Now for the fun (easy) part. Grab a bottle of Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner and let it do the rest for you! Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner has 5x Power Actions that help keep your machine clean and shiny, remove lime scale, clear grease, clean hidden parts that you can’t even see, and freshen the whole thing up! Plus is comes in a cool bottle. All you have to do is remove the little peel back tab on the top of the lid and place the bottle upside down in the bottom rack of your dishwasher.
When I saw the bottle on my grocery store shelf, I was curious as to why it was shaped that way. But then (!) I put it in the dishwasher and realized that it’s perfectly sized to fit right in one of the plate holders! I appreciate little things like that. 🙂 When the bottle is in place, close the door and run your dishwasher on its hottest setting. It’s usually either called something like “pots and pans” or “sanitize”.
Back in the day, when I was maintaining the commercial dishwasher, we had these little sacks of dangerous powder that we had to shake into the bottom of the dishwasher and it would always get everywhere and make me nervous about getting it all over me, so I really enjoy how easy they’ve made this. Because I talk a lot, it probably seems like this has been a long process up to this point, but the elapsed time so far on this project is about three minutes. 🙂 After you’ve hit the “start” button, just go about your day and let your dishwasher take care of itself! When the cycle has finished, just remove the empty Finish® bottle and toss it in the recycling. Then make give the outside of your dishwasher a nice polish and congratulate yourself on a job well done!
Take these few simple steps once a month and you’ll keep your dishwasher happy, healthy, and fresh for years to come! Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner can be purchased at most grocery and home stores like Loblaws, Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Sobeys for about $4.99 or you can connect with them on Facebook and YouTube to find out more. And if a clean and worry-free dishwasher wasn’t enough for you, I always have a chance for one of you to win a Spa Getaway courtesy of Finish®!
Finish® wants you to see for yourself how great their dishwasher cleaner is so they’re holding a contest in which one winner will receive a spa getaway to the Caribbean! Simply leave a review on their Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win.
Personally, I think they should send me along with you, you know, so we can talk about dishwashers and stuff. 🙂
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.