In my house there is a constant battle over the “right way” to put dishes in the dishwasher.
My husband places the dishes all willy-nilly. I place the dishes in an orderly fashion, making sure I can fit in as many dishes as possible.
My husband places cups on both the top and bottom racks. I place cups only on the top rack.
He places forks with the pokey end up; I put the pokey end down. Seriously, who wants to grab the pokey end?
In fact, the only thing we actually agree on is that we don’t rinse dishes before we put them in the dishwasher.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ll wash off big clumps of ranch dressing or BBQ sauce. And, of course, all of the big chunks of food go in the compost. Sometimes, my husband forgets the last step and we end up with lettuce leaves floating around the bottom of the dishwasher, clogging drains while slowly decomposing.
Occasionally, it’s time to pull out the bottom rack and prepare to clean the dishwasher. The first step is to remove any obvious food particles left behind.
Once you’ve cleared the drain, place the bottom rack back in the dishwasher and fill a dishwasher safe cup with one cup of white vinegar. Place this cup on the top rack, and run the dishwasher through a regular cycle with the hottest water available. Vinegar helps loosen any grime that is in your dishwasher. It also sanitizes the tub, and helps to remove any musty odors.
When the cycle is complete, remove the cup from the top rack and sprinkle a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher tub. Run your dishwasher through a short cycle. The baking soda helps to remove stains and any remaining odors.
Clean your dishwasher as needed, or every 6 months for optimal results.