Saturday, October 16, 2010

Removing Build Up From The Inside Of Your Dishwasher

I was at Child #4's flag football practice a couple of weeks ago, lamenting that my dishwasher was causing me grief. The main problem being that the dishes were coming out dirtier than when they went in. I am not new to this dilemma. I am lucky to live in an area that is surrounded by mountains, trees, and rivers. It is a beautiful place, but it has some of the hardest stinking water in the U.S. (seriously, it does!). Hard water can wreak great havoc on washing machines, dishwashers (I am on #3), faucets, pipes, siding, basically anything it touches. I do own a water softener, but that does not keep things totally in check (it just slows the process down). Anyway, the combination of lime scale, hard water, and dishwasher detergent build up had trashed the inside of the dishwasher, so when I ran a load, little bits of build up were being deposited on my dishes. One of the mom's that was chatting with me mentioned that a plumber had told her to use The Works toilet bowl cleaner to remove the build up. Being a gal who is always up for a cheap answer to a problem, I thought I would give it a try.

You can buy The Works toilet bowl cleaner at the Dollar Tree and Walmart.

Basically this is what I did:
  • Turn off heated drying cycle on your dishwasher.
  • Place newspaper under dishwasher to catch any drips. This is VERY important if you have laminate or hard wood floors. If the cleaner sits on your floor for very long it will eat the finish off of your floor! Wipe up spill and change wet newspaper IMMEDIATELY!
  • Squirt toilet bowl cleaner on the sides and around the entire bottom of the dishwasher.
  • I squirted some into the holes of my sprayer arms because they were filled up with crud,too.
  • Let cleaner sit for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how bad the build up is. I let mine sit for 10 minutes.
  • Fill the detergent cup up with toilet bowl cleaner.
  • Run the dishwasher on the Light Wash cycle (that way the dishwasher doesn't drain out your cleaner before it is done working).
  • When dishwasher hits the drying cycle, open the door and let the steam escape.
  • Use a wet sponge to wipe out any remaining grunge.
  • Run your dishwasher without anything in it through a second cycle to remove any remaining cleaner.
  • Admire your beautifully clean dishwasher!
I had to repeat the process a second time, because my dishwasher was so funky gross, but it was worth it. Here is the dishwasher before:

Here it is after a thorough detox:

Almost like new! The best part is the dishes actually came out clean and sparkly! The troops are happy, too. They were getting tired of doing multiple loads of dishes by hand everyday to keep up. The big babies! I remember when I was growing up I had to do dishes by hand...uphill... in a snow storm....


  1. I so needed this! I have the most problems with my glasses coming out nice and clean...I will have to pick some up next time I am out!

  2. That is a great idea. We don't use our dishwasher all the time, but I've noticed that it's looking a little sad. I also have some rusty spots on the racks where the plastic coating has come off. Will have to figure out what to do with that eventually.

  3. WOW!! I so need to do that. I have used that cleaner on my toilets before and loved it. Again you are a Genius!!

  4. Just what I needed to overhaul my dishwasher for our family of 9! This thing runs three times a day on a regular basis. The build-up was disgusting, and our "clean" dishes were sporting those same flecks exactly the way you described. I've got The Works in the poor old machine right now. Thanks so much!

  5. Great article ! It’s very amazing advice , extremely helpful,
    I’m really appreciate thanks for your sharing !!!!!
    Toilet cleaner is very important issue for our daily needs.Natural cleaning product is perfect for for kitchen, bathroom and also floor cleaning.



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