Most people don’t even think about cleaning their dishwasher. Maybe that is because it is an appliance used to clean dishes, pots, pans and silverware on a daily basis as needed. It is all too easy to just assume that your dishwasher basically cleans itself while it washes your dishes. In reality, food and other deposits happen over the months, which can result in a dishwasher that doesn’t perform well. This will leave you with dishes that are not so clean.

It is important that you clean your dishwasher from time to time to ensure it cleans as best as it can. American Drain Company, your emergency plumber in Los Angeles, offers these tips to cleaning your dishwasher.



At the very bottom of your dishwasher is the drain. The bottom of your dishwasher is where all of the food debris and other gunk winds up after each washing cycle. And as such, this debris can clog up the drain and cause problems with your dishwasher including flooding. At the very least, a clogged drain makes your dishwasher less efficient.

Collect the bigger chunks of debris with your hand, wear a glove should you feel it necessary. You might have to unscrew the drain cover for small bits that may have fallen in, just make sure you unplug the dishwasher first.


If there is an offending odor around your dishwasher, it could be coming from the outer edges. The edges around the dishwasher door are rubber and serve to keep water inside. The edges on the outside tend to get a lot of gunk spilled on them. You are, after all, loading dirty dishes dripping with food in your dishwasher and spillage is inevitable.

Take a cloth, soak it in hot and soapy water and wipe down the outside of your dishwasher really good to get it clean and fresh smelling.


Your dishwasher works by spraying hot water out of the spinning arms to clean your dishes. If there is buildup in these arms, they won’t spin properly and your dishes won’t be getting as clean as they should be. You can clean the holes in the arm using a toothpick or small piece of wire.


With the mix of food particles and a hot, steamy environment, your dishwasher is the perfect place to breed some nasty bacteria. Thinking about this should prompt you to clean your dishwasher more often. After all, it is used to clean wares you will be eating from.

Once you have cleaned out the bigger chunks and scrubbed down the outside of your dishwasher, you can now sanitize. Place a bowl with one cup of white vinegar on the top shelf. If you so desire, you can add a few drops of essential oils to get rid of the vinegar scent. Run the dishwasher on the hottest setting. The combination of vinegar, water and heat will kill everything.

If you have plumbing issues that need to be resolved, give American Drain Company a call.