If you notice unpleasant smells coming from your empty dishwasher, it's time for a thorough cleaning. However, you should clean the inside of the device at the latest when your dishes no longer get clean. In this article we explain which cleaning methods work best and why a dishwasher starts to stink. We will also show you how you can clean the device using simple home remedies.
There are places in the dishwasher where food residue accumulates because it is not absorbed by the washing water: for example, in the sieve at the bottom, in the insert baskets or even in small spaces. The longer the food stays there undetected, the more it decomposes and begins to smell. In addition, dirt particles also accumulate and rot in the rubber seals. And as if that wasn't disgusting enough, there are also lime residues, which form an ideal breeding ground for bacteria - and permanently destroy the dishwasher's components. This makes it all the more important to clean the device thoroughly at least once every three months (depending on how frequently it is used). You can find out how this works in the next paragraph.
It is advisable to remove grease, odors, limescale and dirt deposits from the dishwasher every now and then using a special machine cleaner: pull off the tab, place the container upside down in the dishwasher and turn on the appliance (as hot as possible). However, since the rinse water cannot reach all places, as already described above, you should regularly remove all loose parts and clean them by hand. Proceed as follows:
If you want to avoid chemicals out of love for the environment, there are a variety of tried and tested home remedies that you can use to clean the dishwasher:
Citric acid is said to be good for stubborn limescale deposits. The home remedy can be used pure or diluted. Use it to wipe out the interior and clean both the sealing rubber and the flushing arms. Then add pure citric acid (approx. ten tablespoons) to the dishwasher and run it - without dishes - through a cleaning program that is not too hot.
In order to combat unpleasant odors, the bacterial foci must be removed. A mixture of baking soda and citric acid is said to be particularly suitable for this - however, both home remedies react together with water and are thereby neutralized. It is therefore important to use both products separately: put three tablespoons of citric acid in the washing powder compartment and five tablespoons of baking soda directly into the machine. Only then do you turn on the dishwasher and run a short, low-temperature program.
An equally tried-and-tested home remedy for limescale and dirt is vinegar, but not pure, but heavily diluted with water. The best way to do this is to use a large bucket to then put parts of the dishwasher (such as the sieve or the washing arms) in it. You can also use the vinegar and water mixture to wipe down the interior of the device - but be careful not to touch the seals. The vinegar attacks the rubber and causes the seals to become porous more quickly.
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