Pre-Christmas Cleaning

With all of my Christmas listing and Projects around my house right now, I don’t want to let cleaning go by the wayside. I’ve been trying to keep up with my regular cleaning using my House Cleaning Schedule, which can be difficult this time of year. There are so many added events around the holidays and we’re short on time already. However, if I let the house cleaning slide, I get frustrated and let’s be honest….a little crabby. So today I decided to do some regular cleaning such as vacuuming and dusting and then throw in a slightly bigger project…..clean the dishwasher. Now I know that sounds redundant…why should you clean a dishwasher? It’s like cleaning soap.

However, there is always some calcium build up, possibly a little rust and perhaps food particles that didn’t get washed away with everything else. We have VERY hard water so the build up is more than normal. I wanted to clean with a natural product, so I used vinegar, which is what I clean almost EVERYTHING with. Here are the steps:

-Since I had never used vinegar in my dishwasher before I first checked the manual to make sure it was safe to use in there (some brands can have pieces that are sensitive to something so acidic). Sidenote: I keep my manuals in a large binder in the pantry. Whenever I need to reference one, they are all in the same place and close at hand.

Dishwasher (1)

-Then I took the bottom dish basket out of the dishwasher. The top one is actually screwed in and I didn’t want to mess with it, so it just stayed. I wiped both baskets down with a paper towel and vinegar.

-Then I took the spinny thing (technical term) out of the bottom of the dishwasher. It unscrewed by hand and came out completely for easy cleaning.

Dishwasher (2)

I found a wayward purple spoon underneath this spinny thing.

Dishwasher (3)I wonder how long that had been there….

Anyways…you can see some calcium build up on parts of the arm that spins.

Dishwasher (4)

I tried to wipe it off and then chipped a little off with a toothpick but it was still there. So I sprinkled some baking soda on it and then poured a little vinegar on. It was my own teeny tiny version of the volcano we all made as children and then the mess wiped right off. Yea!

Dishwasher (5)

I took the 3 small parts I had removed from the dishwasher and swirled them around in a little vinegar to clean them up.

Dishwasher (6)Then I put everything back into the dishwasher. And I have to admit that even though I was taking pictures and being careful about keeping things in order, I still had to lug the manual back out to determine exactly how these little pieces went back in.

Dishwasher (7)Then I cleaned the inside edges of the door with my vinegar and a little baking soda where it needed it. I tried to scrub really well around all of the seals.

Then I filled a plastic container with about a cup of vinegar and put it in the top rack and closed it up. I hit the ‘quick cycle’ button because everything I read said that this was long enough for the vinegar to clean the dishwasher. While the cycle was going, I cleaned the outside of the door. I did this with my other favorite cleaning tool….Mr. Clean Erasers. These are the best!

After the cycle was finished, I had a sparkling clean dishwasher!

Dishwasher (9)Dishwasher (8)I plan on doing this more often and it will take even less time in the future since I hopefully won’t need to reference the manual. Next I plan on tackling the washer and dryer, so keep an eye out for tips!



8 thoughts on “Pre-Christmas Cleaning

  1. Pingback: Spring Greening – Cleaning Green | Neaten Your Nest

  2. Great tips! I’m working on some pre-Christmas cleaning too, although I don’t think my cleaning is going to be quite as hard-core as yours! 🙂 I definitely need to tackle the dishwasher one of these days though and I’ll be sure to reference this post when I do!

  3. oh! my! we just got a new dishwasher in October and I don’t feel like cleaning it but I know I have to, but I might have to look for that “manual” ! thanks for sharing this, I will keep it in my bookmarks to not forget about it and loose it! 🙂

    • It didn’t take too long once I actually figured out what I was going to do. I’m sure I won’t do it every month, but probably every couple months I’ll try to get it done. I know it will get the dishes cleaner and the dishwasher will last longer if I keep it up. Thanks!

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