How to clean a cruddy dishwasher

This week our Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn, shows us how to clean the inside of our dishwasher.  

Jill says that over time dishwashers build up a film of crud on the inside, especially if you're on a well or have hard water. Aside from looking bad, it affects your dishwasher's performance. It can keep the moving parts from moving freely and can affect the water flow.

Cleaning it is super easy, says Jill, but you can get more bang for your buck, if you do it the way Jill does.  

First, start with a product call Affresh. You'll find it at appliance stores and in the appliance sections of the big box home improvement shows. It's about 6 bucks for a box of 6 tablets. You can take a single tablet and put it in the empty dishwasher and run it though it's cycle and that should work pretty well.  

If your dishwasher has a ton of build-up, you might want use 2 tablets. Because Jill's water is from a well and leaves mineral scale on everything, she used two tablets BUT... Jill put a little twist on it. 

Jill used 2 tablets, putting one in the bottom of the dishwasher and one in the flip open soap dispenser on the door. She had to cut one in half to get it to fit in the soap dispenser. 

Then, before she started the dishwasher, she piled all of her flatware and all of her glassware in the dishwasher, too. Those things have a tendency to build up a film on them over time.

Once it was all in, she closed the door and hit 'start'. When it was done, even Jill was surprised how good it all looked! 

The dishwasher, the glassware, the flatware, all of it super clean! The spoons were like mirrors!  

It was then that Jill realized that this needs to be a "regular thing" in her kitchen, or at least, a semi-regular thing. Mineral scale and cruddy film just kind of build up over time, and it's good to clean it all off once in a while and start fresh.  

Jill says that every few months, she's going to re-do this process to keep the dishwasher working great and all the kitchen ware looking great.

Jill says that you could even use this process for glass serving pieces, stainless cookware, nearly anything that can go into the dishwasher.  

***NOTE*** Jill did run the glasses and flatware through a normal wash load immediately after, but the Affresh packaging does not say that is necessary.


To watch Jill take you through the process, click on the video player above.