|I wish my plates were this colorful! Image via SmallNotebook.org, specifically the great post: 5 Tips to Improve Your Dishwasher.|
Personal quirks aside, there is somewhat of a real science behind loading the dishwasher. Seventh Generation's blog features awesome tips on how to load a dishwasher.
My favorite tip is: "Don't prewash dishes! The enzymes in dish detergent need a place to work, and food particles provide the work site."
That's great news because unless I've had previous problems with a specific food I just scrape off any food remains before putting the dish (into the perfect spot) in the dishwasher. My dishes almost always come out clean so clearly that tip is spot on. (Pun intended.)
When my dishes stop coming out clean or the washer smells a little funky, I know it's time to clean the dishwasher. Here's a simple, green way to clean your dishwasher:
- Start with an empty dishwasher.
- Wash the drain attachment in warm sudsy water. (I never do this because my dishwasher drain thingy doesn't come out.)
- If the utensil basket is attached to the door, remove it and clean behind it. Also, use an old toothbrush to scrub food out of any nooks. Replace basket.
- Throw 1 cup white vinegar into the dishwasher.
- Run the dishwasher on high heat, deep cleaning setting.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda over the floor of the dishwasher.
- Let it sit overnight.
- Run the machine once again.
- You've now got yourself a clean machine!
And, cuz I care, here are some non toxic ways to keep stainless steel dishwashers clean and shiny.
I use Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwashing Powder. I'm happy to know it scored an A on Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning. Check out EWG's safety ratings of various dishwasher detergents to see how yours stacks up.
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