Spring Cleaning

When Was the Last Time You Cleaned This Part of Your Kitchen?

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

I grew up in a house without a dishwasher. And for a really long time after—even when my college and post-college apartments had these cathartic symbols of luxury installed under the countertops—I sort of just… kept doing dishes by hand. It was easier, to me. While dishwashers are indisputably the pantheon of modern efficiency, it pays to mind the words of Uncle Ben Parker: With great power comes great responsibility.

What I mean to say is this: Even though they are themselves a cleaning tool, dishwashers still need to be cleaned. Especially if you want them to live long lives, imparting their sparkling strength onto your wine glasses and baked-on casserole dishes. So that’s what we’re going to tackle today!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)


Clean the Dishwasher

Your mission today is to give your dishwasher the spruce up it needs to keep going through the year and beyond. And the best time to tackle the task is immediately after you’ve run a load of dishes, while the dishwasher is still warm—let your cleaning machine help you handle the work!

There’s a detailed and thoroughly photographed tutorial on how to clean your dishwasher right here, so I won’t get into specifics. You likely have all the tools you need—like vinegar, baking soda, a cloth and some toothpicks—already at home. And as long as there are no signs of mold, rust stains or hard water deposits, this dishwasher clean is something you can tackle in 20 minutes (and if you do have some harder cleaning to do, just plan time to run an empty cycle when you’re done).

Get started: How To Clean Your Dishwasher

If you don’t have a dishwasher, you’re the lucky one today! Those dishwasher folks have it easy 364 days of the year, so take today off from spring cleaning—you deserve it.