Today, many people own a dishwasher and it is certainly a worthwhile investment especially when you have friends and family swelling the numbers. But owning a dishwasher comes with certain responsibilities and its use is not just confined to washing dishes.
We have written before about the possibility of mold in your dishwasher and how, because it uses water, it can provide the perfect home for this undesirable visitor. Not only is your machine warm and damp, but the continuous use of detergents makes its environment more alkaline too.
Researchers tell us that the rubber seals of dishwasher and washing machine doors provide the perfect places for these fungi – not unlike the tropical rain forests that are their natural homes! While there is as yet no direct relationship established between dishwashers and human fungal infections, the health hazard does exist.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep the mold away.
Here is a suggestion on how to deep clean your dishwasher, naturally
1. Fill two coffee mugs with white vinegar.
2. Place one on the top rack and one on the bottom (upright).
3. Run a cycle on HOT with only those items and nothing else in the dishwasher. The water will overflow the cups and slowly clean the dishwasher due to the acidity of the vinegar.
Do this regularly whenever you feel your dishwasher is crying out for some TLC!
You can use your dishwasher to clean things other than dishes?
This super-hot washing machine can clean, sanitize and deodorize anything that won't melt in high (for example 130 to 170 degrees) temperatures.
1. The kitchen exhaust filters. Try cleaning in the dishwasher once a month to cut through any tough grease and grime. Vent covers and grilles are other suggestions.
2. Dish sponges and brushes can be thrown into the dishwasher every time you use it to keep them fresh and bacteria free. No more yuk factor! You can add in scrubbing brushes, broom heads and even vacuum and other cleaning accessories too.
3. Plastic toys are invariably dribbled on both from the mouths and the noses of the young children who play with them. As long as there are no electronic components, pile them all in on a regular basis for a really good clean.
4. Gather up the family's toothbrush holders and soap dishes once a week for a good clean. The tooth brush holders invariably become quite disgusting while the dishes grow a residue of slimy soap if left too long.
5. Do you have pets in the home? Don't forget to add in their food and water dishes as well as any toys that are washable.
6. Rubber boots, flip flops or pool shoes can all be cleaned in the dishwasher.
7. Plastic hairbrushes, makeup brushes and nail brushes can be placed in the utensil basket but please make sure to remove all hairs from the hairbrush for obvious reasons of hygiene and to avoid clogging the drain filter. In addition, don't put in any brushes that have wooden handles.
8. Dish racks as well as those from the microwave or the oven can all be given their own time in the dishwasher. In fact, anything in the house that needs a good clean, is safe in hot temperatures, and will fit into the dishwasher, is ideal. Stove knobs will also come up bright and clean.
9. If you go for picnics or camping trips, don't forget to give all your equipment its turn in the dishwasher both before your trip and on your return.
10. Those removable cup holders in your car can be added to your regular dishwashing load to keep them clean and ready for the next cup of coffee on the move.
We have touched on mold in your dishwasher, how to deep clean, what to clean other than dishes and now here is how make your own dishwasher detergent.
Recipe for your own good homemade dishwasher tabs
You will need the following to make enough for 30 to 50 loads - and chose a sunny day!
- 2 cups of washing soda
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 1 cup of citric acid
- 1/2 cup of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 15 - 20 drops of essential oils (optional)
- 2 ice cube trays
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl before pouring in the vinegar, just a little bit at a time when you could notice some fizzing going on. Mix in the castile soap and essential oil before packing into the ice cube trays, making sure they're well compacted. Set the trays out in a warm sunny spot, allowing them to dry for about 24 hours. Take the tabs out of the trays and store in a tight-lidded container ready to use as required. Cut in half if you have a light load or a small dishwasher.
Not only toxin and chemical free, but very cost effective too.