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The dishwasher at work is run almost daily. I noticed in the past 6 weeks or so that it doesn't seem to be cleaning as well so I hopped online and started reading about how to clean the appliances that clean for you. GACK! I am not sure that I want to take apart the dishwasher so I can clean under the filter, etc.but I suspect that there is plenty of grossness in that appliance since coworkers don't rinse off the dishes/containers and somehow expect everything to be sparkling clean. I have wiped the door gaskets occasionally when I see something stuck on it, but have not cleaned more than that. It's a washer, shouldn't it inherently be clean?  I take my plastic containers home to wash properly. Do any of you regularly clean your dishwasher? I'm thinking of doing a cleaning cycle with vinegar or maybe buying some of the cleaner for that purpose.

Gimme your anecdotes and advice, please. 

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They definitely need to be cleaned regularly... especially something that sees that much use.

Clear the drain / clean the filter, run a hot cycle with a glass of vinegar on top, then cover the bottom with baking soda & let it sit overnight or at least a few hours & run another hot cycle

 

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I like making the fizzies with baking soda and vinegar. I do that for sink drain maintenance. One guy is scraping up detergent and food residue goop using a paint scraper. bleah...

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Call a professional lol

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For the workplace, yeah, I'd call a professional. However, I've done the vinegar and also the baking soda tricks back when I had a dishwasher. I think the baking soda helped the most, if memory serves but that will depend on what and where the problem is.
Grody to the max.

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It's not a plumber's job to clean, though. I think if we had a handyperson I could pay them to do it but we don't and most people who do minor repairs have more work than they can manage around here.

I can't hire someone to do minor repair work at home either because people in the area are so busy. Maybe I'll try again for when my guy is traveling. The jobs at home are ones I don't want to do myself - replace kitchen faucet, replace drawer tracks on heavy kitchen drawer, install magnetic catches to hardwood cabinet doors. Maybe there is an alternative catch for the cabinet doors? hmm...

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sublimosa said:   For the workplace, yeah, I'd call a professional. However, I've done the vinegar and also the baking soda tricks back when I had a dishwasher. I think the baking soda helped the most, if memory serves but that will depend on what and where the problem is.
Grody to the max.

  thanks! I'm hoping the simple solutions might work. I'm not willing to dig around under the filter with a scraper to pick up goop. 

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i noticed my dishwasher at home keeps getting clogged in the spinning arm hole. i keep taking it apart and cleaning but but it continues. i'm just going to replace the darn unit with a Bosch one this year.

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How-to 
I want to try it.
This guy is down on gel detergent as a culprit for clogs and goop.

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miserly said:   i noticed my dishwasher at home keeps getting clogged in the spinning arm hole. i keep taking it apart and cleaning but but it continues. i'm just going to replace the darn unit with a Bosch one this year.
  
Many Bosch ones don't masticate waste (mine doesn't) so you really have to clean them. Not being frequent masticaters makes them more reliable.  

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My former little-old-landlord, who relied on a 1964 copy of Reader's Digest DIY, "fixed" our garbage disposal.  We called a plumber to come out to find out why the dishes coming out of the dishwasher were dirtier than when they went in, and he discovered that the landlord had someone routed things so that the dishwasher drew water from the garbage disposal.  Yuck.

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ganda said:   
miserly said:   i noticed my dishwasher at home keeps getting clogged in the spinning arm hole. i keep taking it apart and cleaning but but it continues. i'm just going to replace the darn unit with a Bosch one this year.
  
Many Bosch ones don't masticate waste (mine doesn't) so you really have to clean them. Not being frequent masticaters makes them more reliable.  

  I am leery of the waste disposal built in to the dishwasher because of the risk of glass breakage, then having the broken glass go into the disposal. 

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Ok, kids I pulled off the spray arm to inspect the water jets. 2 of the 8 were clogged shut with food particles. I used a Dish washing brush to scrub the gasket, the door hinge area and the mesh filter. Disgusting!! I pulled out a grape stem from near the fine mesh filter, but didn't remove that filter. Forgot to buy vinegar to run in the rinse cycle. Fingers crossed that improved Dish cleaning will result.

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kirbydog said:   Ok, kids I pulled off the spray arm to inspect the water jets. 2 of the 8 were clogged shut with food particles. I used a Dish washing brush to scrub the gasket, the door hinge area and the mesh filter. Disgusting!! I pulled out a grape stem from near the fine mesh filter, but didn't remove that filter. Forgot to buy vinegar to run in the rinse cycle. Fingers crossed that improved Dish cleaning will result.
  do you do house calls?

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miserly said:   
kirbydog said:   Ok, kids I pulled off the spray arm to inspect the water jets. 2 of the 8 were clogged shut with food particles. I used a Dish washing brush to scrub the gasket, the door hinge area and the mesh filter. Disgusting!! I pulled out a grape stem from near the fine mesh filter, but didn't remove that filter. Forgot to buy vinegar to run in the rinse cycle. Fingers crossed that improved Dish cleaning will result.
  do you do house calls?

  Can you pay in German KitKats?

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kirbydog said:   miserly said:   
kirbydog said:   Ok, kids I pulled off the spray arm to inspect the water jets. 2 of the 8 were clogged shut with food particles. I used a Dish washing brush to scrub the gasket, the door hinge area and the mesh filter. Disgusting!! I pulled out a grape stem from near the fine mesh filter, but didn't remove that filter. Forgot to buy vinegar to run in the rinse cycle. Fingers crossed that improved Dish cleaning will result.
  do you do house calls?

  Can you pay in German KitKats?

Yes. I know a gal who knows a guy coming back from Frankfurt...

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Oh my!

The dishwasher was run last night. There were butter knives with pb on them (pb and cream cheese have been 2 of the identified items that are not getting cleaned in the dishwasher) that came out clean today. Hurrah!! It stands to reason that because the end water jets were clogged, the silverware baskets are on the outer edge of the lower rack and weren't getting sprayed. bleah, that's gross to realize now.

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mmm, pre-flavored saliva seasoned peanutbutter and cream cheese knives!

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So I took it apart and cleaned everything out. Runs much better but I can't get all the little things out of the spray holes.

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miserly said:   So I took it apart and cleaned everything out. Runs much better but I can't get all the little things out of the spray holes.
  Did you try the picture hanger wire trick to clean out the debris? A clean toothbrush is also useful.

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kirbydog said:   
miserly said:   So I took it apart and cleaned everything out. Runs much better but I can't get all the little things out of the spray holes.
  Did you try the picture hanger wire trick to clean out the debris? A clean toothbrush is also useful.

  the spray holes in the spray arms, used pointed tweezers and a water jet. a coat hanger would never fit in there. and a fishing line/floss wouldn't thread to the next one. even if it did, it still wouldnt bring out the little pieces in there. look like crab shell fragments.

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miserly said:   
kirbydog said:   
miserly said:   So I took it apart and cleaned everything out. Runs much better but I can't get all the little things out of the spray holes.
  Did you try the picture hanger wire trick to clean out the debris? A clean toothbrush is also useful.

  the spray holes in the spray arms, used pointed tweezers and a water jet. a coat hanger would never fit in there. and a fishing line/floss wouldn't thread to the next one. even if it did, it still wouldnt bring out the little pieces in there. look like crab shell fragments.

  So why are you putting crabs in the dishwasher?

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MVP9596 said:   
miserly said:   
kirbydog said:   
miserly said:   So I took it apart and cleaned everything out. Runs much better but I can't get all the little things out of the spray holes.
  Did you try the picture hanger wire trick to clean out the debris? A clean toothbrush is also useful.

  the spray holes in the spray arms, used pointed tweezers and a water jet. a coat hanger would never fit in there. and a fishing line/floss wouldn't thread to the next one. even if it did, it still wouldnt bring out the little pieces in there. look like crab shell fragments.

  So why are you putting crabs in the dishwasher?

  to clean them of course! actually, running them through a cycle will likely steam them good. but without much flavor... i had a teacher in junior high tell the class that she cooks her salmon wrapped in foil and run in the dishwasher to cook. no fishy smell in the house she said. never tried it, so don't know how true it may be.

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miserly said:   
MVP9596 said:   
miserly said:   
kirbydog said:   
miserly said:   So I took it apart and cleaned everything out. Runs much better but I can't get all the little things out of the spray holes.
  Did you try the picture hanger wire trick to clean out the debris? A clean toothbrush is also useful.

  the spray holes in the spray arms, used pointed tweezers and a water jet. a coat hanger would never fit in there. and a fishing line/floss wouldn't thread to the next one. even if it did, it still wouldnt bring out the little pieces in there. look like crab shell fragments.
 

  So why are you putting crabs in the dishwasher?
 

  to clean them of course! actually, running them through a cycle will likely steam them good. but without much flavor... i had a teacher in junior high tell the class that she cooks her salmon wrapped in foil and run in the dishwasher to cook. no fishy smell in the house she said. never tried it, so don't know how true it may be.

  
Gross, then she washed her dishes?  <shudders>

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It doesn't sound too weird to cook food in there considering that some people use their dishwasher to wash clothing items like ball caps and other items like sneakers.
I have to say that the dishes are consistently cleaner now that the jets are all open. sheesh, I can't believe I didn't think of that sooner. I kept blaming it on the dishwasher detergent. @@

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Of course I clean my dishwasher! I'm not an animal! On the first of each month, I remove and clean the filters, wipe down the inside and outside, then run it empty with a cup or two of vinegar.

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moonbeam said:   Of course I clean my dishwasher! I'm not an animal! On the first of each month, I remove and clean the filters, wipe down the inside and outside, then run it empty with a cup or two of vinegar.
  Special Snowflake told me that she has never cleaned her dishwasher at home - she was somewhat amazed that I was cleaning the office one, even after I showed her the food bits that were stuck in the jets. ewww, all those goodies spraying up on the dishes and silverware. Kept asking if I should try the cleaners sold specifically for appliance cleaning. I replied that I'd rather start out with the least toxic of solutions and work up to cleaners if required. I think cleaning that thing was more of an elbow grease project than tossing in chemicals and wasting more water.

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