1000 Flowers for the Planet - #170 Clean the Dishwasher Filter Weekly
You simply cannot clean anything with dirty tools and equipment. It doesn’t even make sense to think you can. So take some time to consider what your dishwasher does for you and see if you are doing anything in return. You may give your dishes and cutlery a preliminary rinse before putting them into the dishwasher, maybe there’s the odd time when you don’t even do that. Where do you think all the food waste goes? Not all of it manages to get washed ‘away’ (remember there’s no such place as ‘away’ – it’s always ‘somewhere’ but you just don’t bother to find out ‘where’). The filter will do its best to a certain point, and then it won’t be able to cope any more. You need to clean it.
Here’s how: First read through the manufacturer’s manual and follow the instructions as given therein. If you do not have the manual anymore then follow these steps, with a bit of common sense thrown in: Empty the dishwasher. Remove the filter and mesh cover, remove any large pieces of waste then put into a sink with warm soapy water. Use a toothbrush (one you keep specifically for cleaning – not one from the bathroom!) and gently brush out any stubborn debris. Rinse thoroughly. To completely kill any odours remaining in the filter, fill the sink with warm water and a cup of vinegar, and soak the filter for about ten minutes. Replace in your dishwasher.
The thing about doing this weekly is that it’s always so much easier to clean things regularly than to leave them for months at a time when they eventually need a lot of hard elbow grease to get thoroughly clean. It also ensures that you are eating from crockery and cutlery that actually is clean, and cooking with utensils that actually are clean. Would you want to go to someone’s house for dinner if you knew they never cleaned their dishwasher filter? Probably not. So make it a part of your weekly routine. Your dishwasher will function more efficiently and probably last longer, saving you money and preventing the machine from being put into landfill prematurely.