You probably think of your dishwasher as a handy kitchen appliance that you can’t live without. But it’s so much more than that—it’s also your best defense against kitchen contaminants. That’s because it sanitizes everything that goes into it—from juice glasses to cutting boards, and even the sponges you use to wipe down your counters.
The key is to keep your “dry” cycle turned on. During the drying cycle, the dishwasher reaches temperatures of at least 170°F. And that’s the magic number when it comes to attacking harmful microbes.
So if you’ve turned your “dry” cycle off in an effort to save energy, switch it back on. And then run everything through that’s dishwasher safe—especially anything that comes in contact with raw meat and fish.
Between cycles, be sure to clean your dishwasher. Gunk, grime, and mineral deposits can make it work harder than it has to, so here’s a few ways to keep it hummin’ along:
· Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a sturdy mug or bowl, set it in the top rack of your dishwasher, and run through a cycle on the hottest setting—with nothing else inside.
· Cut greasy crud with a simple bleach treatment. Pour 1 cup of bleach into the bottom surface, and run it through a full cycle.
· To tackle mineral deposits, use the bleach treatment (above), then when the cycle is finished, pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom, and run it through again.
· Freshen up the insides by using Coca-Cola® to clean up the crud. Pour a 2-liter bottle of the real thing (use the “classic,” not diet, version) into the bottom of your machine, and run it through a full cycle. And if the bottom tray is really grungy, let it soak for a few minutes before you start the cycle.
· Denture-cleaning tablets will dissolve dishwasher grime in no time at all. So if you have plenty of tablets on hand, drop a couple in the bottom of your empty dishwasher, and run it through a regular cycle.
For more tips, tricks, and tonics for cleaning everything in your home, check out my Cleaning Magic! book, FREE for 21 days. You’ll discover thousands of dirt-defying and dust-busting secrets that’ll make any mess disappear in a flash.