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JLeslie's avatar

Can you suggest a good dishwasher cleaner?

Asked by JLeslie (60740points) 1 month ago from iPhone

I have a low quality dishwasher and I’m constantly cleaning the filter. I’m looking for a chemical that will dissolve the yuck on the filter without much effort on my part.

I recently bought a liquid that you put the whole bottle in the dishwasher and run it, and it didn’t clean the filter, although it did seem to freshen everything else in the dishwasher.

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28 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I didn’t even know dishwashers had filters.

JLeslie's avatar

@Zaku I think the older ones didn’t. Yours might not. It’s usually on the bottom and round, and you twist it to unlock it and then pull it out.

chyna's avatar

I either use a cup of bleach or a half a box of baking soda when I use my dishwasher.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Does that clean the filter? It dissolves what’s on there?

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: I’m guessing that if there’s hair and dust in the filter, no cleaner could dissolve that.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 It’s always just food particles. It rinses off with water from a sprayer (like what you find on a kitchen sink) or you can use a soft brush and water. It’s like a grime layer on the mesh. When dishwasher smell bad it’s usually because of the filter.

A lot of the cleaners make them smell fresh right after using them, but it’s just faking you out if the filter is still gross. Not that the cleaners aren’t worth while for other things. Especially in hard water areas they help clear the calcium, but you are in a soft water part of the country.

Old dishwashers didn’t have this problem. This is my first time ever dealing with it.

chyna's avatar

I don’t look at my filter.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna You might not have one. If everything smells fresh and clean probably don’t worry about it. This is the only dishwasher I’ve had to deal with it.

If you have one it’s on the bottom of the dishwasher below the water blades. It will be round and it twist and you can pull out the cylinder. I’m not suggesting you need to do it, just letting you know what it looks like if your dishwasher has it.

Cupcake's avatar

We have very hard water and have had to have dishwasher service because of residue on our dishes. Some advice we received:

- Dishwashers don’t have strong water heating elements any more. Heat your water in your sink before running your dishwasher.
– Use the big brand dishwashing soap, not the more “natural” brands.
– Throw a dash of oil in the bottom of the dishwasher occasionally. This breaks up the buildup of soap in the bottom.
– Sprinkle Lemi Shine booster (avialble at Publix) in the bottom of your dishwasher with each load of dishes.

I don’t know any of the science… these are just the recommendations we received. Implementing them has made our dishes cleaner.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

When I bought my Bosch 8 years ago the salesperson said, “Rinse dishes real good because the modern dishwashers don’t have good macarators (little garabge disposals) and the filter will clog.”

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Lemishine is awesome. I learned about that product living in the Tampa Bay area. When I lived in Tarpon I added a water softener to my house.

This is food grime in the filter. I don’t think it has to do with minerals in the water.

@Tropical_Willie Yeah, that’s annoying. What’s the point of having a water saving dishwashers if you have to wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? I do a quick rinse, but I’m not going to literally clean the plate.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie you don’t have run water down the drain, just get the food off by brushing in a shallow amount of water.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie It’s not really a problem for me, I rarely have food left on a plate anyway, I just meant it as a general statement. Only if my food had a sauce I guess is there food left behind. Like pasta sauce or some sort of dipping sauce. I usually do try to rinse them quickly so it barely uses any water, or soak for a few minute with minimal water. It’s probably only 10–20% of my dishes that have anything like that.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Most things that would “eat” the stuff in the screen would be too strong to be used casually. I mean gloves, face shield and rubber apron.

JLeslie's avatar

I was thinking a drizzle of Drano but I don’t know if it will destroy the mesh and plastic. I love using a little Drano once a month on my kitchen drain. I use only about 2 ounces. I just drizzle it with a restaurant sauce container in a thin layer immediately around the drain so it drips down the sides and some extra on the rubber thing if you have a garbage disposal. You don’t realize how dirty things are until you clean them.

Everything else I try to use natural products except that and bleach in the bathroom once in a while. I hate using bleach I almost always stain my clothes.

JLeslie's avatar

Lol. Don’t worry, I didn’t try it. I was too worried it would do damage. I wouldn’t have poured it into the washer, just was thinking on the filter, but I was too nervous to try it.

Plus, nothing is clogged, I just hate knowing the filter is dirty.

I might try vinegar and baking soda.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Best bet is take the filter out and clean it under running water, I do mine once a month, vinegar is not going to dissolve the food, think of pickles.


si3tech's avatar

I believe you can get a good one from WalMart.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie That’s what I do now, under running water. I feel like the mesh is too tight and so it becomes a film. Gross.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It’s tight because they recycle the water in the dishwasher, you don’t want onion bits a or parsley leaves back on your glasses or dishes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Hold on now, the water goes up through the filter back on the dishes? I thought it was protecting the pipes or something. Ok, more gross. Now I want to clean it even more often.

chyna's avatar

Maybe just wash your dishes in the sink.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna No, I can’t imagine it. I hate washing dishes. I might upgrade the dishwasher soon.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You’ll get the same thing with your next dishwasher.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I didn’t have this problem with other dishwashers. This is a really cheap dishwasher. Part of a builder package.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My Bosch, not contractor grade, has the filter cup, I clean it once a month.

JLeslie's avatar

An update. I did some googling and it seems a lot of people are frustrated with this same problem and I saw comments saying its obviously a change in how the machines work because a lot of us are older and have been using dishwashers for 40+ years, and only in the last few years are having a problem.

Still have to deal with it though.

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