If your new home has a dishwasher, you should go through our little checklist to make sure everything is in order. I’ve personally gone through the gross process of cleaning every one I’ve had in apartments and my first home.
First things first, you need to visually inspect your dishwasher. In your visual inspection, check for mold growth, lingering food, standing water, or broken parts. Definitely check the drain and vents. Food tends to get caught in those areas.
When conducting the inspection, check the sprayers to make sure they still rotate. Check the rollers to make sure they roll. I’ve encountered more than one dishwasher where one of the wheels was missing. That’s one you need to fix.
Additionally, check the baseboards and floorboards to see if there’s any water damage. Any swelling, mold, or buckling are signs of leaking. That’s a serious problem you need to address before using the dishwasher. Unfortunately, you likely won’t know if that was caused by this dishwasher or a previous one. The only way to find out is to run it and see.
Clean Dishwasher Vents & Drain
It’s time for a deep clean. Get out your white vinegar, butter knife, rags, and q-tips. Clean all the surfaces, but focus heavily on the vents and the drain.
Be very careful with the drain if there’s standing water. If glass ever broke in that dishwasher, there could be glass shards in the drain trap. Some seals have to remain wet, so there may be standing water hiding any hazards.
Hot Vinegar Clean
After you’ve deep cleaned the surfaces, it’s important to deep clean the insides. To do this, I dump a half gallon of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and then run it on hot wash with heated dry.
Don’t use anything toxic to clean or you might accidentally lightly poison yourself when you next wash your dishes. This is just like cleaning your fridge water dispenser.
Dishwasher Test Runs
Finally, it’s time to test it out. Start with some smaller loads and see how those dishes come out. Some washers do better than others, so it’s time to test yours out to see how it performs.