The dishwasher basket is the part that holds the cutlery and cooking utensils during the cleaning cycle.
Over time, it can become covered in food debris, soap residue, and mineral buildup. This can lead to unpleasant odors, unsightly stains, and reduced cleaning efficiency.
In this article, I'm going to share how I clean my dishwasher basket with washing soda crystals.
Washing soda crystals are brilliant at dissolving grime, neutralizing odors, and leaving your basket sparkling clean.
So, let's get started!
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Why is it important to clean your dishwasher basket?
The dishwasher basket is usually made of plastic with several compartments, so there are lots of nooks and crannies for food deposits to get stuck in.
The dishwasher basket is constantly exposed to grease, food debris and soap, which can cause buildup over time.
If not cleaned regularly, this buildup can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, leading to unpleasant odors, unsightly stains, and reduced cleaning efficiency.
Regular cleaning of your dishwasher basket is essential to maintain its functionality and appearance.
By cleaning the basket regularly, you can keep it free of grime, and ensure that your dishes are cleaned thoroughly.
What you'll need to clean your dishwasher basket
To clean your dishwasher basket effectively, you will need the following items:
- Washing soda crystals
- A small scrubbing brush or toothbrush
- Hot water
Washing soda crystals are a powerful cleaning agent that can dissolve buildup and remove grime and stains from your dishwasher basket. They are safe for use on plastic.
A small scrubbing brush or toothbrush will help you reach all the nooks and crannies of your dishwasher basket and remove any tough buildup or debris.
Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Dishwasher Basket
Here's a step-by-step guide to cleaning your dishwasher basket with washing soda crystals:
- Remove the basket from the dishwasher.
- Fill your kitchen sink with hot water, and add a generous amount of washing soda crystals. Make sure the crystals are fully dissolved in the water.
- Soak the dishwasher basket in the washing soda solution for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the level of buildup and grime.
- Scrub off dirt. After soaking, you should find that most of the dirt and grease has dissolved. For anything left, use your scrubbing brush or toothbrush to scrub the basket, focusing on any areas with hard-to-remove buildup or debris.
- Rinse the basket thoroughly in cool clean water to remove all the washing soda crystals.
- Replace the basket in the dishwasher.
While you are soaking your dishwasher basket, it's a great time to clean the whole machine. Check out this post on how to clean your dishwasher.
Tips for keeping your dishwasher basket clean
Now you know how to clean your dishwasher basket, how can you keep it clean?
Here are a few tips for keeping your dishwasher basket clean and free of buildup and grime:
- Rinse your cutlery and cooking utensils before putting them in the dishwasher to remove any leftover food debris. This will help prevent buildup and deposits in the basket.
- Run a cycle with just hot water and a cup of white vinegar once a month to help remove any buildup or odors. The vinegar will help dissolve grime and mineral deposits and kill bacteria that can cause odors.
- Clean the dishwasher basket regularly, at least once every few months, to prevent buildup and deposits from becoming a problem.
Frequently asked questions
How often should I clean my dishwasher basket?
It's recommended to clean your dishwasher basket at least once every few months, or more often if you notice it is dirty. Regular cleaning will help keep your dishwasher basket in top condition and prevent buildup and deposits from becoming a problem.
What else can I use to clean my dishwasher basket?
Washing soda crystals are really effective, but if you don't have any to hand, dissolve a dishwasher tablet in the hot water and soak it in that instead.
What if the buildup and deposits are really hard to remove?
If the buildup and deposits are particularly stubborn, you may need to soak the basket in the washing soda solution for a longer period of time or scrub it more thoroughly.
You can also try using a stronger washing soda solution or using a dishwasher tablet instead.
Can I use washing soda crystals to clean the whole dishwasher?
Yes, you can use washing soda crystals to clean the entire dishwasher, not just the basket. However, note that washing soda crystals cannot be used on aluminum surfaces.
Simply add a cup of washing soda crystals to the detergent compartment and run a cycle on hot water.
Check out this post for directions on cleaning your whole dishwasher.