Yes, you need to clean your dishwasher. Here's how

Get your dishwasher sparkling clean with these tips.

Keep your dishwasher looking like new by giving it a little TLC.

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Your dishwasher may be used to clean things, but it also needs to be cleaned every now and then. Giving it a little TLC can make it wash better, smell better and can prevent overflows. Luckily, cleaning your dishwasher is pretty simple.

De-gunk the filter: The filter is the place where food particles get caught. A stopped-up filter can cause overflows, so it is important to give it a cleanup every six months or so. It can be found on the floor of the inside of the dishwasher. Simply unscrew the knob and lift the filter out (the location and removal will vary depending on brand, so check your owner's manual). Wash it by rinsing it with warm water and dishwashing soap and then give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse it with clean water and let it air dry before popping it back into place.

Clean the seal: The seal is what keeps the water inside your dishwasher and not on your floor. To keep it clean, once a month scrub the seal with warm water and wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth.

De-clog the water sprayers: The spraying arms in your dishwasher need a little love every six months or so. Use a toothpick to pry any food particles from the sprayer holes. This will increase the amount of water that comes out of the holes, increasing cleaning power.

Give the whole thing a bath: If your dishwasher is starting to smell a little rank, there is an easy way to deodorize it. Some people say to put one cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your empty dishwasher and run the deep cleaning cycle. Vinegar can damage the plastic in your dishwasher, so you might want to try this method instead. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the washer, let it sit overnight and then run a normal load while the dishwasher is empty.

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