Your dishwasher drawer is a time saver—you just load the unit with your dirty dishes and utensils, and the machine cleans everything for you. Over time, soap, scale deposits and grime builds up and decreases the dishwasher drawer's cleaning ability. Cleaning a dishwasher drawer doesn't require a “special” cleaning solution. All you need is white vinegar and a packet of powdered lemonade.
Setting Up the Cleaning Solution
To clean a dishwasher drawer, locate a clean plastic or dishwasher-safe bowl. Fill the bowl with 2 cups of white vinegar. Then place the bowl in your dishwasher drawer. The vinegar will remove any buildup from the inside of your dishwasher drawer. Add a packet of powdered lemonade (Kool-Aid or other brand) to the soap component of the unit to give your dishwasher drawer a clean citrus smell. If you have a two-drawer dishwasher unit, fill another bowl of vinegar to clean the second drawer also.
Benefits of White Vinegar
Using vinegar is safer than using a chemical cleaner like CLR or another chemical. Harsh chemicals and chemicals not designed for your dishwasher drawer could possibly damage the dishwasher drawer by eroding components and voiding any warranty present on the unit.
Running a Cleaning Cycle
Turn your dishwasher drawer on and run a cycle to clean the unit. The white vinegar will circulate throughout the machine and mix with the powdered lemonade. When the cycle is complete, open the dishwasher drawer and remove the bowl. Clean your dishwasher drawer monthly if you use the unit daily. Otherwise, run the cleaning cycle about every other month.
Ways to Reduce Buildup
To reduce soap, scale deposits and other buildup, rinse your dishes before placing them in your dishwasher drawer. Use a detergent designed for dishwashers, and don't buy the cheapest dishwasher detergent available. Cheaper detergents may not cut the grease and dirt present on your dishes.