I needed to clean my dishwasher as I noticed some yucky black stuff on the bottom. So I looked online because I didn't see a how to on JAP. I found a blog by Jillie called One Good Thing and did as she suggested and the results were great! Although she at one point suggests as an optional suggestion, running bleach through the dishwasher for mold and mildew. But after researching that idea, found that you should not do that as it can make the mold worse and spread further. Some posts said it could even cause cancer so I would not suggest that. Try this method and do it periodically.
1First thing to do is check the bottom of your dishwasher around the water drain for anything that may be plugging it up. I didn't think I had that problem but found some paper from price tags stuck in there. I was so surprised! So always check as that is the number one cause of problems for repairmen. So check and confirm that first before calling a repairman and/or cleaning.
2Now place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with 1 cup plain white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Make sure the dishwasher is empty.
The vinegar will help to wash away the loose, greasy grime, sanitizes, and helps remove the musty odor.
Put washer through a full wash on hottest water setting. Turn the heat dry off, don't need to do that.
3After the washer goes through the vinegar wash now do the next step and sprinkle the 1 cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher. This will freshen the smell and brighten it.
Now run the washer through a cycle again.
It will now be clean and fresh! Very easy!
4Jillie had a couple of tips that I thought were note worthy as well.
Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher. The dishwasher drains into the same pipe as your sink, so that drain must be clear.
Run full loads to conserve water and energy, but don’t pack dishes too tightly. Dishwashers wash dishes by spraying water over them, so the water needs to be able to get to the dishes to clean them.
If you are inclined to pre-wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, consider this. Dishwasher detergent NEEDS a certain amount of grease and dirt in order to do its job. Otherwise, it actually foams up during the cycle which is not good for your dishwasher.