The dishwasher seal is an ignored offender in many households. Think about it: As you load up the appliance with your dirty dishes, grimy water and food particles drip onto the dishwasher’s seal and never get dealt with. (The rest of the machine’s interior gets cleaned during the wash cycle, but since the seal, well, seals the unit shut, it doesn’t get the same treatment.) To disinfect the seal and dissolve any hard-water deposits, swipe it with a cotton ball dipped in white vinegar and follow with a barely damp microfiber cloth.
While you’re at it, examine the detergent dispenser. If you notice buildup, that can throw off the soap distribution for future loads. Let the interior dry, and then use a Scrigit Scraper ($7 for two) to chisel off hardened detergent or food particles. Then suck up the debris with your vacuum’s crevice attachment.
Once a month, pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe glass bowl and place it in the top rack and run the machine to give the whole thing a refresh.