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Simply use a dampened cloth to clean the dishwasher door panel. If your dishwasher's interior is plastic, the panel can stain. Here's what to do:
Rinse off tomato sauces before loading the dishes into the dishwasher. You want to pre-rinse anything with tomatoes, since tomatoes can cause permanent stains.
If you notice a green stain inside your dishwasher, the dye in your detergent is most likely the culprit. Simply switch to a different detergent — consider a dye-free detergent.
Calcium and iron buildup can cause brown stains to form. Citric acid can remove these stains. You'll need to empty the dishwasher and run a cycle with the citric acid in the detergent cup. Then run a second empty cycle with detergent.
Cloudy spots on your glasses may be the result of hard water. You'll know that hard water is the problem if a cloth dampened with vinegar rubs away the cloudy film. To remove the cloudiness, you'll need to run your dishes back through on a normal cycle, adding white vinegar to the final rinse cycle. You'll need a liquid rinse agent to prevent the cloudy filming going forward.
Care for your detergent. Both liquid and powder automatic dishwashing detergents work well. If you opt for a powder detergent, make sure you keep your box closed and in a dry place (which is not under your damp kitchen sink, where most of us store our dishwasher detergent.) If your detergent looks caked, it won't dissolve well — so it won't clean as effectively.
Don't add more detergent than what's called for on the box — even if your dishes look extra dirty. Too much detergent will leave a residue behind.
Since Thanksgiving is one of the few days of the year when people bring out their silver, here's how to care for yours:
• When possible, it's best to hand-wash sterling silver and silver-plate flatware. That being said, silver can go in the dishwasher. If you're going to use the dishwasher for your silver, be sure to avoid putting any stainless steel in the load as well. Why? The metals react to each and can cause permanent damage to the finishes.
• Don't run your silver through the dry cycle of the dishwasher. You should dry your silver by hand as the heat of the dishwasher, combined with any detergent residue, can leave your silver discolored.
More: How to Care for Your Countertops
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