Your dishwasher, sink drain and garbage disposal do the major dirty work in your kitchen, and you can keep them smelling fresh and running efficiently with a few easy steps.
If there are spots or stuck-on grime on the dishes when they come out of the washer, or if the sink has an unpleasant odor even after you clean it and run the disposal, it means these hard-working appliances may need extra attention.
"Dishwashers and drains battle kitchen waste and activity daily, which can take a toll on the appearance and performance if not cleaned correctly," said Chris Salatino with Kenmore Major Appliances.
Electric dishwashers have a filtration system that requires regular cleaning, especially if you don't scrape or pre-rinse dishes.
"The maintenance on a dishwasher depends on how you treat it," says John DeSilvia, host of DIY Network's "Rescue My Renovation."
If you're not a pre-rinser, he recommends cleaning the filter once a month. Just look at the bottom of your dishwasher, find and remove your filter, then scrub away debris with a soft brush. Rinse and reinstall.
"Don't be scared, it's really easy," says DeSilvia.
If in doubt, check your owner's manual on how to find and remove the filter. Can't find the instructions? Log on to your manufacturer's website. Or online tutorials at sites such as DIYNetwork.com and YouTube.com can help you through the process.
The interior of your dishwasher may also appear filmy at times. To get rid of that buildup, Salatino advises waiting until the washer has finished a cycle and cooled. Then make a paste with powdered detergent or use liquid detergent on a damp sponge to wipe away mineral deposits. Follow up by running a normal cycle.