“Mom, the dishes are getting really clean. There are bubbles all over the kitchen!”
My friend’s seven year old daughter walked into the living room covered head to toe in soap suds. She had been helping with the dishes while mommy took a break. She was doing a really great job of it too, until she put the wrong soap in the dishwasher. She filled both soap dispensers with regular dishwashing liquid, closed the door and set the dial for normal wash. It didn’t take long for hilarity to ensue.
We sprang from the couch and hurried into the kitchen. There, we found her two year old son sitting in the floor, waist deep in a river of sparkly white suds. Thick bubbly trails oozed out from each side of the dishwasher and clouds of bubbles belched out of the top of it. It was a scene straight out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
All I could do was laugh. My friend grinned up at me and said, “Well, we washed the dishes, the floor and the kids all at the same time! Now, how am I going to get all the bubbles out of my dishwasher?” Luckily for her, I’m the son of a plumber.
While regular dishwashing detergent won’t do any damage to your dishwasher, it will create one heck of a bubbly mess in the kitchen. Fortunately, clean up is easy if done properly, but most go about it the wrong way. If you ever find your dishwasher turned into a fizzy foaming factory, here are the steps to getting it suds free before you can say, “Bubbles, bubbles everywhere, and not a drop to drink…yet”:
Remove both racks from the dishwasher and bail out as much of the sudsy water as possible with whatever container that you can get in there. Use a squirt bottle to wash any leftover soap from the dispensers into the bottom of the dishwasher. Wipe both soap dispensers out thoroughly with dry rags and the entire dishwasher out with dry towels. All surfaces need to be as dry as possible at this stage.
Now add about a cup of White Vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher, close the door and run the rinse cycle for one minute. The vinegar will cut the foaming action of the soap and help to wash it out of the pipes. Repeat the process until all of the suds are out of the dishwasher.