How To Clean Your Dishwasher: Easy Methods Explained


Your dishwasher constantly cleans your dishes and is filled with soapy water most of the time. These are major reasons why people often overlook that dishwashers also require dedicated cleaning. The possibility remains you’re likely unaware of how to clean your dishwasher. 

However, this is a neglected appliance maintenance regimen. Cleaning your dishwasher frequently helps to maintain its original shape and also eliminates food particles, grime, etc. These leftover residual buildup can impact the performance and integrity of your dishwasher.

Worry not, this guide will take you through a cleaning journey where you’ll learn the easiest methods to keep your dishwasher clean. We’ll also provide some additional tips and unique tricks to make your machine shine and work more efficiently than before. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?

The requirement for dishwasher cleaning may depend on its usage frequency. You need to keep track of your washing cycles to determine the exact dishwasher cleaning frequency. Most commonly, if you use the dishwasher daily, consider the following cleaning regimen:

  • Regular Cleaning: When you use the dishwasher regularly, consider cleaning it right after every use. You should remove any visible debris from the dishwasher filter and container right away. 
  • Weekly Cleaning: You must opt for a weekly cleaning schedule to remove accumulated debris from gaskets and door edges. This will also include proper cleansing of filter and bottom parts. 
  • Monthly Cleaning: Consider deep-cleaning the entire interior surface of the dishwasher every month. This will remove even the minor residual components. Apart from that, thorough cleaning ensures better functionality. 
  • As Per Requirements: You may also clean the dishwasher as per your requirements. This includes wiping the exterior surface, drips, edges, and other visible components. If you don’t use your dishwasher frequently, a monthly cleaning regimen is recommended. You can reschedule monthly cleaning as needed. 

What You’ll Need?

To accomplish the dishwasher cleaning, you must have all the essential tools and materials on hand. The list of the major tools and items is as mentioned below:

  • Soft-bristle Brush 
  • Flexible Wire 
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Sponge 
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • Toothpicks 
  • Rubber Gloves 
  • Hot Water 
  • Dishwasher-safe Bowl
  • Distilled White Vinegar 
  • Baking Soda
  • Dishwasher Cleaner 
  • Baking Soda

How To Clean Your Dishwasher: Multiple Methods Explained 

Experts suggest various methods for dishwasher cleaning. However, using bleach is not recommended as it can harm the dishwasher’s integrity. Instead, you may use the following methods to remove dirt, debris, and food particles from your dishwasher. Get the essential supplies and start following these steps:

Step 1 : Cleaning Dishwasher Using Vinegar 

Cleaning your dishwasher using distilled white vinegar is an effective and simple method. This can help you remove mineral buildup, grime, and grease from the dishwasher surface. Apart from this, vinegar can also sanitize the interior components. Here’s a detailed guide on how to clean your dishwasher using vinegar:

  • Ensure that your dishwasher is empty by removing any racks, dishes, and utensils. Also, gather all your required supplies at your workplace for smooth cleaning.
  • Measure out about one cup of white vinegar. It is preferred due to its acidic nature. It’s also efficient in dissolving mineral deposits without leaving any residue.
  • Place the measured vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container or bowl. You can use a glass or plastic measuring cup, a bowl, or even a dishwasher-secure mug. Ensure that the container is stable and won’t tip at any unwanted stage in the wash cycle.
  • For optimal distribution, you need to place the vinegar container at the topmost rack of your dishwasher. This guarantees that the vinegar is dispersed in each corner and edge of the dishwasher throughout the cleaning cycle.
  • Close the dishwasher door securely and choose the clean water settings to begin the dishwashing cycle. The warmness will help spark off the vinegar and boost the cleaning characteristics. 
  • Start the dishwasher and allow it to have a complete cycle. The mixture of hot water and vinegar can work well to break down grease, sanitize surfaces, and cast off any buildup or residue within the dishwasher.
  • Once the wash cycle is completed, open the dishwasher door and thoroughly remove the vinegar container. Use a clean fabric or sponge to wipe down the interior surfaces of the dishwasher including the partitions, racks, and door.
  • Take a moment to inspect the interior components of your dishwasher. Make yourself aware of any stains, odors, or mineral deposits that are eliminated. Give the entire dishwasher a thorough inspection for better acknowledgment. 
  • If you notice any stains, dirt particles, etc. present, consider repeating the vinegar rinse process as per the requirements until the dishwasher is clean completely. 

Step 2 : Cleaning The Dishwasher With Baking Soda 

Baking soda is yet another effective cleaning agent that removes even the hardest of stains, residual buildup, and mineral deposits. The following steps will help you learn how to clean your dishwasher with baking soda:

  • To initiate the dishwasher cleaning, take out all the items and keep them separately. You’ll also need the tools and supplies to prepare yourself for the easy accomplishment of the process.
  • Now, you have to take the accurate amount of baking soda to cover the interior components completely. One cup of baking soda is generally sufficient for regular dishwashing cleaning. 
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the interior components of the dishwasher evenly. Make certain that each surface gets covered. You can put more baking soda in the areas with more visible stains and mineral buildups. 
  • Allow the baking soda to sit in the dishwasher and soak the components for a few hours or overnight. This prolonged soaking duration offers the baking soda time to penetrate. This will break down stubborn stains, grease, or odors.
  • If there are in particular stubborn stains or buildup, you can mix baking soda and water to prepare a paste. You’ve to mix both substances till you get a thick paste. Once done, use a smooth brush or sponge to scrub the indoor surfaces of the dishwasher.
  • After the soaking period is complete, run a warm water cycle in the dishwasher. The warm water will help rinse away the baking soda and any loosened dirt, leaving the indoors of the dishwasher clean and fresh.
  • Once the rinse cycle is completed, open the dishwasher door and check the indoors thoroughly. You should notice that any odors, stains, or buildup have been substantially decreased or removed.
  • Repeat the same process to clean out the exterior surfaces as well. If your dishwasher is cleaned regularly, a normal wipe using a sponge and soapy water can do the trick for your machine. 
  • If there are still lingering odors or stains, you could repeat the baking soda cleansing procedure as needed until the dishwasher is clean to your satisfaction.

Step 3 : How To Remove Bad Odors From Your Dishwasher 

If you opt for baking soda or vinegar-based cleaning methods, most of the bad odor is removed. However, these additional tips and steps for removing bad odors from your dishwasher can boost the freshness and keep the machine smelling pretty good:

  • Don’t overlook effective drain cleaning as it may contain stubborn food particles, debris, and residual buildup. These accumulated particles are the culprits behind the lingering odors. You may also need to remove the filters and clean them thoroughly if severe clogging occurs.
  • If there are any detachable components in your dishwasher, remove them for a thorough cleaning. This will not leave any residue behind eliminating the risks of unpleasant odors. You may use soapy water to clean these components well.
  • Door seals and gaskets are another odor-causing spot. If you neglect their proper cleaning, they can emit bad odors. Use mild detergent and warm water to clean them. This will remove mold and mildew resulting in a fresh and pleasant smell. 
  • Consider leaving the dishwasher door open every time you use it. Doing so will allow proper air circulation and prevent moisture buildup. Bad and unpleasant odors are often the result of moisture retention. 
  • Hard water accumulation is another important factor leading to poor smells. To eliminate hard water buildup, you should use a specialized dishwasher cleaner. Apart from this, stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe handling and proper odor elimination. 
  • Neglecting a proper cleaning regimen can also cause bad odors. Consider deep-cleaning, and weekly and monthly cleaning as per the suggestions. When there is no residual buildup, food particles, and leftover debris, the chance of bad and unpleasant odors remains minimal. 

Also Read : How To Clean Cuisinart Stainless Steel Multi-clad Pro

Final Conclusion: How To Clean Your Dishwasher 

Regardless of the dishwasher type you own, learning how to clean your dishwasher will help you get the best results from each cleaning cycle. The best cleaning method for your dishwasher machine is the one that suits your needs and requirements. 

Opt for the most suitable cleaning method and stick to that in your dishwasher cleaning routine. Proper care and maintenance will make your dishes even cleaner. Also, this allows your dishwasher supreme functionality and enhanced longevity.

Carrie N. Thomas

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