How To Clean Dishwasher – Best Tips And Methods

How To Clean Dishwasher – Best Tips And Methods

How often do you clean your dishwasher? Your response to this question determines the actual state of that dishwasher in your kitchen. Most times, we just assume that it doesn’t need to be cleaned since it gets its own fair share of soap and water every day. We’re going to look at how to clean dishwasher in this article.

How To Clean Dishwasher
Photo Credits: PhotoMIX Ltd.

Come to think of it, where do all the food debris, dirt, and grease go to after a washing cycle leaving your dishes sparkling clean? They get stuck on the drain, chambers and other parts of the dishwasher.

The dishwasher gets its fair share of everything called messy in the kitchen. From dirty plates to grimed cups and other kitchen utensils. The continual contact between soap suds, food remains and grease within this device accumulates after a long time.

It makes your dishwasher look dirty and may consequently affect the overall function of the machine.

Also, it stinks when not regularly cleaned because of accumulated water and grime in the drainage. This is a perfect home for bacteria and mold infestation.

To clean your dishwasher, take out all the items inside the dishwasher, including the racks. Using a microfiber towel and soapy water, wipe the interior of the dishwasher clean. Replace the dishwasher racks, place a cup of vinegar at the top rack of the dishwasher, sprinkle baking soda at the base of the dishwasher, then run a wash cycle.

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

Cleaning Supplies Required to Clean A Dishwasher

The following are required to clean your dishwasher:

  • A cupful of white vinegar.
  • Dish soap.
  • A cupful of baking soda.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Soft sponge.
  • Soft cloth
  • Water
  • Bleach

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How to Clean A Dishwasher Drain

To clean a dishwasher drain pipe, remove all racks at the bottom of the dishwasher and check the drainage. Clean the drain with soap and a soft sponge. Ensure that you remove all dirt, food remains that are stuck in there. They cause harm to the machine if accumulated for long and reduce its function. After cleaning the drainage, replace the racks.

This is the part of the dishwasher that’s at the receiving end of food debris/remains, grease, dirt, and grime.

How to Clean A Dishwasher Filter

To clean a dishwasher filter, remove the filter and soak it in warm soapy water. The wash solution will remove stains and stuck on dirt in a few minutes. Wash thoroughly with soft sponge and soap and rinse with clean water. Then clean all surrounding areas including holes and spray arms. Replace filter to the dishwasher.

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How To Clean Dishwasher With Vinegar

To clean a dishwasher with vinegar, put a cupful of vinegar at the upper rack of the dishwasher (this should be the only thing inside the machine). Optimize the hot water setting and run a first wash cycle with a cup of vinegar. Vinegar helps to remove grease and other dirt from the dishwasher.

How To Clean Dishwasher With Baking Soda

To clean your dishwasher using baking soda, dredge a cupful of baking soda at the lower rack in the dishwasher. Optimize the hot water setting and run a second wash cycle. At the end of the second cycle, leave the dishwasher closed for some minutes for the steam effect.

Baking soda is helpful in removing tough stains and odor from the dishwasher, leaving it sparkling clean.

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Video: How To Clean Dishwasher

This video will show you how to clean a dishwasher using vinegar and baking soda.

What Are The Precautions while Cleaning a dishwasher

  • Don’t use bleach to clean your dishwasher as it affects the steel sections of your machine, which affects its function and lifespan.
  • Put nothing inside the dishwasher while cleaning. Except for the cup of vinegar, which should be dishwasher safe.
  • Do not scrape the interiors with hard objects.
  • Use only dishwasher safe products. For clarification, check the product manual or call the manufacturer.

Check out other related dishwasher articles:

How Often Do You Clean A Dishwasher

For the optimal performance of your dishwasher, you must deep clean your dishwasher once every three months. This will prevent the accumulation of grime that causes the dishwasher to get clogged. However, you can split the cleaning into daily, weekly, and monthly routines for ease and prevent the accumulation of grime. 

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How to Maintain Dishwasher

  • Use clearly marked dishwasher-safe kitchen utensils
  • Always clean food remains from used plates
  • Don’t overload your machine
  • Use the right dishwasher soap

Use clearly marked dishwasher-safe kitchen utensils

On no account should you use unsafe utensils in your dishwasher, it’s a wrong thing to do. You’d be putting your machine in harm’s way.

Always clean food remains from used plates 

If possible, soak with water to remove caked-on lump before washing in the dishwater. Food particles get accumulated in the drain inside the machine.

Don’t overload your machine

As much as possible try not to overload your machine. Put heavy utensils like pots and pan in the lower rack and fragile plates and bowls in the upper rack face down or towards the spray arm for thorough cleaning. 

Make sure spoons, knives, and all sharp objects are placed face down in the cutlery tray.

Use the right dishwasher soap

Use soap recommended by the manufacturer for your dishwasher. 


Cleaning dishwashers are as important as using it in the first place. It’s paramount that we maintain them so they can serve us better. Follow a cleaning routine that suits you whether daily, weekly, or monthly and prolong the lifespan of your appliance for a few more years.

How To Clean Dishwasher — Related FAQs

How Do You Descale A Dishwasher?

To descale your dishwasher, remove limescale buildup, and hard water deposits, run your dishwasher using a descaler. Start the dishwasher, turn the wash setting to the hottest wash setting available, and let it run for 30 minutes.

Open the dishwasher and pour a box of Bosch descaler into the bottom of the dishwasher. Resume the wash cycle and let it complete. Repeat the wash cycle without the descaler.

Open the dishwasher; using warm soapy water and a microfiber towel, wipe the interior of the dishwasher.

How Can You Naturally Clean Your Dishwasher?

To naturally clean your dishwashers with only organic products, run the dishwasher’s wash cycle with just apple cider vinegar and baking soda. To do this, add one or two cups of apple cider vinegar to the top rack of the dishwasher. Also, sprinkle a cup of baking soda at the base of the dishwasher.

Set the dishwasher to the hottest wash setting and turn on the dishwasher. At the end of the wash cycle, use natural rubbing alcohol to wipe clean the exterior of the dishwasher.

How To Clean A Dishwasher Without Vinegar?

To deep clean a dishwasher without vinegar, insert a packet of unsweetened lemonade mix into the dishwasher soap compartment and run the hottest wash cycle. After the wash cycle, your dishwasher will be clean and smell fresh too. 

If you cannot get a lemonade mix, you can sprinkle a cup of baking soda at the bottom of the dishwasher, then run a wash cycle. Baking soda will break down all the hard water deposits built up in the dishwasher. It will also absorb any odor in your dishwasher.

How to Remove Rust Stains from The Dishwasher?

To remove rust stains from the dishwasher, make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Before you begin the cleaning process, protect your hands with gloves as the hydrogen peroxide can irritate your skin.

Use a soft brush to apply the paste to the areas with the rust stain, then scrub gently. For areas on the dishwasher with stubborn rust stain, apply a few drops of bleach and continue scrubbing. Rinse everything off with clean water and a towel.

Should You Leave Dishwasher Door Open to Dry?

It is best to leave the dishwasher door open to dry after cleaning the dishwasher and after running a wash cycle. Closing your dishwasher immediately after running a wash cycle will lead to the growth of mildew and other microbes in your dishwasher.

These bacteria thrive in damp conditions. Therefore, to increase the hygiene of your dishwasher, always leave the door open to dry.

Also, allowing the dishwasher to air after a wash cycle will help to get rid of any lingering smell that may result from the wash cycle.

How Do You Make Homemade Dishwasher Cleaner?

To make homemade dishwasher cleaner, add two cups of baking soda or washing soda to two cups of borax. Use a spoon to stir the mixture properly. Pour half cup of vinegar into half bowl of Epsom salt, add 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Mix the solution properly using a spoon.

Pour the baking soda and borax mixture into the vinegar and salt mixture. Stir properly for a minute. The ingredients will clump on their own when you have mixed it properly. Put the dishwasher cleaner into an ice cube tray and press it hard to take the shape of the container. Allow the soap to dry. Store in a cool, dry place. 

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