Here’s how to clean your dishwasher in 7 fast steps.
- Remove any leftover food debris: Before you begin cleaning, remove any remaining food debris from the dishwasher. Check the dishwasher’s filter, spray arms, and any other parts that may have accumulated debris.
- Run a hot water cycle: Run a cycle on your dishwasher with hot water, but without any dishes in it. This will help to loosen and remove any remaining dirt and grime.
- Add vinegar: Add one cup of white vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher. Vinegar is a natural cleaner and will help to remove any hard water deposits and odors.
- Run another hot water cycle: Run another hot water cycle with vinegar. This will allow the vinegar to circulate throughout the dishwasher and clean it thoroughly.
- Sprinkle baking soda: After the vinegar cycle is complete, sprinkle one cup of baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher. Baking soda will help to absorb any remaining odors and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh.
- Final hot water cycle: Run one final hot water cycle to rinse away any remaining baking soda and vinegar.
- Wipe down the exterior: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher, including the controls and the door.
That’s it! Your dishwasher should now be clean and fresh-smelling. Repeat this process every few months to keep your dishwasher in good condition.
A Guide to Cleaning ANY Dishwasher
The Materials You’ll Need
To clean your dishwasher, you will need the following supplies:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Dish soap (optional)
- A clean sponge or cloth
- A small brush or toothbrush
- A bowl or measuring cup
These supplies are readily available at most grocery stores or online retailers. You may already have some of these supplies in your home, so be sure to check before purchasing them.
Wearing a mask is not necessary while cleaning your dishwasher, unless you have an allergy or sensitivity to any of the cleaning supplies you will be using. However, it is always a good idea to read the labels and follow the safety precautions recommended by the manufacturers of your cleaning supplies. You should also make sure the area is well-ventilated to avoid inhaling any fumes. If you experience any discomfort while cleaning your dishwasher, such as eye irritation, dizziness or difficulty breathing, stop the cleaning process immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.
Should I Use Bleach to Clean My Dishwasher?
While bleach can effectively kill bacteria and remove stains, it is not recommended to use bleach to clean your dishwasher regularly. This is because bleach can be harsh on the rubber seals and plastic parts in your dishwasher, causing them to deteriorate and potentially break over time.
Furthermore, bleach can leave behind a strong odor that may be difficult to get rid of, and it can also leave a residue on your dishes that can be harmful if ingested.
Instead, you can use white vinegar and baking soda to clean your dishwasher. These are natural cleaners that are safe for most dishwasher parts, and they are also effective at removing odors and stains.
If you do decide to use bleach to clean your dishwasher, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to use it sparingly. Dilute the bleach in water, and make sure to rinse your dishwasher thoroughly afterward. You may also want to run an empty cycle after using bleach to ensure no residual bleach is left in the dishwasher.
Dishwasher cleaning solutions to use
You can use several effective dishwasher cleaning solutions to clean your dishwasher. Here are a few options:
- White Vinegar: White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner that can remove odors and hard water stains from your dishwasher. Simply pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher and run a hot water cycle.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is another natural cleaner that can absorb odors and remove stains from your dishwasher. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher and run a hot water cycle.
- Dishwasher Cleaner: You can also use a commercial dishwasher cleaner, such as Affresh or Finish, to clean your dishwasher. These cleaners are specifically designed to remove buildup and odors from your dishwasher. Simply follow the instructions on the package.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a natural cleaner that can help to remove stains and odors from your dishwasher. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the bottom of your dishwasher and run a hot water cycle.
- Borax: Borax is a natural cleaner that can remove stains and buildup from your dishwasher. Add a quarter cup of borax to the bottom of your dishwasher and run a hot water cycle.
Whichever cleaner you choose, follow the instructions carefully and take appropriate safety precautions.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Dishwasher
When cleaning your dishwasher, there are some things you should avoid doing to prevent damage to your dishwasher or potential harm to yourself. Here are some things not to do when cleaning your dishwasher:
- Do not use abrasive cleaners: Abrasive cleaners such as scouring pads or steel wool can scratch and damage the interior of your dishwasher. Stick to soft cloths or sponges when cleaning.
- Do not use hot water on a cool dishwasher: If your dishwasher is cool to the touch, do not run hot water immediately, as this can cause the glass to crack or other materials to warp.
- Do not mix cleaning agents: Mixing different cleaning agents, such as bleach and ammonia, can produce toxic fumes that harm your health.
- Do not use too much detergent: Too much can cause excessive suds, damaging the dishwasher’s pump and motor.
- Do not forget to clean the dishwasher’s filter: The filter should be cleaned regularly to prevent food debris from building up and clogging the dishwasher’s drain.
- Do not forget to turn off the dishwasher before cleaning: Make sure it is turned off and unplugged before attempting to clean it.
Following these guidelines, you can effectively clean your dishwasher while avoiding potential damage or harm.