The Easiest Way to Clean a Dishwasher

by | Last updated Oct 21, 2023

If you’ve ever thought, “Why should I clean my dishwasher? Doesn’t it clean itself each time I use it?” you’re not alone. However, just like your favorite coffee mug needs a good scrub occasionally, your dishwasher also needs some TLC (Tender Loving Care). After all, it works hard to make your dishes sparkle!

While it may sound like another tedious task to add to your seemingly never-ending cleaning to-do list, we promise it’s much simpler than you think. Believe it or not, your dishwasher might become the most accessible kitchen appliance to clean!

Why is it important to clean our dishwashers? Over time, soap residue, grease, and food particles build up. This reduces the effectiveness of your trusty appliance and can lead to unpleasant odors. This is where the easiest way to clean a dishwasher comes in handy, providing a practical and straightforward approach to maintaining your appliance’s efficiency.

Remember, a clean dishwasher equals clean dishes!”

Bacterial Battleground

If not cleaned regularly, your dishwasher can be a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. A monthly clean can make a huge difference!

Quick & Easy Dishwasher Cleaning Guide

An open and loaded dishwasher showing its tray with clean dishes and rubbing hand signs demonstrating the dishwasher cleaning.

Cleaning your dishwasher may seem daunting, but it’s easier. You can maintain a clean, efficient dishwasher that provides sparkling dishes every time by implementing simple strategies and using readily available household items. This guide will help you understand how to regularly perform quick and easy cleanings to keep your appliance running smoothly.

We will introduce you to two essential cleaning agents – vinegar and baking soda. These two natural compounds are not only safe and economical, but they are also incredibly effective at maintaining cleanliness and freshness in your dishwasher. They work to eliminate hard-to-reach grime, reduce stubborn stains, neutralize unpleasant odors, and even tackle minor clogs in your dishwasher.

We will walk you through the process step-by-step, ensuring you understand exactly what to do and when. With this guide, you can take control of your dishwasher’s cleanliness and functionality, saving you potential headaches down the road.

How to Clean a Dishwasher With Vinegar?  

Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar is a simple process that requires minimal effort but yields excellent results. Here’s how you can do it:

Empty Your Dishwasher

Start by removing all dishes and utensils from your dishwasher. You want to ensure the appliance is completely empty before you begin the cleaning process.

Prepare Your Vinegar Solution

Select the normal wash cycle on your dishwasher and set the water temperature to the hottest setting. As the cycle runs, the vinegar will disperse throughout the dishwasher, breaking down grease, grime, and any lingering odors.

Run a Cycle

Set your dishwasher to a normal wash cycle in the hottest water setting. As the cycle runs, the vinegar will disperse throughout the dishwasher, breaking down grease, grime, and any lingering odors.

Wipe Down

Once the cycle is complete, use a cloth to wipe down the interior of your dishwasher, paying particular attention to areas where food particles could get trapped.

Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar ensures it operates efficiently and extends its lifespan. This method is straightforward, effective, and safe for all dishwasher models.

Frequency Matters

Experts suggest cleaning your dishwasher once a month to keep it running smoothly and maintain its performance.

How to Clean a Dishwasher With Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a brilliant cleaning agent, especially for dishwashers. It deodorizes and breaks down tough grease and grime effectively. Here are the steps to clean your dishwasher with baking soda:

Clear Out Your Dishwasher

Before starting, ensure your dishwasher is empty and free of any leftover dishes or debris.

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle one cup of baking soda at the bottom of your dishwasher. Make sure to evenly distribute it across the dishwasher’s floor.

Run a Short, Hot Cycle

Close the dishwasher and run a short hot-water cycle. Combining baking soda and hot water will break down grease and freshen up your appliance.

Wipe Down

Once the cycle finishes, open the dishwasher and wipe the interior with a cloth. This will help remove any residue left behind by the baking soda.

When Should You Clean Your Dishwasher with Vinegar or Baking Soda?

Depicting a white vinegar bottle and baking soda next to a marked calendar for dishwasher cleaning schedule

The ideal frequency for cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar or baking soda is once a month. Regular cleaning helps ensure your dishwasher’s optimal performance and prolongs its lifespan.

However, there are some tell-tale signs that it might be time to clean your dishwasher sooner. If you start noticing a foul smell coming from the dishwasher or observe visible grime or food particles after a cycle, it’s time to reach for the vinegar or baking soda. Similarly, if your dishes aren’t as sparkly clean as they used to be, that might also indicate the need for a thorough cleaning.

Vinegar is excellent at breaking down grease, eliminating odors, and removing hard water stains. On the other hand, baking soda is a fantastic scrubbing agent and can brighten your dishwasher’s interior.

The best part? These cleaning agents are non-toxic and safe for dishwasher use, making them an excellent choice for regular maintenance. Remember, a clean dishwasher is key to clean dishes. So make it a habit to give your dishwasher the care it needs!

Sanitizing Your Dishwasher for a Germ-Free Clean

An open and loaded dishwasher showing its tray with clean dishes and germ signs demonstrating to protect the Dishwasher from it .

In addition to regular cleaning, sanitizing your dishwasher is crucial to ensure a hygienic, germ-free environment for your dishes. Over time, your dishwasher can harbor harmful bacteria and fungi, which may affect its performance and pose a health risk. Luckily, sanitizing your dishwasher is a simple process that can be done using everyday household items.

Step 01

Complete a vinegar or baking soda wash. As discussed, vinegar and baking soda are excellent for breaking down grease and grime, but they also have antibacterial properties that contribute to sanitization.

Step 02

Mix one cup of bleach with water in a dishwasher-safe bowl. Please note, don’t use bleach if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior, as it could cause damage.

Step 03

Place the bowl on the dishwasher’s bottom rack and run a full cycle on the highest heat setting. The bleach will sanitize the dishwasher and help eliminate any lingering odors.

Step 04

Once the cycle is complete, leave the dishwasher door open to allow it to dry naturally. This step prevents the growth of mold and mildew by creating an inhospitable environment for them.

A clean and sanitized dishwasher ensures cleaner dishes and extends your appliance’s life. By integrating this simple routine into your cleaning schedule, you can keep your dishwasher in top shape and your dishes sparkling clean!”

How to Prolong the Cleanliness of Your Dishwasher

Maintaining the cleanliness of your dishwasher can enhance its efficiency and longevity. To keep the cleanliness of your dishwasher for a longer duration, consider implementing these helpful tips:

Rinse Dishes

Before loading dishes into the dishwasher, rinse them to remove larger food particles. This can prevent clogging and build-up within your dishwasher over time.

Load Dishes Correctly

Ensure dishes are appropriately spaced and not overcrowded. Overcrowded dishwashers can trap food and residue, causing smells and inefficiency.

Run Full Loads

While you should avoid overloading, try to run full loads when you can. This reduces the number of cycles you need to run, reducing the amount of food and detergent residue that can build up.

Use the Right Detergent

Follow the dishwasher manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing a dishwasher detergent. Some detergents work better than others at reducing residue.

Regularly Clean the Filter

The dishwasher filter, usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher, should be removed and cleaned periodically to prevent build-up and foul odors.

Clean the Seals

To keep your dishwasher in top shape, it’s essential to regularly clean the rubber seals around the door. These areas can often trap food and grime, so wipe them down with a damp cloth and mild soap to keep them clean and functioning correctly.

Use a Dishwasher Cleaner Regularly

Regularly using a specific dishwasher cleaner or a natural solution like vinegar can help maintain cleanliness and efficiency.

Run a Rinse Cycle After Each Load

If you can’t run a complete wash cycle immediately after loading dirty dishes, consider running a rinse cycle. This can help prevent food from drying and sticking to the dishwasher’s interior.

These tips can help keep your dishwasher in top condition and prolong the time between deep cleans.

Dishwasher Lifespan Stat

On average, a well-maintained dishwasher can last up to 10 years. Regular cleaning plays a significant role in prolonging your appliance’s lifespan.

Maintenance Tips for Your Dishwasher

Along with the regular monthly cleaning, you can perform a few simple tasks regularly to keep your dishwasher running efficiently and extend the time between thorough cleanings. Here are five tips:

Wipe down the exterior

Regularly cleaning the outside of your dishwasher helps keep it looking new and prevents dust and grime build-up. Be sure to use a cleaner safe for your dishwasher’s finish.

Check and clear the dishwasher filter

Many dishwashers have a removable filter that catches large food particles. Regularly check this filter and clean it out to prevent blockages and odors.

Rinse off dishes

If you aren’t running the dishwasher right away, rinse off dishes before loading them to prevent food from drying and sticking.

Run rinse cycles

If you are running a complete wash cycle after some time, consider running a rinse cycle. This helps to remove food particles and prevents them from drying and sticking to the dishwasher’s interior.

Inspect and clean the seals

The rubber seals around the door can trap food and grime. Regularly inspect these seals and clean them if necessary.

By performing these tasks regularly, you can keep your dishwasher in good working order and extend the time between deep cleanings.

Top Dishwasher Cleaning Hacks for a Sparkling Appliance

Use Citric Acid

Citric acid is your friend for tackling hard water stains and limescale buildup. Just pour a cup of citric acid into the bottom of the dishwasher and run a normal cycle. It will leave your dishwasher squeaky clean and smelling fresh.

Baking Soda Rinse

To brighten up the interior of your dishwasher, try using a vinegar wash, then sprinkling baking soda at the bottom and running a short, hot water cycle. The baking soda is a scrubbing agent and can effectively remove stains and odors.

Clean the Seals

The rubber seals around the door are often overlooked in the cleaning process. Use an old toothbrush, warm water, and vinegar to clean the seals.

Toothpick to the Rescue

The water jets in the spinning arms of your dishwasher can get clogged with food particles. A simple toothpick can clear these blockages and ensure a more efficient wash.

Ice Cubes for Glassware

Try this hack if your glassware comes out cloudy. Place two cups of ice cubes in the dishwasher, and add a cup of salt and two cups of vinegar. Run a normal cycle and say goodbye to cloudiness!

Bleach for Mold and Mildew

If you detect mold or mildew in your dishwasher, a cup of bleach on the bottom rack, followed by a full cycle, can solve the problem. Note: Don’t use bleach on a stainless steel dishwasher.

Final Thoughts on the Easiest Way to Clean a Dishwasher

Woah! Cleaning a dishwasher can be fun and straightforward, can’t it? With the easiest way to clean a dishwasher in mind and a handful of easy steps, you’re left with a gleaming machine ready to take on the dirtiest dishes! Listen up, my friends, a tidy dishwasher is a chipper dishwasher! It runs more smoothly, lasts more years, and makes your dishes sparkle. Is it worth sparing a few moments each month for a quick spruce-up of your dishwasher? It seems like a fair trade for a high-performing, dish-cleaning sidekick, doesn’t it?

To summarize, looking after your dishwasher is as easy as pie, giving you first-rate performance. So, what’s stopping us? Let’s fling open that dishwasher and embark on our cleaning quest! You’re ready for this, super scrubbers!

At WashDryDazzle, our primary goal is to equip you with invaluable knowledge to simplify your day-to-day tasks; to explore more, check out our central hub of Dishwasher Guides.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I clean my dishwasher fast?

You can clean your dishwasher quickly by running a hot water cycle with a dishwasher-safe cup of white vinegar on the top rack. This process will naturally degrease and clean your dishwasher in no time.

What are some effective dishwasher cleaning methods?

There are several methods to effectively clean your dishwasher. One popular method is the vinegar cycle, as explained above. You can also use baking soda in a subsequent cycle to remove stains and odors. Commercial dishwasher cleaners are also available in the market that can do a great job.

What cleaning agents can be used for a dishwasher?

Common household items like white vinegar and baking soda are excellent dishwasher cleaning agents. There are also specific commercial cleaners designed for dishwashers; some people find citric acid effective too.

How can I clean my dishwasher using DIY methods?

An easy DIY method involves using white vinegar and baking soda. Place a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle. Then sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom and run another cycle. This will leave your dishwasher clean and odor-free.

What are some dishwasher cleaning solutions?

Some dishwasher cleaning solutions include white vinegar, baking soda, or commercial dishwasher cleaners. They all work well in breaking down the grease and soap scum accumulating in your dishwasher over time.

What is the best way to clean a dishwasher?

The best way to clean your dishwasher is to run a cycle with white vinegar, followed by a cycle with baking soda. This will not only clean the dishwasher but also remove any lingering odors.

What are the effective tips for cleaning a dishwasher?

Effective dishwasher cleaning tips include running a hot cycle with vinegar to loosen grime and running another with baking soda for deep cleaning. Regularly cleaning filters and traps ensures optimal performance.



Home Appliances Expert

A. Ditta, a highly regarded authority in home appliances, contributes his expertise to With 15 years of global experience, Ditta's writings stand out for their quality, accuracy, and user-centric approach. Recognized as a reliable source for washing and drying products, his in-depth knowledge and commitment to providing clear, accurate advice make him a trusted guide for readers worldwide. Ditta’s work is a testimony to his profound expertise in the industry.