How to Clean a Dishwasher


You may think your dishwasher is clean after every wash cycle, but that’s not the case. In order to get the best out of your dishwasher’s appearance and functionality, it needs to be serviced from time to time.

At first, this may seem a little strange, since your dishwasher is a device that is filled with water and foam almost every day. But think of it this way. You maintain your vacuum cleaner regularly, right? So does your dishwasher. Just as dust and debris can clog your vacuum cleaner and hinder its performance, food scraps, soap scum and stubborn grease can put your dishwasher at risk.

Even if you’ve recently installed new equipment, you need to know how to clean your dishwasher to remove stains and unpleasant odors and maximize its efficiency. Follow the simple steps below to learn how to clean your dishwasher to keep it sparkling clean, smelling good and working at its best.

Step 1: Access and clean the dishwasher’s drain.

Pull out the bottom rack and remove it. Put on rubber gloves and carefully inspect the area around the drain to remove any debris or lumps. (Also, if the dishwasher has a removable filter, take it out and clean it. Rinse it with warm soapy water and gently scrub it with a sponge or old toothbrush if necessary. Before replacing the filter, clean the area around it.

Step 2: Add 1 cup of vinegar to the dishwasher.

Place 1 cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher safe container and place it on the top rack of an empty dishwasher.

Step 3: Run the dishwasher’s hot water cycle

Close the door and run the dishwasher’s hot water cycle.

Once the vinegar has done its job, open the door and you should have a fairly clean dishwasher. Most, if not all, of the grease and grime should have been washed off and the musty smell should be gone.

Step 4: Complete a short rinse cycle with baking soda.

Sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the washer and run a short rinse in warm water. Just as if you had a box of Arm & Hammer in the fridge, the baking soda will absorb any food odors that didn’t rub off with the vinegar.

The slightly abrasive nature of baking soda can also be used as a scrubbing agent for appliances. At the end of the cycle, you should notice a fresh smelling dishwasher with a brighter, no longer stained interior. Do not put baking soda and vinegar together in the dishwasher.