Learn how to clean your dishwasher so it will run like new. If your dishwasher is smelly, clogged, or the filter is clogged you’ll learn exactly how to clean your dishwasher and keep it maintained.
If you are anything like me, you load the dishwasher, put your soap in and start it up. When the cycle is done, you unload the dishes and continue the never-ending circle that is dishes.
Until I purchased our newest dishwasher I would always forget to clean it. Thankfully, cleaning your dishwasher is a pretty easy process.
Why Do I Need to Clean my Dishwasher?
During the course of being used, your dishwasher collects build-up of food particles, grease, and even soap scum. All of these things cause your dishwasher to not only be less efficient but also could lead to it smelling bad, and looking pretty gross too.
Below you’ll learn how simple it is to clean your dishwasher. You’ll also find commonly asked questions about cleaning your dishwasher to help you further.
How do you clean a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda?
Steps to Deep Clean Your Dishwasher
Check the Drain
Before you do anything, it is important to pull out your bottom rack and look closely at the drain area. Check for any large food particles that could be blocking the drain.
On the top rack place dishwasher safe bowl or cup and fill it with plain white vinegar. Run the hottest possible cleaning cycle. The vinegar will help to dissolve the grease build up, sanitize your dishwasher. If your dishwasher has a musty smell, the vinegar will help to get rid of that too.
After the vinegar cycle is done, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher. The ideal amount is somewhere around a handful. This cycle will be done with the hottest water possible but, a short cycle. The baking soda will help to further the deodorizing process as well. Baking soda removes stains from the inside of the dishwasher too.
While this step is optional, it is very helpful for those dishwashers that have mold and mildew in it. If this is the case you can use anywhere between a half of a cup to a whole cup on the bottom of the dishwasher. Using bleach on stainless steel dishwashers corrode them. You’ll want to avoid this step if your dishwasher’s interior is stainless steel.
Tips for Better Dishwasher Use
Running your garbage disposal before turning your dishwasher on will help your dishwasher to drain better. Since the disposal and the dishwasher drain into the same pipe, keeping it clear from food scraps will help the dishwasher drain much better.
Think of it much like preheating your oven. Things just turn out better when the oven is preheated. Turning your sink on to the hottest water possible will help the water in your dishwasher start out warmer leading to cleaner dishes in the end.
To make sure you are getting the most out of the money you are spending for running your dishwasher, make sure that you only run full loads. Make sure that you aren’t over filling your dishwasher as that will end with your dishes not being clean.
It is common practice to pre-rinse dishes before loading them in the dishwasher however, many of us are getting them way too clean. Our dishwashers actually need a bit of grease and gunk in order to work properly.
Keeping your dishwasher properly maintained will keep it running efficiently and keep your dishes coming out clean. If you follow these tips, your dishwasher will last a long time.
What can you run through a dishwasher to clean it?
The most effective and cheapest supplies to run through a dishwasher to clean it is vinegar and baking soda. The combination of the vinegar, baking soda, and hot water will clean and deodorize your dishwasher.
Can you run bleach through a dishwasher to clean it?
It is not recommended to run bleach through a stainless steel interior dishwasher as it might corrode the inside.
What is the black stuff in my dishwasher?
The black residue collecting inside a dishwasher is a result of bacteria growth. It’s caused by food particles blocking the drain or jets.
It’s important to regularly clean out the drain, filter, and tub to keep this stuff from growing.
Why is my dishwasher not cleaning well?
If you find that your dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes well you might have a clogged filter. Try cleaning your dishwasher and filter and if you still notice that your dishes are not coming out clean it might be caused by insufficient water in the dishwasher or a clogged inlet screen or faulty inlet valve.
How do you clean a moldy dishwasher?
The best way to clean a moldy dishwasher is to follow the steps in the instruction card below. Your dishwasher will be as good as new when you follow these steps.
To enjoy a clean kitchen here are some other great how to posts:
- How to Deep Clean A Kitchen
- How to Keep a Kitchen Clean and Cook in it Too
- Best Cleaning Hacks to Keeping Your Kitchen Clean
- Baking soda
- Check the drain. Pull out your bottom rack and look closely at the drain area. Check for any large food particles that could be blocking the drain.
- On the top rack place dishwasher safe bowl or cup and fill it with plain white vinegar. Run the hottest possible cleaning cycle.
- After the vinegar cycle is done, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher. The ideal amount is somewhere around a handful. This cycle will be done with the hottest water possible but, a short cycle.
- While this step is optional, it is very helpful for those dishwashers that have mold and mildew in it. If this is the case you can use anywhere between a half of a cup to a whole cup on the bottom of the dishwasher. Using bleach on stainless steel dishwashers corrode them so avoid this step if your dishwasher’s interior is stainless steel.
Skip the bleach step if you have a stainless steel dishwasher since the bleach can corrode the inside.