How To Clean Your Dishwasher


Sometimes the appliance that does the cleaning needs to be cleaned itself. Dishwashers do some heavy lifting in the cleanup arena. An average family runs their dishwasher once a day. With all that use, the dishwasher can build up with grease, food, and even soap scum. This valuable piece of equipment needs some TLC on a regular basis to help it stay fresh and work at its peak performance.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher

If you are using your dishwasher once a day, you should be cleaning it once a month. If you are using your dishwasher less frequently, you can clean it every other month. There are some simple things you can do to help keep your dishwasher fresh in between cleanings.

  • Rinse your dishes to remove grease and food before putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Run the rinse cycle if you aren’t quite ready to run the dishwasher through the entire wash cycle. You especially want to rinse off milk, creamer and other food items that can start to spoil overnight if left to sit in the dishwasher.

Things You Can Use To Clean Your Dishwasher

  • White distilled vinegar – Vinegar is a natural acid that will work to remove grease, oils and buildup.
  • Lemon juice – Lemon juice is also a natural acid that will cut through grease and leave the dishwasher smelling fresh.
  • Salt – Salt is a natural scrub that not only softens the water but also works to scrub the walls of the dishwasher.
  • Baking soda – Baking soda is a natural lifter. Mixed with heat or hot water it will lift scum and food particles off the walls of the dishwasher.

How To Clean Your Dishwasher

  • Clean out the filter system – Each dishwasher is slightly different, but they all have some type of filter that catches food particles and debris. Locate the filter and remove it from the dishwasher. Remove large particles from the filter then pour extremely hot water through the filter to remove grease and build-up.
  • Wipe out the area around the filter – Grease, grime and soap scum can build up around the dishwasher’s filter. Wipe out the entire area with a paper towel and a degreasing product.
  • Place one cup of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice on the top shelf of the dishwasher. If the walls of the dishwasher need real attention, add two tablespoons of sea salt to the vinegar. Run the dishwasher on a full wash cycle on the hottest water setting. The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice will not only cut through grease on the top and sides of the dishwasher, but also run through the entire system to remove buildup.
  • Before the rinse cycle starts add two tablespoons of baking powder to the base of the dishwasher. The baking soda will go through the entire system and work to remove odors and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean. This will leave you will have a sparkling clean interior.

After cleaning the inside – Wipe the outside of your dishwasher with a degreasing cleaner. Finish by using a fine woven microfiber cloth sprayed with just water to leave the dishwasher looking perfectly clean and streak free.