How to Deep Clean Your Dishwasher

By: The Cleancult Team

December 08, 2017

Be honest. When was the last time you cleaned your dishwasher? And I’m not talking about running a washing cycle with an empty chamber, I’m talking about a deep cleaning of filters, cartridges and crates. I’m guessing that quite a bit of time has passed since your last cleaning. Well, tiny bits of food, grease and dishwasher soap scum can cling together and form deposits in all the nooks and crannies of your dishwasher. After a time, they can not only make your dishwasher look and smell bad, but decrease its efficiency as well.

Here at Cleancult, we’re big fans of cleaning our different home appliances and keeping them working in top shape! So, for the benefit of everyone and their machines, today we bring you an easy, effective and swift way of cleaning your dishwasher using only vinegar, baking soda, and a toothbrush. So gather your cleaning supplies, because it’s time to give new life to your dishwasher.

According to cleaning experts, you should clean your dishwasher at least once a month to keep it working properly and in top condition. Follow these few easy steps and give your dishwasher the cleaning it deserves.

What you need:

1 cup of vinegar (both white or apple cider vinegar will do the trick) 1 cup of baking soda A toothbrush Dish soap

The steps:

  1. Examine the drain - The first thing you want to do is to pull out the bottom rack of your machine and examine the drain are to make sure there are no hard chunks of material that may clog the drain, cause damage to the pump or scratch your dishes. You’ll be surprised at what you find lying there! Dishwasher repairmen commonly find bones, crab shells, bits of glass, and even small pieces of gravel!
  2. Wash the filter - Remove the filter and wash away any excess or gunky remains you may find. Place in warm soapy water for about 10 minutes and then rinse.
  3. Run a wash cycle with vinegar - Fill a dishwasher-safe cup with plain white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. The vinegar is very effective in terms of washing away the loose, greasy grime, sanitizing, and helping to remove the musty odors from your dishwasher. Then using the hottest water setting possible, run the dishwasher through a cycle. The machine should be empty, apart from the vinegar-filled cup.
  4. Run a wash cycle with Baking Soda - After the vinegar cycle finishes, sprinkle the cup of baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a short cycle, again in the hottest water setting possible. The baking soda helps in further deodorizing your dishwasher and in removing any stains.
  5. Done! - Get rid of any hard-to-remove stains with the toothbrush, replace the filter, and you should have a squeaky-clean dishwasher.

A word of caution, though! Even though some sites recommend running an additional cycle with a cup of bleach in your dishwasher, we advice against this. Even though bleach may leave your dishwasher looking whiter than ever (if it is indeed white), it may also harm the stainless steel parts of it and eventually shorten its lifespan, therefore making it a counterproductive measure.

It doesn’t matter which kind of detergent you usually to wash your dishes, either dishwasher gel or dishwasher detergent pods, regularly cleaning your dishwasher not only helps to achieve a better and more effective cleaning, but may even extend the life of your machine. If you do so, you will also find that fewer repairs are needed and will actually help you save money!