Your dishwasher takes care of a lot of your dirty work for you. However, most people don’t think about cleaning their dishwashers. Some people assume that their dishwasher will get cleaned at the same time as it is washing your dishes; however, this is not the case. With the help of hot water and soap, The Best Way to Clean a Dishwasheryour dishwasher dissolves food particles stuck on your dishes. Over many uses, food particles and other debris can clog up the drain and spray arms. This build-up is the main cause of a poor performing dishwasher. This clog will eventually reduce the amount of water circulating in the dishwasher and thus leaving your dishes and glasses with food residue or soap layer.

Cleaning and maintaining your dishwasher regularly will not only provide you with spotless dishes every time but will also increase the life span of your dishwasher. But the question is, how often one should clean the dishwasher? Well, according to the experts if you are using your dishwasher daily, it should be serviced once a month to keep it running smoothly. However, this time gap between cleaning may extend if you use your dishwasher occasionally.

After a lot of research, we have found that cleaning your dishwasher yourself doesn’t have to be difficult. Moreover, all the ingredients you need are easily accessible. In this guide, you will explore the best way to clean your dishwasher. Let’s get started!


Materials Needed:

  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Measuring Cup
  • Dish Soap
  • Household Cleaner
  • Kitchen Towel
  • Old Toothbrush


Cleaning the Exterior

Most of the time, the smell coming from your dishwasher is not from the interior parts but the edges and exterior of the appliance. Edges around the door of the dishwasher don’t get cleaned during the regular washing cycle and may lead to the debris of food particles and an unpleasant smell. A small amount of household cleaner and a damp cloth will be sufficient to clean the smelly edges and exterior of your dishwasher.


Dishwasher Parts

The best way to clean a dishwasher is by starting with the detachable parts. Remove the dish holder and racks, then wash and wipe them to remove any food particles. However, if these parts are covered with heavy layers of debris, half fill a big tub or your sink with warm water and add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. White vinegar is safe to use and acts as a natural dishwasher cleaner. Place the parts of your dishwasher in this solution and leave for 30 minutes. After the said period, rinse them with fresh water and put them back in the dishwasher.


Dishwasher Interior

Over the passage of time, grease and grime may accumulate in the interior of the dishwasher leading to faulty performance and horrible odor. Distilled white vinegar is the best solution to remove odor and grease.

First of all, examine if there is any debris collected in the dishwasher drain. If yes, remove it because any chunks left behind after a wash cycle may damage your dishwasher. Now place a safe cup on the top rack of the empty dishwasher and fill it with vinegar. Then put the rack back in its place and close the door. Turn on the dishwasher on a hot cycle. Vinegar will help slack grease and grime. Moreover, it will remove any type of odor. When the hot cycle is completed, sprinkle the bottom of the appliance with a cup of baking soda. Turn on the dishwasher with hot water and for a short cycle. This will leave your dishwasher with a shining interior and pleasant smell.


For Mold Stains on The Bottom of Your Dishwasher

If you have mold stains on your dishwasher floor, such as green, brown or black spots the above method using Vinegar and Baking soda might not be strong enough for these tough stains. If this is the case with your dishwasher remove the dish racks so you can access the dishwasher’s interior. Pour 1⁄2 cup of bleach evenly across the floor, put the racks back into position.

Close the door and run the dishwasher on a regular wash cycle with hot water to clean.

– Never mix bleach with vinegar together. Try the vinegar and baking soda first, if that doesn’t work rinse the dishwasher and do the bleach method by itself. Bleach and Vinegar combined create toxic chlorine gas.

– Do not use bleach if you have a stainless steel interior. Bleach can damage your stainless steel machine.


Dishwasher Door and Gasket

Make a solution by mixing 3 cups of hot water and ½ cup of vinegar. Clean the interior of your dishwasher’s door with this mixture. You can also use this solution to clean the rubber gasket by gently wiping it with a soft toothbrush. However, it is always recommended following the instruction of your dishwasher company before cleaning the gasket.


Washing the Filter

The filter requires regular cleaning because it averts large food particles from entering the drain. Most of the dishwashers require a screwdriver to take out the filter. However, some dishwashers come with filters that can easily be popped out. Wash the filter with warm water and then soapy water and a soft toothbrush to scour the filter until completely clean. Please note that not all dishwashers contain a filter.


Unclogging and Cleaning the Drain

The drain is located at the very bottom of your dishwasher and this can be the common area where all of your food debris and other particles may land up. Not removing this build-up from the drain will lead to clogging of the drain. Consequently, a blocked drain will decrease the efficiency of your dishwasher.

To clean the drain, remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Remove larger food residues with hand. Clean smaller food deposits with a cloth or soft toothbrush. Clearing out the drain regularly will ensure that water is exiting properly from the drain thus providing proper and clean dish washing.


Smelly Dishwasher

If you use your dishwasher daily, it may become stinky because of the food residue deposited inside it.

Firstly, check the spray arms to remove any junk and unclog the holes in them with toothpicks to eliminate the bad smell. Together with checking spray arms, check and clean the filter and drain of your dishwasher.

With a cloth/sponge wipe up any debris on the bottom of the tub, using warm water and soap if necessary.

Clean the exterior of your dishwasher. Hot soapy water is the most effective way to remove any residue, dirt, or fingerprint from the exterior surface. However, if your dishwasher has stainless steel exterior use glass cleaner to give it a new look.



We hope you find this article helpful in learning how to clean your dishwasher properly. Cleaning your washer regularly will have it run smoothly and help your machine last for a longer period of time.

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