How to Clean Dishwasher: Here are the Easy Steps

How to Clean Dishwasher

Welcome to our guide on how to clean your dishwasher! It’s important to keep your dishwasher clean and well-maintained for optimal performance and longevity. Plus, who doesn’t love a sparkling clean appliance? In this section, we’ll give you easy steps on How to Clean Dishwasher to achieve a fresh and clean dishwasher.

Regular cleaning of your dishwasher helps to eliminate unpleasant odors, while also ensuring your dishes are being washed in a hygienic environment. Neglecting your dishwasher can lead to clogs, blockages, and other malfunctions that can be costly to repair. To prevent this, it’s essential to follow some simple cleaning tips to keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape.

Why Clean Your Dishwasher Regularly?

Do you ever wonder why your best dishwasher is not performing at its best lately? Well, it could be due to the buildup of grease, soap scum, and food debris. That is why cleaning your dishwasher regularly is essential to ensure that it runs efficiently and lasts longer.

How to Clean Dishwasher: Here are the Easy Steps 1

Here are some reasons why regular dishwasher cleaning is essential:

  1. Remove buildup and prevent blockages: Over time, the accumulation of food debris and soap scum can clog your dishwasher’s spray arms, filters, and drain. This can lead to poor cleaning performance and even flooding. Regular cleaning can prevent these issues and save you from expensive repairs.
  2. Eliminate foul odors: If you start noticing unpleasant smells coming from your dishwasher, it is probably due to the buildup of bacteria and food particles. Regular cleaning can help eliminate these odors and keep your dishwasher smelling fresh.
  3. Improve cleaning results: A clean dishwasher will deliver spotless and hygienic dishes every time. If there is a buildup of grease and grime in the appliance, it can transfer onto your dishes, leaving them looking dirty and unappetizing.

Now that you know the benefits of a clean dishwasher, let’s dive into some effective cleaning hacks and tips to maintain its optimal performance.

How to Clean Dishwasher – A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these easy steps to clean your dishwasher and keep it running efficiently:

1Remove any leftover food debris from the dishwasher’s interior and spray arms.
2Remove the racks and utensil holder and soak them in warm, soapy water for 15-30 minutes.
3Wipe the interior of the dishwasher with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in warm, soapy water.
4Clean the dishwasher’s filters according to manufacturer instructions. A clogged filter can reduce the dishwasher’s cleaning efficiency.
5Clean the dishwasher’s spray arms. Remove any debris from their holes and run them under warm water to clear any residue buildup.
6Run a cleaning cycle using a dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. This will eliminate any remaining buildup and odors.
7Wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher with a damp cloth and dry it thoroughly.
8Replace the racks and utensil holder and run a hot water cycle to rinse the dishwasher.

Note: Regular cleaning of your dishwasher can prevent the buildup of food residue and mineral deposits, keeping your dishwasher running smoothly and efficiently. Cleaning your dishwasher every 1-2 months is recommended to maintain its optimal performance.

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Using Natural Cleaners for Dishwasher Cleaning

While commercial cleaning products are effective, they often contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment and your family’s health. Fortunately, you can clean your dishwasher with natural ingredients that are just as effective. Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to consider:

Natural CleanerMixing InstructionsUsage
VinegarMix one cup of vinegar with a cup of water. Pour the mixture into a dishwasher-safe container and place it on the top rack. Run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle.Removes lime-scale buildup and eliminates odors.
Baking sodaSprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle.Eliminates bad odors and removes grease.
Lemon JuiceSqueeze the juice of two lemons into the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on the highest cycle.Removes stains and adds a fresh scent.

DIY dishwasher cleaners are also an excellent alternative to commercial products. Here is a simple recipe:

  1. Mix one cup of baking soda with a quarter cup of citric acid and a quarter cup of kosher salt.
  2. Add 15 drops of essential oil (optional).
  3. Store the mixture in an airtight container.
  4. To use, sprinkle two tablespoons of the mixture on the bottom of the dishwasher and run the cycle.

Using natural cleaners is an excellent way to keep your dishwasher clean and safe for your family and the environment.

Deep Cleaning Your Dishwasher

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Regular cleaning of your dishwasher is essential, but sometimes it needs a deep clean to remove tough stains, odors, and other buildup. Follow these steps for a sparkling clean dishwasher.

Step 1: Clean the Filters

Remove and clean the filters located at the bottom of your dishwasher. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris, and rinse the filters under running water.

Step 2: Clean the Spray Arms

Check the spray arms and remove any food particles or debris that may be clogging them. Soak them in warm water and vinegar for an hour to remove any built-up mineral deposits.

Step 3: Clean the Interior

Wipe down the interior of your dishwasher with a soft, damp cloth and mild detergent. Pay special attention to the area around the door as it tends to accumulate debris. Use a toothbrush to clean the crevices and corners.

Step 4: Remove Stains and Odors

If your dishwasher has stubborn stains or unpleasant odors, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a hot water cycle. Alternatively, you can use a dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to eliminate stains and odors.

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Step 5: Check the Drain

Inspect the drain for any clogs. Remove any food debris or other objects that may be blocking the drain. Pour a mixture of hot water and vinegar down the drain to clear any residual buildup.

Following these steps will ensure your dishwasher is deep cleaned and running efficiently.

Maintaining a Clean Dishwasher

Congratulations! By following the previous sections’ advice, you’ve successfully cleaned your dishwasher. However, to ensure its peak performance and longevity, you must maintain a clean dishwasher regularly. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve that:

  • Always scrape any leftover food bits or debris from your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  • Run your dishwasher regularly to prevent any buildup of mold and mildew.
  • Check the dishwasher’s spinning arms for any blockages that may hinder efficient cleaning. Clean them thoroughly if needed.
  • Wipe the dishwasher door and its gasket regularly to prevent the accumulation of grime and dirt.
  • Check the dishwasher’s filter and remove any debris that might clog it.
  • Inspect the dishwasher’s racks and tines for any chips or cracks. If you find any, sand them down to prevent rusting.
  • Descale your dishwasher regularly to prevent limescale buildup, which may damage your appliance in the long run.

By incorporating these habits into your routine, you can ensure that your dishwasher remains clean and efficient for years to come.

Troubleshooting Common Dishwasher Issues

Even with regular maintenance, your dishwasher may encounter some common issues. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you resolve them:

Cloudy glassesTry adding vinegar to the rinse aid dispenser or running a cycle with a citric acid cleaner.
Improper drainingCheck the dishwasher’s drain hose for kinks or clogs, and ensure that it is connected properly to the sink drain.
Noisy operationInspect the dishwasher’s spray arms for obstructions, such as food particles or utensils. Make sure that dishes are loaded properly and not blocking the spray arms. Check for loose or damaged parts and tighten or replace them as needed.

If these troubleshooting tips do not resolve the issue, consult your dishwasher’s user manual or contact a professional for assistance.

Dishwasher Dos and Don’ts

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Proper use and maintenance of your dishwasher can mean the difference between a long-lasting appliance and expensive repairs. Here are some dos and don’ts to follow:

  • Do load your dishwasher correctly. Load dishes with the dirty side facing the center of the machine and ensure that they do not touch each other.
  • Do use dishwasher-safe items. Only use dishes and utensils marked as dishwasher-safe to avoid damaging them.
  • Do use the appropriate amount of detergent. Too much detergent can leave a residue, while too little may not clean effectively. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results.
  • Don’t overload your dishwasher. Overloading can prevent proper cleaning and may damage the dishwasher’s components.
  • Don’t put non-dishwasher-safe items in the dishwasher. Items like wood or cast iron can be damaged or ruined in the dishwasher, so it’s best to wash them by hand.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners. Harsh cleaners can damage the dishwasher’s interior and strip away the finish. Use mild detergents instead.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure a long and efficient life for your dishwasher.

Caring for the Exterior of Your Dishwasher

While it’s important to keep the interior of your dishwasher clean, it’s also essential to maintain the exterior. A well-maintained exterior not only enhances the appearance of your appliance but also prolongs its lifespan. Here are some tips on how to care for the exterior of your dishwasher:

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Regular wipingWipe the exterior of your dishwasher with a damp cloth regularly. This helps to remove any dirt, grime, or fingerprints that may accumulate on the surface over time.
Avoid harsh chemicalsAvoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners to clean your dishwasher’s exterior. These can damage the surface, leaving scratches or discoloration. Instead, use a mild detergent or a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the surface.
Prevent rustPrevent rust formation on the exterior of your dishwasher by wiping the surface dry after each use. Moisture can cause rust to form, which can be difficult to remove and can also spread to other parts of the appliance.

By following these simple tips, you can keep the exterior of your dishwasher looking new and well-maintained for years to come.

Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Dishwasher

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If you want to save energy and water while still being able to use your dishwasher, there are plenty of tips to keep in mind. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to do your part in helping the environment, while also improving the efficiency of your dishwasher.

  1. Load it up: Always wait until your dishwasher is full before you run it. By doing this, you’ll save energy and water, and there will be less of a need to run multiple cycles during the week.
  2. Scrape, don’t rinse: When you’re loading up the dishwasher, avoid pre-rinsing your dishes. Instead, just scrape off any food particles and let the dishwasher do the rest of the work. This will save water and energy in the long run.
  3. Use the energy-saving mode: Most dishwashers come with an energy-saving mode, so make sure to use it when you can. This will help you save water and energy, while still being able to clean your dishes effectively.
  4. Clean the dishwasher regularly: A clean dishwasher is a more efficient dishwasher. Make sure to clean the dishwasher regularly, as this will help it run more smoothly and use less energy.
  5. Use the right detergent: Using the right detergent is also important for energy efficiency. Choose a detergent that is designed for your dishwasher and make sure to use the right amount.
  6. Use the right wash cycle: Finally, make sure to use the right wash cycle for your dishes. If you’re washing delicate items, choose a gentle cycle. If you have tough, baked-on food, choose a heavy-duty cycle. By doing this, you’ll be able to reduce the need for running multiple cycles or re-washing dishes.


Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to clean your dishwasher and keep it running efficiently. By following these simple steps and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule, you can enjoy a sparkling and odor-free appliance for years to come.

Remember, regular dishwasher maintenance is essential for its optimal performance and to avoid costly repairs. By implementing the tips and tricks provided in this article, you can prolong the life of your dishwasher while also reducing your energy consumption.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful in your journey towards a cleaner and more efficient dishwasher. Happy cleaning!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my dishwasher?

It is recommended to clean your dishwasher once a month to keep it functioning properly and ensure clean and spotless dishes.

What is the best way to clean the filters in my dishwasher?

To clean the filters, remove them from the dishwasher, rinse them under warm water, and use a soft brush to remove any debris. Make sure to clean them thoroughly and reinstall them before using the dishwasher again.

Can I use vinegar to clean my dishwasher?

Yes, vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner for dishwashers. Simply pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl and place it on the top rack. Then, run a hot cycle to eliminate any build-up and odors.

How do I remove stubborn stains from my dishwasher?

For stubborn stains, create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stained areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub gently with a soft brush or cloth to remove the stains.

What should I do if my dishwasher is not draining properly?

If your dishwasher is not draining properly, check the drain hose and make sure it is not kinked or clogged. You can also try running a vinegar cycle to help unclog any debris and improve drainage.

Can I use bleach to clean my dishwasher?

It is not recommended to use bleach in your dishwasher as it can be too harsh and may damage the appliance or leave behind a strong odor. Stick to more gentle cleaners like vinegar or baking soda.

How can I prevent cloudy glasses in my dishwasher?

To prevent cloudy glasses, make sure to use a rinse aid in your dishwasher. Additionally, avoid overloading the dishwasher and use the appropriate dishwasher detergent for the best results.

Should I rinse my dishes before loading them into the dishwasher?

It is recommended to rinse off large food particles before loading your dishes into the dishwasher. However, there is no need to pre-rinse them completely as modern dishwashers are designed to handle small food debris.

What should I do if my dishwasher is making a loud noise?

If your dishwasher is making a loud noise, check for any loose or foreign objects in the dishwasher. It is also a good idea to inspect the spray arms and ensure they are not clogged or damaged.

How can I maintain the exterior of my dishwasher?

To maintain the exterior of your dishwasher, use a soft cloth or sponge with mild dish soap to remove fingerprints and smudges. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that may scratch the surface.

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