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What Can I Use To Clean My Dishwasher?

It is important to ensure that we are cleaning every part of the home, including those parts that are responsible for cleaning others. That is why you should keep your dishwasher clean but what can you use to accomplish that task?

The best and easiest way to clean your dishwasher is with white vinegar. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher. You can pour it directly into the bottom of the pan. Run it through a complete hot water cycle and the vinegar will help to break down and dissolve everything from food to build up residue and soap scum.

Female wiping down dishwasher door

If you do much searching, you will find that there are many different opinions on how to keep a dishwasher clean. Some of those opinions will offer varieties of what you can do to clean specific problems with the dishwasher.

That is why we have pulled everything together into a single resource so that you can ensure you are getting your dishwasher as clean as possible. Vinegar will work in almost every instance but there may be other times in which you want to add additional items, such as baking soda or perhaps even a commercial cleaner.

There are also some things you should be cautious of when cleaning your dishwasher. We will discuss those before we get into the nitty-gritty of what to use to keep your appliance clean.

What Can I Use To Clean My Dishwasher?

Young girl holding kitchen cleaning supplies

When most people think about cleaning the dishwasher, the first thing they think about is cleaning the inside. It is important to ensure that the inside of the dishwasher is clean, but there is more to it than simply doing a surface cleaning.

The dishwasher is exposed to some of the dirtiest parts of the home. It breaks down the old food from our dishes and at times, that food may accumulate in various areas of the dishwasher.

If we allow it to do so, it can cause a wide variety of problems. Not only are we exposing the dishes we are cleaning to the old food particles, it can also have a powerful smell that could even affect the plastic dishes and bowls on a long-term basis.

That is why it is important to ensure that you are doing a deep clean and not simply wiping the surface with a little bit of vinegar water. It also is something that needs to be done regularly.

How often should you clean the dishwasher? As a general rule, you should try to run it through a clean cycle about once every two weeks. You should also be doing a deep clean every month or two.

One of the things you want to do when performing the deep clean is to ensure that the filter is clean. Quite honestly, most homeowners tend to skip this step altogether but it is imperative that it is cleaned.

If the filter is not operating properly and clean, it is likely to clog and you will not be getting the full effect of washing your dishes. Pull the filter out and clean it regularly.

You should also ensure that you are reaching down into the dishwasher and cleaning out any debris that may have gotten stuck in the bottom of the pan. Be cautious that you unplug the dishwasher or turn off the circuit breaker before doing so.

Finally, wipe down the outside of the dishwasher and as much as you can of the sides of the door and frame. You might be surprised with what can accumulate on the outside in the nooks and crannies that are often overlooked.

These are just some of the factors to consider when doing a deep clean of your dishwasher. Now let’s take a look at some of the options for cleaning it to make the job a little easier.

Can I Use Baking Soda To Clean My Dishwasher?

Jar of baking soda and spoon

In an effort to clean the dishwasher as effectively and easily as possible, people are willing to use almost any product. Is baking soda a good choice?

Baking soda is an excellent option for cleaning the dishwasher and it can be part of a general cleaning routine. You can use baking soda by sprinkling it inside of the dishwasher when it has finished the first cycle. It will help to freshen the parts of the dishwasher you don’t typically see.

Baking soda is so useful around the home and often, we forget to use it as a natural way to clean items. It is also something that we tend to neglect when it comes to rotation.

For example, do you have a box of baking soda in your refrigerator that has been there for months? It should be changed every month, and you can use the old baking soda to help freshen up the dishwasher.

Then again, you can spend a dollar or two and get some fresh baking soda for that purpose.

Can I Use Bleach To Clean My Dishwasher?

Big container of bleach solution

Some people consider using bleach in the dishwasher as a way to do some deep cleaning. Is it a good idea?

You can use a small amount of bleach in most dishwashers but not if it is stainless steel. For other dishwashers, put one cup of bleach in a glass bowl on the top rack and run it through a full cycle. You may need to run it through a second cycle to ensure that the bleach smell is gone.

It is important to restate that using bleach in a stainless steel dishwasher is going to damage it. On the other hand, if you have a modern dishwasher that is not stainless steel, it can be used safely.

It also depends upon your comfort level. You may find that a cup of white vinegar does a good job and adding a little baking soda will help to freshen things up nicely.

Can I Use Lemon Juice/Kool Aid To Clean a Dishwasher?

Cut lemon and juice in glass jar

Has anyone ever told you that you can use lemon juice or Kool-Aid to clean the dishwasher? Is it true?

You can clean the dishwasher by pouring a packet of Kool-Aid into the pan. The citric acid inside of the packet will help to break down food items and clean the interior nicely. You could also pour the lemonade Kool-Aid directly into the area where the detergent is usually kept.

It may seem unusual but this is a nice way to keep your dishwasher clean. It will also leave behind a light lemony scent, which most homeowners appreciate.

Of course, you may or may not have any lemonade Kool-Aid on hand. Using vinegar is a good option if you don’t have any readily available.

Can I Use Bicarbonate Of Soda To Clean a Dishwasher?

Top view of baking soda jar

One common question that many homeowners ask is if you can use bicarbonate of soda to clean the dishwasher.

Bicarbonate of soda is the same thing as baking soda and it can be used to clean the dishwasher effectively. The best way to use bicarbonate of soda when cleaning the dishwasher is to run it through a full cycle and sprinkle in the bicarbonate of soda immediately after the first cycle completes.

Bicarbonate of soda has a cleansing effect and it is good for many uses around the home. That is why most refrigerators have a box of baking soda, because it absorbs odors that would otherwise be offensive.

Using bicarbonate of soda in your dishwasher will do more than absorb odors, it will also help to break down food particles and give the interior a general freshening.

Can I Use CLR To Clean a Dishwasher?

Open dishwasher rack

Although most people tend to reach for a natural product when cleaning their dishwasher, can you use a commercial product, such as CLR?

You can use CLR to clean your dishwasher but it tends to clean a very specific area. Rather than being a general cleaner, such as vinegar or baking soda, it tends to work directly on lime, rust, and calcium stains.

To effectively use CLR when cleaning your dishwasher, pour some directly into the area where you would pour your dishwashing rinse agent. Run it through an empty cycle on hot and allow it to do its own work.

CLR has a wide variety of products. Some are designed to work in specific areas of the home or perhaps to tackle a certain type of stain. Make sure that you are choosing the appropriate one for use in the dishwasher.

Can I Use Soda Crystals To Clean a Dishwasher?

Dishwasher with door open

If you have some soda crystals available, can you use them to effectively clean the dishwasher?

Soda crystals, which are also known as washing soda, can clean the inside of your dishwasher quite nicely. They are a type of water softener and a cleaner that can tackle a variety of stains and issues. Simply sprinkle some soda crystals into your detergent dispenser and run it through a full cycle.

In many cases, using a product such as soda crystals will give a good general cleaning. You can run it through a cycle with soda crystals every week and it will help to keep ahead of the mess.

Can I Use Oxiclean To Clean a Dishwasher?

Female kneeling on kitchen floor next to dishwasher

Most homes have an old bottle of Oxiclean in an out-of-the-way cupboard. Can you use it to clean your dishwasher?

Oxiclean is an excellent cleanser for the dishwasher and other areas of the home. It can even be used as dishwasher soap if desired! In that way, you can clean the dishwasher interior at the same time as you are washing a load of dishes.

Although it is possible to wash dishes with OxiClean, not every homeowner is going to want to do so. You might just find that running a cycle with OxiClean on occasion is enough to keep the dishwasher clean at all times.

Can I Use Citric Acid To Clean a Dishwasher?

Open dishwasher rack

We already discussed using citric acid from lemonade Kool-Aid to clean your dishwasher. If you have straight citric acid, can it be used to clean the dishwasher?

Citric acid (sour salts) is excellent for cleansing the dishwasher and is even recommended by some major dishwasher brands. Put a few tablespoons of crystallized citric acid into the detergent cup and close it. You can then run it through a normal, empty cycle to clean the interior and freshen things.

It is so beneficial to use citric acid that you really don’t need to use anything else. It works well on its own.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t want to mix things up on occasion. You can use something such as white vinegar, baking soda, or other natural cleaning agents that will help to clean items as quickly and deeply as possible.

Can I Use Tang To Clean Dishwasher?

We all know that Tang is a delicious beverage but can it also clean the dishwasher?

A packet of Tang in either lemonade or orange flavor can be used to clean calcium scale deposits that build-up from hard water. Simply pour the Tang into the cavity for dishwasher soap, run it on a hot cycle and allow the Tang to go to work.

Can I Use Affresh To Clean My Dishwasher?

Is it better to use Affresh for cleaning dishwashers or should a natural solution be considered?

You may find that Affresh is the best choice for cleaning a stainless steel dishwasher. It is not only safe in the dishwasher, but it is also safe for the sewage system beyond the dishwasher, including septic systems. It’s best to run an empty cycle with Affresh for the best results.

Can I Use Salt To Clean Dishwasher?

Salt is relatively inexpensive but does it clean the dishwasher?

If you want to clean the interior of the dishwasher, it may be as easy as adding dishwasher salt and running through a cycle every month. It will help to clean the dishes as well as cleaning the interior of the dishwasher and keeping it nice and shiny.

Can I Use Lemi Shine To Clean Dishwasher?

Is Lemi Shine a good option for cleaning the inside of the dishwasher?

Sometimes it is better to go with a commercial cleaner and Lemi Shine is a good option. Simply pour a pouch into the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through an empty cycle. It will do an excellent job of cleaning and can be used for routine cleaning as well.

Can I Use Clorox To Clean a Dishwasher?

Clorox is just a type of bleach. Can it be used to clean your dishwasher?

You should never use bleach for cleaning a dishwasher with stainless steel parts. As long as your dishwasher doesn’t have stainless steel, you can pour 1 cup of bleach into a bowl and run it through an empty cycle on the top rack.

You may need a second cycle if the bleach smell is persistent.

Can I Use Borax To Clean a Dishwasher?

Borax is a good choice for cleaning your dishwasher because you can also use it while dishes are being cleaned at the same time. Pour 1/4 cup of Borax into the bottom of the dishwasher and run the normal cycle.

Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean a Dishwasher?

Hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic disinfectant. You can spray it on the sides of the dishwasher interior and wipe it after allowing it to sit for a few minutes. You can also mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda for a clean-smelling dishwasher interior.

Can I Use Ammonia To Clean a Dishwasher?

Ammonia is not the best choice for cleaning the interior of the dishwasher but you can clean the dishwasher filter using it. Remove the dishwasher filter and soak it overnight in a bowl with ammonia. Be sure to rinse the filter thoroughly before putting it back in.

Can I Use Zoflora To Clean a Dishwasher?

You can use Zoflora to clean your dishwasher and keep it smelling good. It can be part of a routine cleaning and you only need a cap full run through an empty cycle to get the best results.

Can I Use Lime Away To Clean a Dishwasher?

Lime Away is a commercial cleaner that is used to remove calcium buildup and rust stains. If those are a problem in your dishwasher, you can use the product to effectively clean the interior.

This content is owned by Wabi Sabi Group and was first published on Apr 26, 2022..

How To Clean Dishwasher Properly

Female kneeling on kitchen floor next to dishwasher

When it comes time to do a thorough cleaning of your dishwasher, it involves more than simply splashing some vinegar on the inside.

To completely clean the dishwasher, you will have to remove the filter, dishwasher rack, and utensil holder. This will give you access to clear out any debris that may have built up over time. You can also clean the filter, wipe down the dishwasher racks and ensure that nothing is stuck in the utensil holder.

After cleaning the dishwasher thoroughly to remove any debris, you can run the dishwasher using one cup of vinegar on a hot cycle. For this purpose, you would use a bowl filled with vinegar on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.

The vinegar will help to break down much of the food and soap scum that was not able to be removed by hand. After running a hot cycle, run another cycle with baking soda to help freshen things up.

Finally, make sure that you clean the outside door of the dishwasher. This will help to keep any debris that may have accumulated along the edges from tainting the water while the dishes are cleaned.

This article was first published on Apr 26, 2022 by Wabi Sabi Group..

The best choice for cleaning your dishwasher is to use white vinegar. 1 cup of white vinegar run through a hot cycle on its own will do a lot to break down the soap scum and food debris that has accumulated over time. Do this regularly to keep the dishwasher clean at all times.

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WabiSabi Group is the owner of this article and was published on Apr 26, 2022 and last modified on .

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