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What Vinegar Can I Use To Clean My Dishwasher?

One of the many different jobs that we have around the home is keeping the dishwasher clean. Is vinegar a good choice for doing so?

The best way to clean your dishwasher is to use a cup of white vinegar. Put it on the bottom of the dishwasher or on the lower rack in a bowl that will not be damaged because of the vinegar. Run the dishwasher through an empty cycle with hot water and it will break down much of the debris that is in the appliance.

Female kneeling on kitchen floor next to dishwasher

Some of the different things that can be in the dishwasher using vinegar include grease, small pieces of food, residue, soap, grime, and anything that was leftover from the many different plates and glasses that have been washed.

That being said, it is not going to do a perfect job and if you have large pieces of food, the acidity in the vinegar is not going to break it down. That is why it may be necessary for you to also reach in and manually clean some of the larger items from the dishwasher if they have gotten stuck in place.

There are also some things that you need to consider as far as the types of vinegar that you use as well as if you want to use vinegar or not.

What Vinegar Can I Use To Clean My Dishwasher?

Open dishwasher door

First of all, it is the acidity in vinegar that really makes it a strong cleaning agent. People use vinegar for a wide variety of purposes around the home and cleaning the dishwasher is just another use.

Essentially, any type of vinegar will do the job because they are all acidic. There are going to be some that are better than others, and we will discuss some of those properties below.

In addition, if you are going to run vinegar through the dishwasher, it’s better if you use a dishwasher-safe bowl. You can either place it on the bottom or on the top rack, but don’t simply pour the vinegar into the dishwasher. Why not?

Many people don’t realize how strong of an acidic nature vinegar can have. In some cases, it can even eat through hoses and gaskets relatively quickly. It may not do it on the first wash, but using vinegar regularly can break those items down.

That is why it is not generally recommended that vinegar be used in the dispenser unit of the dishwasher. It can easily melt the rubber gasket in the Rinse-Aid dispenser or soap dispenser.

In addition, since it will break down the rubber gasket over time, it’s better if you use a commercial Rinse-Aid rather than using vinegar on a regular basis. It is always good to use vinegar for routine cleaning but using it every day can cause problems.

At this point, we will take a look at some of the different types of vinegar and determine which is going to be best for cleaning your dishwasher. You might be surprised by the number of different options you have available.

Can I Use Vinegar To Clean My Dishwasher?

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As far as the question of what vinegar you can use to clean your dishwasher, any type of vinegar can be used. The real question is, can you use it to clean your dishwasher effectively?

Vinegar is an excellent choice for cleaning the dishwasher on a number of different levels. Not only can it help to freshen the smell of the dishwasher by removing much of the debris that was left behind, but it can also get rid of the hard water stains and soap scum that may have clung to the surface.

The biggest point with making sure that it works well for you is to put the cup of vinegar in an empty bowl that is safe for the purpose. You wouldn’t want to use something such as a paper bowl, because it would simply disintegrate inside of the dishwasher.

You also want to make sure that you are running the dishwasher on the hottest level possible when you are cleaning it. You may not use that much hot water every time you clean your dishes but it is essential when you are cleaning the dishwasher itself.

The fact that you can use any type of vinegar really frees you to make sure that you are keeping your dishwasher clean. That being said, following the advice of only using white vinegar is always going to be beneficial.

White vinegar has the right level of acid and it can do a good job of cleaning the dishwasher without leaving behind any type of scent or residue. The only thing you need to be careful of is that rubber gaskets and hoses can break down over time.

As long as you are only using one cup of white vinegar, you don’t really need to worry about the dishwasher breaking down. If you put a lot of vinegar in and allow it to come in contact with the gaskets or hoses for an extended amount of time, however, the damage will be done.

Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Clean Dishwasher?

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If you plan on using apple cider vinegar to clean your dishwasher, is it a good choice?

Apple cider vinegar is not quite as acidic as white vinegar but it still has an acidic level of between 4% and 6%. It’s made, partially, from fermented apples so it has a yellow-brown color and has a slight taste of apples. You can use it to effectively clean your dishwasher if you don’t have white vinegar available.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to choose white vinegar over apple cider vinegar. First of all, apple cider vinegar tends to be a lot more expensive than white vinegar and that can really make a difference in your budget.

In addition, white vinegar has more of an acidic yet neutral flavor. It isn’t pleasant to drink, and we might appreciate the taste of apple cider vinegar more but it can make a difference in the cleaning of your dishwasher.

If the dishwasher doesn’t thoroughly rinse away all of the vinegar that was used for cleaning it could leave behind that sweet smell of apple cider vinegar after the cycle has been completed. You can remove that by running it through an extra cycle on empty.

Can I Use White Vinegar To Clean Dishwasher?

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If you have some white vinegar in your cupboard, can you use it to clean your dishwasher?

Although you may have many different options when it comes to vinegar for cleaning the dishwasher, white vinegar is at the top of the list. It has a highly acidic nature that makes it perfect for breaking down grime and soap scum that has been left behind over dozens of washes. Just pour 1 cup of white vinegar into an empty bowl and put it on the top rack. Run it through an empty cycle at the hottest temperature possible.

Some people are concerned about using vinegar because they think that it is going to destroy the dishwasher. In fact, it can be damaging to the dishwasher but not if you use it the way that we recommend.

White vinegar has a highly acidic nature so if you were to pour it directly in contact with a hose or gasket, it would begin to break down the rubber. It won’t do it right away but if it was allowed to sit for an extended amount of time, it can make a difference.

Quite simply, white vinegar is an excellent choice for washing the dishwasher. Run it through a cycle and you will see that it gets your dishwasher clean and smelling fresh.

Can I Use Wine Vinegar To Clean Dishwasher?

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Some people have wine vinegar available and they are wondering if it is a good choice for cleaning the dishwasher.

White wine vinegar is a very common product that is typically sold in Oriental food shops. You may have some available in your cupboard and when it comes time to clean the dishwasher, you can use it in order to get the interior of the appliance clean.

There is something to consider when using white wine vinegar, and that’s the fact that it is not quite as acidic as white vinegar. They are made from different products as a base, although the fact that they turn to vinegar makes them somewhat similar to each other.

As long as you use white wine vinegar in the suggested method of one cup of vinegar in a bowl on the top or bottom rack through a hot, empty cycle, you can be happy that the interior of the appliance is clean. Now that the appliance is clean, your dishes will be clean.

Can I Use Malt Vinegar To Clean Dishwasher?

Sponge wiping dishwasher door

As we discussed, almost any type of vinegar can be used to clean the dishwasher. Does this include malt vinegar?

Malt vinegar is a brown type of vinegar that is sometimes used for cleaning. It is not, however, the best choice for cleaning a dishwasher because it may leave behind a smell. When you think about what we typically use malt vinegar for, eating French fries, it shows you that it does have that pungent taste and smell that will stick around in many cases.

I’m not necessarily saying that you should not use malt vinegar for cleaning. All I’m saying is that it is a better choice to use white vinegar and you will save money when using white vinegar anyway.

Can I Use Distilled Vinegar To Clean a Dishwasher?

Sponge wiping dishwasher door

If you have some distilled vinegar, can you use it to clean the dishwasher interior?

Distilled vinegar is a great choice for cleaning the interior of the dishwasher. It’s relatively inexpensive and highly acidic, so it will clean the inside, remove and grime, soap scum, and break down debris without causing any damage. That plus the fact it can be done on a budget really makes it beneficial.

The big difference between white vinegar and distilled vinegar is that white vinegar has a higher level of water and a greater level of acidity. Distilled vinegar will be about 5% acid while white vinegar is about 7% acid.

Can I Use Rice Vinegar To Clean Dishwasher?

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Are you thinking about using rice vinegar to clean your dishwasher? Is it a good choice?

Rice vinegar can be used to clean the inside of the dishwasher and it will do a good job at removing much of the debris and grime that has been left behind. You can use rice vinegar by pouring one cup in a bowl and putting it on the bottom rack. It will wash away clean, so running it through an empty cycle will clean the dishwasher properly.

There is not much of a difference between white vinegar and rice vinegar. There is a slight difference in taste, with rice vinegar being less tangy.

Another difference is the acidity because white vinegar is more acidic. That is why white vinegar is preferred, but rice vinegar can be used if that is what you have available.

How To Clean Dishwasher With Vinegar Properly

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As we have discussed in this article, vinegar is the best option for cleaning your dishwasher regularly. It is a natural product that does not hurt the environment and it does an effective job.

Now that we know that is true, it’s a good idea to consider how to properly clean the dishwasher using vinegar.

The first step in the process that involves vinegar is to fill a bowl that is safe with at least one cup of white vinegar. As we discussed, white vinegar is the best choice available. Vinegar will break down any food item and much of the debris when you run it through an empty cycle on hot.

Prior to the time that you use vinegar for cleaning the dishwasher, it’s also important to ensure that you are cleaning it thoroughly by hand. For this purpose, you will want to wear protective gloves because you will be putting your hands into the bottom of the dishwasher.

It’s also a good idea to shut off the power to the dishwasher before you put your hands into those areas. More than likely, you are not going to come in contact with any electricity but you don’t want to take the chance on something turning on while you have your hand in the area.

If you aren’t able to reach the cloud to unplug the dishwasher, you can turn the power off to the dishwasher by flipping the circuit breaker. Make sure that you test to verify that the power is off before you begin working.

Debris may build up in a number of different areas. It will not likely build up in corners or other areas that are in the open but it will build up under the lower arms, above the upper arms, and in and around the filter area.

Gently work your hand around in those areas to see if you can loosen any debris and remove it. You might be surprised by how much debris you can remove.

The next step in the process is to remove the filter. This is something that many homeowners skip, but it can make a difference in how well the dishwasher cleaned your dishes.

Removing the filter, perhaps on a monthly basis, and cleaning it is essential for having a smooth-running machine. You can clean your filter by rinsing it thoroughly and you can even soak it in some vinegar to do a more thorough job.

You can now run your dishwasher through an empty cycle using the hottest cycle possible. Use a safe bowl to put vinegar in and then put the bowl on the upper or lower rack. The point is to allow the vinegar to go through the wash and not to have it sit in contact with any part of the dishwasher for an extended amount of time.

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

Occasionally, you may see someone that recommends putting the vinegar and the Rinse-Aid or soap dispenser. Although it is possible to do it, it will ruin the gasket over time. It’s better just to use a bowl.

After running through an entire cycle, carefully smell the interior of the dishwasher to see if there is any leftover residue. You should not smell anything sour and the vinegar smell should be gone.

If you smell a sour smell, you may need to run through another empty wash just to remove some of the debris. It also might help to check for larger pieces of debris that were missed during the initial process.

When you smell a vinegar smell after the first cycle was run, it is usually just a matter of running the second cycle to get rid of any of the residual vinegar that was leftover.

Finally, put the filter back in place and wipe down the exterior of the unit. You are then ready to washer dishes and no that you are getting the cleanest dishes possible.

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

Vinegar is an excellent choice for cleaning the dishwasher because it is acidic by nature. It will easily break down scum, grind, and debris that has been left behind. Simply run an empty cycle with hot water and 1 cup of vinegar. Do it monthly to keep your dishwasher clean.

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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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