Although a dishwasher is an effective tool to clean dishes, what actually keeps it clean?
Whether you have hard water or simply want to keep it clean, it’s important to clean it periodically.
The good news is that this isn’t all that hard though.
Below you will find 7 effective dishwasher cleaning hacks and tips.
What Is The Best Way to Clean the Inside of Your Dishwasher?
We like to use dishwashers because they do a great job of cleaning dishes, but they do occasionally need to be cleaned too.
If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning your dishes properly or if it starts to develop an unpleasant smell, it may be time for a deep clean. Luckily, there are a few simple dishwasher cleaning hacks that can help to keep your machine running smoothly.
1. Dishwasher Cleaning Hack With Vinegar
Run a cycle with white vinegar. This is a great option if you have hard water and your dishwasher builds up mineral deposits.
Vinegar is a great cleaner that’s both natural and effective. Chances are, you probably have some in your home.
The next time your dishwasher starts to smell a little musty, put a glass measuring cup with two cups of white vinegar on the top rack.
Run the dishwasher a complete cycle without adding any dishes or detergent.
The vinegar will remove trapped particles, mineral buildup, and detergent residue so your dishwasher will once again look like new!
Use this periodically or once every few weeks for a great clean.
2. How To Clean A Smelly Dishwasher With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great ingredient to clean effectively and also deodorize naturally. If you feel like your dishwasher is starting to smell, then baking soda is probably your best option.
Before you use this option is a good idea to remove the racks and any gunk or food residue in the dishwasher. If the drain can be removed, make sure that you clean it thoroughly before moving forward.
Measure one cup of baking soda and sprinkle it across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short cycle on the hottest water setting possible. The dishwasher will be fresh-smelling and have a bright interior.
There’s no need to run another cycle – you can start using the dishwasher like normal.
Another way to give a nice smell to your dishwasher is by placing one lemon peel in the cutlery basket.
Note: Many people want to know how to clean a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda and while it is good to use these natural ingredients never use them together.
When combined, these two cleaning products can neutralize each other and leave your dishwasher in need of a good cleaning. So, next time you’re cleaning your dishwasher, stick to using either vinegar or baking soda – but not both.
3. How To Deep Clean Dishwasher Without Vinegar
Just cut a lemon in half and place it cut-side down on the top rack of the dishwasher. Then run the dishwasher on a hot cycle. The citric acid in the lemon will break down deposits, leaving your dishwasher clean and fresh-smelling.
For hard-to-reach areas, you can also scrub with a soft-bristled brush dipped in lemon juice. With this simple cleaning method, you can keep your dishwasher running like new.
4. Use a Steam Cleaner
This dishwasher cleaning hack is incredibly effective for built-up food and debris that hasn’t been removed with other methods. If you have a steam cleaner on hand, start it up with plenty of water.
After preheating, use the steam cleaner to get inside the dishwasher. Focus on cleaning the corners and hinges as well as the tracks and sprayer holes.
Use the brush attachment on the steamer to remove buildup, making sure that it won’t scratch the machine. You can also use the steam cleaner and an old toothbrush to reach tight areas.
You can use the steam cleaner by itself, but it’s also a good idea to use a multi-purpose spray to get a deeper clean.
After you’re done with the steam cleaner, run a short cycle to rinse out the dishwasher and you’ll be ready to go! To see how to clean a dishwasher with a steam cleaner check this video.
5. Use Bar Keepers Friend
You may have heard of this cleaning solution and with good reason. It’s known as a cleaner and polish that is both gentle and effective. It’s also a great solution to use when you haven’t had luck with other cleaning options.
First, please do not add it to the automatic dispenser in your dishwasher.
Remove the racks from the dishwasher and spray the inside with water. Sprinkle on the cleaning solution. Let the solution sit for about a minute and then use a sponge to scrub it in. Focus on any areas that appear dirty or stained.
After you’re done, wipe up any excess fluid and run a short rinse cycle. You can then use your dishwasher as normal.
6. Try a Bleach Rinse (not for stainless steel interior)
If you have problems with mold or milder, then your final solution is to try adding bleach. This is very effective for mold and milder but won’t be as effective for other problems.
Use a half cup of bleach in a glass container and place it in the top half of the dishwasher.
Run the cycle with no other dishes. If you still smell bleach strongly, you may want to run another cycle of just water.
This will remove any bacteria effectively. However, don’t use bleach if you have a stainless steel dishwasher as it may cause damage.
7. Cutlery Basket
If the cutlery basket has food remains, the best thing is to soak it in hot soapy water (it could be inside a bucket or in the sink with the cap on).
Leave it overnight and if is still dirty the next day use a toothbrush to clean out all of the nooks and crannies and get rid of the dirt.
Be sure to pay special attention to the area where the handle meets the blade, as this is a common spot for bacteria to hide. Once you are done scrubbing, wash the basket with hot water and allow it to air dry.
You should also make a point of deep-cleaning your dishwasher’s cutlery basket on a monthly basis.
Add a cup of white vinegar to the cycle along with your regular detergent, and run the dishwasher on the hottest setting. This will help to remove any built-up grime and disinfect the basket.
With little effort, your dishwasher’s cutlery basket will be clean and bacteria-free.
8. Clean the Filter
If you have a smelly dishwasher it could be due to the accumulation of rotten food in the filter. To prevent foul odor, remove and wash the filter regularly. Use washing-up liquid and a brush to clean it. Rinse and put back in place.
It is also a good practice to leave the door open after use, to ventilate the inside of the dishwasher, and prevent excessive humidity.
These are effective dishwasher cleaning hacks that will eliminate the bad smell, limescale, and dirt, and overall will help your dishwasher have a longer life.
Great Amazon Finds
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✅ Other cleaning tips & hacks you might want to know:
- how to clean your house from top to bottom
- how to clean a smelly washing machine
- 12 car cleaning hacks to keep it spotless naturally
- DIY bathroom cleaner spray
- how to clean a messy bedroom in 7 simple steps
- how to clean the microwave with natural ingredients
Dishwasher Cleaning Hacks Bottom Line
While we’ve shared some great hacks for keeping your dishwasher clean, it’s important to remember that prevention is the best medicine.
Make sure to regularly run vinegar through a cycle and wipe down the interior of your machine on a regular basis (at least once a month) with a damp cloth to keep everything looking and smelling fresh.
Do you have any other tips or tricks for keeping your dishwasher running in tip-top shape? Let me know in the comments below!