Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to Clean Your Dishwasher

how to clean your dishwasher

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Someone recently asked about cleaning the inside of the dishwasher. 

Anonymous said…

This sounds great, I’m going to try it next time I get groceries…..Do you have a recipe to use for cleaning the dishwasher itself? Mine is VERY old and well, yucky. Anything I can use to sparkle it up a bit without hurting my back climbing inside the machine? lol

February 10, 2012  8:09 pm

After reading this my initial reaction was….Washing the Washer? Cleaning the Cleaner? Was this really necessary?

I gave it some thought and even did some research on it…but sort of shuffled it to the bottom of the “To Do” List because it wasn’t something I had had to deal with…yet….since our dishwasher is less than a year old.

Well, SOMEONE must have thought I had put it off long enough….because yesterday when I opened my dishwasher, this is what I found!

how to clean your dishwasher

A whole lot of dirty dish water standing in the bottom of it. ugh. Not good. That will teach me to procrastinate!
It was the middle of the day with no hubster around to consult with…so I decided it was the PERFECT time to re-visit my research into How To Clean Your Dishwasher….which really seems like an odd thing to even type when you think about it….CLEAN your DishWASHER?? Sounds mixed up to me! I mean the thing is running what seems like 24 hours a day…how can it get DIRTY???  Well, it turns out there are LOTS of ways it can get gunk and junk in it that need to be cleaned. Tiny bits of food, grease and soap scum can cling together and get deposited in corners of the dishwasher. After a time, they can not only make your dishwasher look and smell bad…but decrease its’ efficiency.

Well I knew it was only a matter of time before my dishwasher started to smell bad if I didn’t find a way to get rid of the standing water in the bottom. All the articles I read on this subject (and there were many!) all boiled down to basically 3 (sometimes 4) easy steps.

FiRST….pull the bottom rack out and examine the drain area and make sure there are no hard chunks that can plug the drain, cause damage to the pump or scratch dishes. You’d be surprised at what dishwasher repairmen find – bones, crab shells, chips of glass, and even small pieces of gravel!

So I got down on my knees and stuck my head in there and lo and behold I DID find a “hard chunk” plugging the drain…………

how to clean your dishwasher

Yep, that’s a hard chunk alright. :-/   I swear folks! That is the first time I have EVER had that happen!!  I have found the occasional utensil fallen down there….but never something like this.  I was actually quite horrified when I saw it! I thought my dishwasher MUST be a goner! But I figured I’d come this far…I wasn’t stopping now. So I pulled up my “big girl panties” and continued the task at hand.

Now that I had discovered the “chunk”…I felt all around the drain to make sure there were no MORE chunks hiding.  Couldn’t find a single piece of anything. So I proceeded to the next step.

how to clean your dishwasher

SeCOND…..Place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Using the hottest water available, run the dishwasher through a cycle – except for the cup of vinegar, the dishwasher needs to be empty.
The vinegar will help to wash away the loose, greasy grime, sanitizes, and helps remove the musty odor.
If you don’t have any white vinegar, you may substitute a packet of unsweetened lemonade mix in the soap cup. Don’t experiment with other flavors as they may stain the inside of your dishwasher.

how to clean your dishwasher

ThIRD…..After using the vinegar to sanitize the inside of the dishwasher, sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom of the tub and run it through a short but complete cycle using the hottest water. The baking soda will help freshen the smell of the dishwasher as well as brighten up the look of the inside of your appliance by removing stains.

(OPTIONAL):
If you have problems with mold and mildew, add ½-1 cup bleach in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a full cycle. NOTE: DO NOT USE BLEACH IN YOUR DISHWASHER IF YOU HAVE A STAINLESS STEEL INTERIOR).

So…..did it work???  Sure did! My dishwasher is now squeaky clean and fresh smelling and NO standing water! Let’s hear it for no dishwasher repair bill!!!

how to clean your dishwasher

 

Now that the dishwasher is clean and running right………here are a few IMPORTANT tips to KEEP it that way….until the next cleaning. (A routine dishwasher cleaning is a good habit to get into. And you have to admit…now that you know how it’s done…it’s not that hard.)

*Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher. The dishwasher drains into the same pipe as your sink, so that drain must be clear.

*Run a bit of hot water in your sink before running the dishwasher. You will get cleaner dishes if the water starts hot. You can collect the water you run and use it for watering plants or other purposes. Run the water until what comes out of the tap feels hot.

*Make sure your water starts hot enough. Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120F (50C). Water that is cooler than this won’t do a good job cleaning. Water that is hotter could scald.

*Run full loads to conserve water and energy, but don’t pack dishes too tightly. Dishwashers wash dishes by spraying water over them, so the water needs to be able to get to the dishes to clean them.

*If you are inclined to pre-wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, consider this. Dishwasher detergent NEEDS a certain amount of grease and dirt in order to do its job. Otherwise, it actually foams up during the cycle which is not good for your dishwasher.

Now Go Forth And Clean!!! :-)


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312 thoughts on “How to Clean Your Dishwasher

  1. Susan@FruitfulWords

    Perfect timing for me to read this as my dishwasher is gucky. Thanks for these tips. I am sure in a few short hours my dishwasher will also be sparkling clean!

    Reply
    1. julia

      I do the same routine for the dishwasher but I also do a Borax cycle! I works well! Vinegar can fix almost everything! lol Vinegar also is a natural insect killer! I wash my cat in a vinegar bath (1 part vinegar 2 part water) once a month! The smell also repels the fleas.

      Reply
      1. Barb

        Half vinegar and half water also kills any bacteria or yeast on skin. I used this on my dog, and it cleared his skin right up! He did smell like a pickle though.

        Reply
        1. stormy

          This is probably the most helpful comment I have ever read. If this actually works you have just saved my life and my nose!! My poor American bulldog is STINKY! No matter how often or how less I bathe her it never helps. Medicine won’t work. So I am going to try this. I really hope this works. And hey who doesn’t like pickles?? LoL!! Thanks.

          Reply
          1. Christie

            I bathe our coonhound with oatmeal and baking soda. Rather than using any soap, I place cup or so of baking soda with a cup or two of oatmeal in the blender until it becomes powdery. Then I mix it with a little water and pour it over her a little bit at a time, scrubbing everywhere. Then rinse with water. It gets rid of all the hound smell! And doesn’t dry her skin out like regular dog shampoo.

            Reply
      2. Melissa

        Julia, if you add a few drops of BLUE Dawn dish soap, it will kill any fleas on the kitty. We do this with kittens at the animal shelter I volunteer with (and I keep a bottle of blue dawn at home for when foster babies come with fleas).

        Reply
      3. Susie

        I go through white vinegar by the gallons. I hate modern chemicals. I believe the make us ill. 7 years ago, I bought a foreclosure with the cheapest of the cheap white frigidare appliances. That’s ok, there are many other things I’d rather spend my money on, and I don’t have much of it, So, for 7 years, i have been washing dishes by hand – I hate doing dishes, and sometimes the build up a bit, or a lot if I’m not feeling well. Time to fix the darn dishwasher!!! I’ve fixed (or broken) just about everything else – I’m sick of things piling up! With cushion for my knees, I got down there. No screw, no forseable way to remove that darn filter… grrrrr…. oh well, try it anyway… results not favorable. A few days later, nasty smell coming from kitchen sink, and sink blocked… hmmmm? Try again… OMG! Now both kitchen sinks blocked, all kinds of nasty things coming up…(I’ve never seen before) scoop and empty into big pan, run and flush down the toilet – repeat… finally, the level went down to where I could wipe the nasty incredibly ganky smelly stuff out of the sink – but it didn’t stop there… oh no! there were a few hairs wrapped around the drain, so I pulled, and pulled some more, uggh, nasty stuff, all oily – believe it of not, I got about 5″ worth of thick nasty oily human hair and gunk out of there. shudder .

        Hmmn – even more stuff to wipe out of the bottom of the dish washer….. methinks the two might be related.

        Will repeat several times more over the next few days, and hope and pray that I can finally use the nasty, nasty, dishwasher that is becoming cleaner each time I do this. (The entire place was like this when I moved in) No wonder I’m tired now.

        Reply
        1. Cheryl Brown

          If you will put a box of baking soda (half in each side of sink if you have a double one) and then pour vinegar down let it sit for 30 min to 1 hour and then pour a pot of boiling hot water down each side of the sink it generally flushes all of that gunk out – I try to do this once a month to keep my sinks fresh and clean and running free. Hint -I use the baking soda from my frig when I replace it with a new one and the hot vinegar from cleaning my coffee pot when I do that -about every other month – trying to save every way I can!

          Reply
          1. Penny Carnathan

            This is a great idea! One thing to be careful of, my husband the plumber asks me not to pour boiling water down the sink drains. Not good for the plumbing! (Additional plumber hint: occasionally run the garbage disposal dry — no water running — for 10 seconds or so to help clear it out.) And don’t use “soft” toilet paper!

            Reply
        2. eliz

          Susie – finding the amount of things you are describing, tells me you should have someone investigate your plumbing. these things should not be coming from your dishwasher and could make you sick. if someone worked on the plumbing and cut corners, you could have a very serious plumbing problem.

          Reply
        3. eliz

          finding the amount of things you are describing, tells me you should have someone investigate your plumbing. these things should not be coming from your dishwasher and could make you sick. if someone worked on the plumbing and cut corners, you could have a very serious plumbing problem.

          Reply
    2. Karen

      I use food grade citric acid….we have HARD water and it works great….no build up.
      1Tbs. in the cup or throw it in during the main wash or rinse cycle. No cloudy glasses anymore!

      Reply
    1. Natashia

      2 cups bleach wash on whites setting. Then follow up with 1 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons vinegar and wash on whites setting and you should be good to go

      Reply
      1. Karen

        Natashia… great for cleaning a washing machine.. especially if you have used it to dye something.. but Diana was asking about cleaning a clothes dryer… And I’m at a loss for that one. I’ve had blue on a dryer or two also.

        Reply
        1. Joan

          Try bleach & a little soda on a cloth or sponge [wear a rubber glove or your hand will peel as it burns your skin] let it sit a few minutes; then with another cloth or sponge rinse with vinegar a few times. Make sure you rinse well or you may get bleach spots on clothes, maybe dry some white towels or something you don’t care about.
          KUDOS TO JILLEE FOR THIS SITE AND ALL WHO OFFER SUGGESTIONS OR QUESTIONS!

          Reply
        2. ellen phillips

          I have had the blue[from blue jeans....] the only thing I have found in soft scub with bleach…just on a dry cloth and elbow grease—and then clean/wet cloth–w/water–and wipe clean……should be off.

          Reply
      2. Niki

        I had a sharpie mishap in the dryer recently, I used Axe body spray (smells horrible, use a fan to ventilate) and scrubbed it off with a sponge. It took a good deal of elbow grease, but the dryer is pretty again!

        Reply
    2. Angie DeKlein

      Diana,
      I used a magic eraser to get off a whole pack of bubble gum from the inside of my new dryer. They work great! Took off discoloration from jeans too.

      Reply
      1. Shannon

        Magic erasers are just melamine foam! Apparently, melamine foam is an open cell foam that, when mixed with water, acts like a super micro-fine sandpaper easily removing the toughest stains around your house! You can buy it online:) DIY you guys.

        Reply
    3. Lisa

      Wow. Thanks for the tip. I’ve tried it before with fair results. The reason…I found the hidden NASTY part under the door. It is a rubber piece that goes inside about an inch. Why would they do that?? I dug out tons and am on my third vinegar run. Will end with the baking soda. Yay!!

      Reply
    4. Gwyn

      This might be too late for you… but I had the same problem & found the best thing to clean it was Mr. Clean Magic Eraser & a whole lotta elbow grease. From now on I soak all my new jeans in vinegar & water to eliminate most of that blue stains on the inside of my dryer (the vinegar locks in the blue dye).

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Someone might have already mentioned this, but I dry my jeans inside out. They fade much slower and the buttons don’t hit the inside of the dryer. I’ve been doing this for years…no faded jeans or blue dryers here.

        Reply
        1. Erica

          I’ve been washing our clothes inside out for a few years now. Saw that tip on some web site. I was able to use my kids’ elementary school uniforms two years in a row this way. We just turn the clothes inside out as we take them off, and toss in the hamper. Easy peasy. :-)

          Reply
    5. RaeAnne

      I found that if you take an old white rag and soak in 1/2 bleach 1/2 water then wring it out. Put in dryer by itself on hottest setting for about a half hour. This worked on gum that got in there as well as the blue tint.

      Reply
      1. Rachel

        I had dye on the inside of my dryer as well (used new blue denim fabric for the backing on a quilt I made … will never do THAT again) and this is what I did: Soak a rag in bleach, throw it in the dryer on the air fluff cycle. I would strongly caution against using heat as that will cause toxic fumes. The cold air fluff cycle works just fine and removed almost all the blue dye except in the crevices that the rag couldn’t really reach.

        Reply
    6. John

      WD40 cleans any gunky stuff from the drum of a dryer… if the drum is blue from jeans… probably denim build up… spray the inner walls with WD40 and apply elbow grease (rub really hard) with a dry wash cloth (that you will be throwing away or using as a garage rag after) should take care of it.
      hope this helps

      Reply
  2. Carole

    Good job, Jillee. All of these years I have had a dishwasher, I never knew what I have learned from you today. Just goes to show that you can learn something valuable every single day, if you have someone like you around to teach you. I am so proud of the way you so willingly help others to make their lives easier.

    Reply
  3. M. Kurdziel

    You've got to be reading my mind!! I literally looked this up last week.. THESE EXACT STEPS! I'm making a cleaning binder, with directions for all of my all-natural cleaners, and steps to clean everything I can think of! I don 't want to forget all the AWESOME, easy steps I've learned to clean practically anything!

    Reply
  4. liz

    Thank you for posting this. I was actually getting on your site to look for the homemade dishwasher soap, because mine was ugly & dirty and I didn't want to waste more detergent. Perfect timing!!!

    Thank you!

    Reply
  5. AnandaBijoux

    We have hard water and if the salt runs even a little low rust in the water stains the interior of the dishwasher something fierce! I'll try this method the next time and see how it works. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I have soap building up on my dishwasher door, this is a perfect idea! I use my dishwasher to clean the fabric dispenser for my washer as well and it works great! When cleaning a washing machine I just run a load like normal but with the lid open and a flat head screw driver in the lid switch to allow it to run the complete cycle, "I purchased a new toilet bowl scrub brush and basically hold it in the problem area on the tub as it spins! No stain can hold up against that! Also save old toothbrushes for some hard to reach places!

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Ive been using vinegar for years–hard water–sometimes I just put in a cup full right in bottom of dishwasher when I start it..Dishes come out clean no soap scum and dishwasher is clean!!

    Reply
  8. Debra

    We have super hard water. We have to clean our dishwasher every 2-4 months or lime scale builds up on the heating elements. You should have seen the old dishwasher when we moved in! The whole thing, even the rack was covered in lime. It took 4 treatments of store bought stuff to get rid of it. It's called dishwasher magic (if anyone cares). but I like your way better, so much cheaper! I just hope that cup of vinegar is up to the task of lime.

    Reply
    1. Heather

      Debra,
      Our water where I live causes hard water limescale bad. The repairman told me to use 2 cups of Muriatic Acid every two months after I told him that the vinegar treatment didn’t work. He also said that if my dishwasher didn’t have a disposal on it that it would also get rid of any build up in the drain as well. I used it and it was like my dishwasher was brand new again.

      P.S. The Muriatic Acid is in the Paint Department at Walmart and is really cheap!

      Reply
    2. Heather

      I have very hard water where I live too. I put 3/4 to 1 cup of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher everytime I run it and it has cleaned it right up and the dishes are cleaner than ever.

      Reply
    3. dianne

      just go to drug store and buy citric acid , then use the same way as your commercial product…….about a tablespoon of stuff right into dishwasher – start cycle, only let run a few min, stop (open door) , let stand for about 10 -15 min, run again for a few min, and repeat until first cycle is over……..can use same product on toilet bowl for thse brown stains – does not need a lot of hard scubbing – just let it melt wverything away –swish , then leave it, come back and repeat……after all stains are really gone you can probably maintain with lemoade/limeade crystals – (same product)

      Reply
  9. Anonymous

    where is the drain in the dishwasher and what is under the little round thing in the front left hand corner of my dishwasher. Your picture has it too. and the "screen" someone addressed to clean where is that?

    Reply
    1. Teresa

      The drain is under the plastic mesh part in the back right hand corner. You would be shocked by what is in there if you take that mesh cover off. Usually comes off with 2 screws, super easy. The thing in the front is a water level gauge. Its also important to clean that up too. Its usually held down with a wire bent around the heating element. Once you get the wire off, lift the cover of the gauge off. Theres probably grease and gunk in the cover, wash it out really well. Then under where the cover was, theres a “stick” inside a tube. The “stick” floats when the water level is up. You will have to lift it with your fingers. It usually wont come all the way out due to its design, but you can lift it up enough to clean the grease and gunk off the stick, and if its really bad, use a pipe cleaner to also clean out the tube the stick is in.

      Reply
      1. Penny Carnathan

        My drain is a big circular unit under the sprayer arms. Easy to just run your fingers around it for the junk check. (I’ve never done that before reading this. I had a chunk of hard plastic and a mildewed plastic wrapper!)

        Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Lemishine is wonderful for hard water. It worked for us when vinegar, lemon kool aid and citric acid would not (all are acidic based). Also, I've found that if I use the "gel" packets of dish detergent rather than the tablets, I always have issues.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    There is a Dishwasher cleaner you can buy at the grocery store. I think its called Dishwasher Magic…?? I live where the water is harder than a rock so that kind of power is necessary. But the vinegar would probably work if your water is normal.

    Reply
    1. tabby

      My husband sells appliances and gets training from the manufacturers all the time. We have a front-load clothes-washer and when ever someone leaves the door shut after using it, it gets smelly and the clothes gets smelly, especially towels. So I run a cycle with no clothes, just old towels and just bleach. The towels have enough residual soap in them from previous washings and the bleach cleans them AND the machine. (The smell comes from the rubber door gasket growing mildew from lack of air circulation, so I always leave washer door open, but teenagers forget.)
      Then I run a load of all my towels with Arm & Hammer *washing soda (NOT baking soda) and Mule Team Borax in the pre-wash cup; white vinegar in both the bleach cup and softener cups, and detergent in the detergent cup as usual and I use the hottest water my towels can stand. (I only buy white towels now because you can’t bleach or hot-water the colored ones.) I had to wash each load of towels like this twice when I first started doing this procedure, before the smell was all gone.
      I always use white vinegar instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets; the vinegar cuts the hard water limescale out of your clothes and towels, makes them softer, and that limescale is what seems to hold in the smell, so once it’s gone, the smell goes too.
      PS if you get static-y clothes, pin a silver-color safety pin on a couple items while it is in the dryer. (I don’t know if brass-colored ones works, but the regular ones do.) They act as a lightening-rod kind of thing to let the static electricity flow out to the dryer shell. Interesting science experiment for kids is to take clothes out of the dryer while you are in the complete darkness. You can SEE the static electricity sparks.

      Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Diana. I recently had black crayon all over the inside of my dryer and to my surprise, I got it all out by using a product called LA's Totally Awesome. I ran the dryer for 5 mins and sprayed it down and wiped ur out. It even got the crayon out of the clothes as well!!!! It only cost 1 dollar from Dollar General.

    Reply
  13. Rhiannon

    to the comment about the front load washer…check your instruction manual, ours had a combination of buttons to push that prompted a "cleaning" option, then I poured one cup of bleach (scented and MUCH cheaper than the Tide washing machine cleaner!) where the detergent usually goes and ran it on the clean cycle! No more yucky smell or grimy front rubber part :) YAY!

    Reply
  14. debbi

    Thank you for this! I will do mine this weekend.
    For washing machines, I heard on Dr. Oz to just run bleach with no clothes. I've done that and it cleans it nice. I then wash whites after just in case there's some bleach left.

    Reply
    1. Joan

      BE AWARE THAT BLEACH IS NOT RECOMMENDED IN SOME FRONT MACHINES, AS IT IS CAUSTIC AND MAY RUIN SOME PARTS [IT IS STUPID, I KNOW] IT’S NOT GOOD FOR METAL/RUBBER [LEATHER/SILK SO ON] RUN VINEGAR THROUGH RINSE CYCLE TO COUNTERACT THAT!

      Reply
    1. Joan

      Perhaps it will, it is more acidic, although bottled lemon juice is 35% weaker or more depending on brand than a real lemon. Lemon and salt will help remove rust and, also stains on clothing if you put them in the sun.

      Reply
  15. Kris

    Do you know how many times I have spent around 6 or 7 dollars for one of those wax seal dishwasher cleaners from the store………only to find out it was vinegar……..smh.

    Reply
  16. Joanne

    Vinegar does a great job for so many things, but I dislike the fact that newer dishwashers are made so you can’t take the bottom arm off to clean under it. I saved a friend from calling a plumber years ago by teaching her how to clean her dishwasher that way!

    Reply
  17. Pingback: Spring Cleaning « Little House. Big Heart.

  18. Jayna

    I was wondering, do you put back the bottom shelve or you just leave it out? And also, can you put the baking soda (at the bottom) and the vinegar or lemon water (at the top) at the same time so your only running one load? For those that have stainless steel interiors, would it be beneficial to add bar keepers to cleanse and remove stains?

    Thanks for the directions and tips, totally gonna do this and save money instead of buying expensive cleaners.

    Reply
  19. Vida

    I really do need to try this. But, I did have a questions. What if your heating element has hard water “calcium” deposits? how can I get that off?

    Reply
  20. Kat Durham

    Tried this yesterday… I couldn’t tell that it was cleaner at all. My dishwasher is old and our water is hard. I have in the past used Tang – fill the detergent cup with Tang and run a cycle with no dishes. Worked well. I’m not sure if Tang is still on the market…might try the lemonaide next.

    Reply
  21. Linnea

    Now I am wondering is something similar to this will work in a front loading washing machine. Mine is getting musty smelling and I want to freshen it up. I leave the door open for awhile after washing a load, but it is still musty.

    Reply
  22. Andrea

    What do you suggest for my washing machine??? It seems to get that mildew smell all too frequently!!!! Of course, it couldn’t be from me leaving a load or two in the washer for a day! LOL I have used the ones at the superstores, but it only lasts for a week or so. Any ideas?!?!?!? Your blog is AWESOME! Thanks!

    Reply
  23. Anna

    I have done this recently myself but I do want to add one thing that I did, my dishwasher is 7 yrs old and I have noticed that the door on the inside has gotten crusty. I ran the dishwasher with the vinegar and then in a spray bottle I sprayed the underneath of the door. I was totally floored with what came out and it was totally grossed out. So yes this is now officially on the routine of cleaning.

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Thanks for the reminder Elaine! I’ve been meaning to turn that ad off (I never see it on my computer for some reason) and keep forgetting. Should be gone now.

      Reply
  24. Vickie

    I pour about a half cup of bleach in periodically when I run the dishwasher with dishes and all. In doing this, it seems to be keeping my dishwasher clean as well my dishes unstained. If someone in the household is sick, I’ll do this everytime I use the dishwasher and I’ll add a little bleach in my sink when hand washing dishes as well. I will take baking soday and sprinkle in my bathroom and kitchen sinks, then pour vinegar down the drain to help keep my pipes smelling fresh.

    Reply
  25. Monique

    Tried this method and it worked. My dishes were looking grimy and my glasses had spots all over them and this residue all the time. I tried this and today I used my dishwasher for the first time and my dishes looked amazing. I even made sure to run the disposal first as well. Thanks for this post. I’m going to do this maybe one every couple months to keep my apartment dishwasher clean and running better.

    Reply
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  27. Nick

    Here’s another tip:

    Don’t run your dishwasher on heated dry. Your hot water is at more than 120*F which is plenty to clean and sanitize your plates and glasses. Running the heating element wastes energy, money, and can cause problems with plastic like shown in the picture. With a good hot wash, most of my plates are clean and steamed dry when I take them out anyway, and the tops of mugs can be easily dried with a tea towel. Save money and the environment, and forget the heated dry cycle.

    Reply
    1. Jai

      Thanks for your post. I was running my dishwasher with the vinegar on the top rack to clean it and read your post. I ran & turned off the heated dry cycle. That would have been a total waste. I will try your other tips as well when I am finished cleaning it.

      Reply
  28. Lori

    In between cleanings, splash a little white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher every time that you wash
    dishes. You will be amazed at how clean your dishes and dishwasher are. I just take the lid off of the vinegar and splash some in. I would estimate that my splash is probably about 2 to 3 vinegar caps. Experiment until you find what works best in your dishwasher.

    Reply
  29. pjv in AZ

    Woke up this morning to standing, yucky, greasy and disgusting water in the bottom of the dishwasher. I remembered seeing this post and ran to the computer. After getting the yucky standing water out, I followed your instructions and what a difference! My dishwasher is not only sparkling clean, but running better, too! A thousand thanks for your great advice and I will not neglect cleaning it ever again.

    Reply
  30. m

    Hey,
    Just thought I would pass this along..The vinegar should be enough to kill the hold. Bleach + mold= cancer.
    Studies have shown that combining the two sends off carcinogens into the air etc….

    Reply
    1. crazywoman/Billie

      I’ve been wondering if someone was going to comment that bleach is NOT good to use on mold!
      I really didn’t know about the bleach + mold = cancer, but id did know that the bleach will not kill the mold, but rather will cause the spores to actually grow, and spread. They kind of explode into the air if I recall correctly. (MY words, but something similar.) Simply put, bleach + mold is bad news!!
      Since the bleach does just that, bleaches the color from the mold people tend to think it had killed it, when in fact they are making it worse in the long run!
      Vinegar whoever, as the above poster, M said will kill the mold.
      It is an extremely rare occasion that I ever use bleach in my home. Can’t stand the smell, gives me a headache, is bad for my septic tank (didn’t use it when I was on sewer either), it is caustic, the list goes onnnnn……….
      I do use vinegar a lot anymore.

      Reply
  31. Kimberly

    SO HELPFUL. We were about to call our landlord, but I made my fiance take the bottom rack out and there was a Tupperware stuck out there. We would have been really embarrassed if he’d come over and found that.

    Reply
  32. Helen

    I use a similar method to de gunk the washing machine (clothes washer) Empty drum and then put in 1 cup of white vinegar and then run a hot cycle, then clean the filter thingy and the soap scum is gone.

    Reply
  33. Erick

    I was just reading your blog and thought I might try this and compare it to the way I clean my dishwasher. what I do is with an empty dishwasher I fill the soap container with TANG drink mix, just the dry powder or crystals. trust me this stuff eats through anything. You can Google Tang drink mix and find out other great uses for it.

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