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How To Clean A Dishwasher In 3 Easy Steps

Cleaning a dishwasher keeps it running well and smelling great.

Learning how to clean a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda is an important aspect of keeping this important appliance in good working order and you can do it easily. Several of the most common issues people experience with their dishwashers, including unpleasant odors, drainage problems, and poor performance, can result when grease and grime build up in its inner workings.

Lucky for us, there’s a simple and highly effective way to clean a dishwasher, and that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this post. After describing how this method works, I’ll walk you through each step of how to clean the dishwasher, and share a few extra tips that can help if you’re dealing with stubborn soap scum or odors.

After that, I’ll finish up by sharing some tips and tricks that can help you keep your dishwasher in good working order. Ready to learn how to clean the inside of your dishwasher? Let’s get started.

You can use just white vinegar and baking soda to clean your dishwasher.

Why Clean Your Dishwasher With Vinegar And Baking Soda?

The simple cleaning method below utilizes two of my favorite inexpensive cleaning ingredients: distilled white vinegar and baking soda. The vinegar helps break down grease and grime, dissolve mineral deposits from hard water, and eliminate bacteria, while the baking soda eliminates lingering odors and scrubs away food residues and stains.

This method will not only leave your dishwasher squeaky clean and smelling fresh, but it can also help resolve minor drainage issues too. Read on to learn how to deep clean a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda!

*By the way, if you ever accidentally put dish soap in the dishwasher, vinegar will help you clean up that mess, too!

How To Clean A Dishwasher In 3 Easy Steps

After checking around the drain and removing any foreign material you find, place a bowl of white vinegar on the bottom rack and run a complete wash cycle on the hottest setting. Afterward, sprinkle a cup of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher and run another hot wash cycle.

Here’s a step by step guide to walk you through the process:

To clean the filter assembly start by removing the bottom dish rack.

Step 1 – Clear The Drain

The first thing you should do is inspect the bottom of your dishwasher, paying special attention to the area around the drain. (All sorts of stuff can end up down there, including bones, bits of plastic, glass shards, and other things that shouldn’t be in a dishwasher!) Pull out the bottom rack for easier access, then remove any foreign material you find. 

Step one to clean your dishwasher is putting a bowl of white vinegar in the bottom rack. Run a cycle with just the vinegar.

Step 2 – Vinegar Wash

Next, place a shallow dishwasher-safe bowl into the bottom rack of your empty dishwasher, then pour around 1 cup of white vinegar into the bowl. (You could use apple cider vinegar in a pinch, but there’s some risk that a non-clear vinegar could discolor or stain plastic interior surfaces.) Close your dishwasher door, then start a wash cycle on your dishwasher’s hottest setting.

After the vinegar wash. put a cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a cycle with the hottest water.

Step 3 – Baking Soda Wash

When the first wash cycle is complete, remove the bowl and sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on another hot water cycle, and wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher with a damp microfiber cloth in the meantime.

In most cases, dishwashers turn out perfectly clean and fresh following the second wash cycle. However, if you’re dealing with tough stains, mold, or mildew issues, a third wash cycle (this time using bleach) can help.

An optional last step in cleaning the dishwasher running a full wash cycle with a cup of bleach. CAUTION: Bleach can permanently damage stainless steel.

Bleach Wash (Optional)

To eliminate mold and mildew or other tough messes, add 1 cup of chlorine bleach to the bottom of the dishwasher and run another full wash cycle.

(Warning: Skip this step if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior, as bleach can permanently damage or discolor stainless steel.)

Clean your dishwasher every month or so to keep it working well.

Still Noticing Unpleasant Odors?

If your dishwasher still smells bad after completing the first three steps above, it could be caused by food particles or mildew hiding the rubber seal around the door. Wipe down the seal thoroughly with a damp microfiber cloth, making sure to get into the folds where gunk liked to hide.

In the future, leaving your dishwasher door partially ajar after unloading clean dishes can help give it a chance to dry out between uses, which will help prevent odor issues down the road. Repeat the cleaning method outlined above once a month or so to keep your dishwasher clean and working effectively.

Clean the dishwasher spray arms by taking them off and making sure all the holes are open.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher’s Sprayer Arms

If your dishwasher is clean and draining properly, but your dishes aren’t coming out clean, the holes in the sprayer arms may be blocked with bits of food or hard water buildup. Depending on your dishwasher and how it’s set up, you may be able to clean them yourself.

Step 1 – Shut Off The Water And Power

Start by shutting off the water supply and power to your dishwasher. The water valve will likely be under your kitchen sink, and the power outlet or switch may be under there as well.

If you aren’t able to shut the power off, don’t try to clean the spray arms and filter assembly.

Step 2 – Remove And Wash The Spray Arms

Pull the bottom rack out of the dishwasher, then remove the spray arms. (They can usually be unscrewed by hand, but you may need a screwdriver.)

Fill one side of your sink with warm water, then add a bit of dish soap and a cup or so of white vinegar. Use a scrub brush or toothbrush to clean the holes along the spray arms — if they’re clogged with stubborn gunk, try unfolding a paper clip and using it to clear the blockage.

Step 3 – Clean The Filter

If you already have your dishwasher disconnected from water and power and the sprayer arms removed, that’s a great time to check the state of the filter that sits over the drain. Your dishwasher filter can collect residue and grime too, so it’s a good idea to remove and clean the filter every once in a while.

For specific instructions on how to remove your dishwasher’s filter, refer to the user manual (or look it up online, if you can’t find the paper copy). A little soapy water should be all you need to clean it!

After cleaning the filter, be sure to replace it properly (along with any parts you may have had to disconnect to get to it). Replace the sprayer arms and bottom rack, then turn the dishwasher’s water and power back on.

A shaker top mason jar is ideal for storing dishwasher detergent.

Other Dishwasher Cleaning Products

Wondering why I recommend using vinegar and baking soda to clean dishwashers, rather than commercial cleaners you’ve may have seen at the store? Cost is one reason, and convenience is another!

Vinegar and baking soda are not only markedly cheaper than any store-bought dishwasher cleaner, but you’re more likely to already have them on hand too. They’re also cheaper than Tang drink mix, which some people use to clean their dishwashers due to its citric acid content. 

Speaking of which, my homemade dishwasher detergent contains citric acid too, in addition to baking soda, washing soda, borax, and salt, all of which do a great job of cleaning dishes and softening hard water. I also have a recipe for homemade dishwasher soap (not detergent) featuring vinegar, Dawn, and oxygen bleach that can help keep your dishwasher clean, too. (It also makes a great substitute for your usual detergent, should you ever find yourself without it!)

Before running the dishwasher, get the water hot and run the garbage disposal to clear out the drain.

BONUS: 6 Helpful Dishwasher Hacks

  1. Run your garbage disposal before starting a load of dishes to ensure it can drain properly.
  2. Run hot water through your kitchen faucet until it feels hot to the touch before starting your dishwasher — starting with hot water means a more effective wash cycle.
  3. Set your water heater to around 120°F (50°C) to ensure the water is hot enough to clean your dishes effectively (but not so hot that the water could scald someone!)
  4. Don’t overfill it. Waiting to run your dishwasher until you have a full load of dishes will help save water and energy, but overfilling it may hinder its ability to clean your dishes properly.
  5. Lightly rinse dishes before putting them in your dishwasher, but don’t rinse them completely clean. Most dishwasher detergents need a certain amount of food residue to latch onto in order to work properly.
  6. Put caps on rusty tines. If rusty tines are leaving stains on your dishes, it’s nothing a few dishwasher tine caps can’t fix!

You can use your dishwasher for much more than just washing dishes, so it’s in your best interest to keep it in tiptop shape. And if you do find yourself in need of dishwasher repairs down the road, check out my dishwashing hacks to make washing your dishes by hand easier!

Did you know how to clean your dishwasher before today?

How To Clean Your Dishwasher

How To Clean A Dishwasher

Jill Nystul
This tried-and-true dishwasher cleaning method will leave your dishwasher squeaky clean, smelling fresh, and working great. It can even help eliminate standing water!
5 from 1 vote
Active Time 10 minutes
Running Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 1 clean dishwasher

Equipment

  • Dishwasher-safe cup
  • Measuring Cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup bleach optional

Instructions
 

Examine the Drain

  • Pull the bottom rack out, examine the drain area, and remove the foreign material you find (if any).
    How To Clean Your Dishwasher

Vinegar Wash

  • Place a dishwasher-safe cup of white vinegar on the bottom rack of your dishwasher, then run your dishwasher on a hot water cycle.
    How To Clean Your Dishwasher

Baking Soda Wash

  • After the first wash cycle, sprinkle a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through another hot water wash cycle.
    How To Clean Your Dishwasher

Bleach Wash (Optional)

  • To eliminate mold and mildew, add ½-1 cup bleach to the bottom of the dishwasher and run another full wash cycle. (Skip this step if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior, as bleach can corrode stainless steel.)
    How To Clean Your Dishwasher

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • At the risk of repeating myself, always turn on any heat boosters on the dishwashers. The water comning from you water heater, if properly set, is at a maximum of 120 degrees, and even less once it has traveled through the plumbing to the dishwasher, and the heat booster settings (sani wash/rinse or whatever) will heat the water to 140-145 degrees, which will greatly improve the dissolving of pods or tablets. Additionally, despite what some silly manufacturers stated on their dishwashers years ago, you absolutely should give the dishes a quick pre-rinse before putting them in the machine. They are called dishwashers, not garbage disposals. Want to keep oils and grease from building up down in the places that you can’t see? In addition to the added heat from the machines boosters, try putting just two(2) d͟r͟o͟p͟s͟ of dawn dish detergent in the soap cups. Dawn is extremely good at removing greases and oils, which, if left to accumilate, will not only slow the water flow through the machine, but will also trap food debris, thus causing odors. Finally, when cleaning the spray bar and you find bit of debris plugging any of the holes, after you poke the debris out of the holes, you need to run weter back through those holes to bacwash the debris out or it will just go right back to plugging the holes once the machine is run. New machines are particularly prone to this issue as , in the name of efficiency, manufacturers have made those spray bar holes much smaller that they were in older machines. A litrtle p.s. Should someone get carried away with the Dawn detergent and create the dreaded suds monster in the machine, simply crack the door open and pour a small amount of liquid fabric softener into the machine, close the door, and hit the run button. The suds will disappear in mere seconds. This also works if someone gets heavy handed with laundry soap in your washing machine. Back when I used to repair/refurbish dishwashers, I alway said that a dishwashers worst enemy was its owner. All too many of the machines I worked on had easily repairable issues that were cause by people using them incorrectly.

  • I love reading the updated tips . I was reading some of this to my mom. We also live in an area with hard water. Luckily we’ve never had to deal with the gross rusty water.When I worked at an older store location people said they had get water softeners. These were also folks that lived in older parts of our city with older sewer pipes.

    • Depending upon how quickly the rust and/or hard water deposits appear, You might want to try running the empty machine with a dose of Lime-A-Way. Start the machine with the Lime_A Way in it, and after a minute, crack the door open to let the Lime_A_Way work for a few minutes, then close and start the machine and let it run to the end. If you have a machine with really bad deposits and O̳N̳L̳Y̳ if your machine has a plastic tank, you could also do what I used to use to clean them, Muriatic acid, but do be careful as it is just what it says it is, acid, and it will do damage to you if you get it on you. It will also absolutely turn the inside of a stainless steel tub a nice shade of bnown if you try using in in one of those (don’t ask). If you only have rust stains that you wish to remove, a wet sponge and Barkeepers Friend will quiclly remove it with a little elbow grease.

  • My dishwasher has a filter at the bottom that has to be cleaned periodically because it gets disgustingly dirty and slimy. The arms that distribute water also have to be removed and cleaned. Things get stuck in the little holes. When they’re clogged the dishes come out dirty. My method is:

    1. Remove and clean the filter. It comes apart.
    2. Remove and clean the twirling arms. I do this one at a time so I remember which one goes on top.
    3. Clean the gasket well. We’ve had to replace our gasket when water started leaking out. It’s an easy DIY.
    4. Put a bowl with CLR in the top shelf and run a full cycle.

    I never use bleach because we have a septic tank and it ruins the bacterial action. Also our dw has a stainless interior so no vinegar. CLR works great.
    We use the pods that are safe for septic tanks. No problems with them.
    My husband leaves the mason jars that I make yogurt in, and other things, unrinsed and they never come out clean so I don’t buy into the idea that you don’t have to rinse things pretty well.
    I gave up on refilling the rinse compartment. It seems unnecessary.

  • Our plumber said not to use the pods because they actually cause a lot of trouble. The plastic the liquid is wrapped in doesn’t always dissolve all the way and can cause major problems. He recommends Cascade liquid gel.

  • I have hard water where I live and use my dishwasher 1. maybe 2 times a week (I cook a lot LOL) I have discovered that a combination of Cascade Complete pods and Lemi Shine dishwasher booster powder gets the job done. So long as there are no large food pieces, rice, pasta or grease, everything gets thrown in the dishwasher. I do not rinse anything. I always use the heated water setting and turn on the kitchen faucet first to get the hot water flowing quicker. The heated water setting gets the water a lot hotter than what comes out of the tap, so I think that helps too.

  • My dishwasher also has a filter in the bottom that needs to be taken out and cleaned every few months. CLR also works for cleaning the inside. I’ve learned it’s also necessary to wipe down the gasket around the door. This is something you can easily replace yourself if it starts leaking. Our control panel went bad and we were able to replace that ourselves, too. There’s videos out there to guide you. Otherwise, the cost of hiring someone else to do it would be about the same as buying a new machine.

  • Under the drain in the dishwashers I have owned is a filter. Lift out the drain, unscrew the filter and wash it. That filter can get very very slimy and block the drain.

  • I read this article ages ago, like years ago, and with a newish dishwasher, I thought I remembered the instructions, I sprinkled Baking soda around the bottom and put 1/2 jug of white vinegar on the top rack…then grabbed my phone to check. Oh well, close! Let’s hope I don’t set off a volcano in my dishwasher!…

  • The cascade gel tabs do not open to clean the dishes. I did the vinegar and baking soda-dish washer looks great, but cascade still didn’t open. Should I just get a new dishwasher?

  • I would love to use the vinegar but my new dishwasher say not to use vinegar. I have very hard well water. Is there another alternative or is my dishwasher manufacture just don’t want me using vinegar so the dish washer will wear out more quickly? It’s a new maytag. Finish and other type waterspot preventers are so expensive and now we have to use those little soap thingys…. I wish I would of bought a repaired dish washer now.

    • Windy H:
      No, your your dishwasher manufacturer is correct. We have very hard water too. Bleach and hard water do not mix well together, and then the water can really turn into rust. When we first moved here,the water at the kitchen sink left rusty stains on the surface of the stainless steel sinks. After having a soft water system installed, the rust eventually disappeared.
      The water in the utillity room wash machine had a dirty gray look, and the clothes were not as clean as I thought they should be. That too, finally cleared up, but it took many years for this to happen.
      The only thing that we don’t like about the water softener is the fact that there will be very slippery water at the bathroom shower heads, This can be avoided if the plumbing systetm is re-routed separately from the rest of the plumbing system ( Yup, that’s a very expensive thing to have done ).
      My advice: have a water softener system installed.
      Good luck.
      Sandra W.

  • I used to use bleach to help clean my dishwasher. One day I had a leak and had to call the repairman. He told me to never use bleach again because it damages the gaskets. So I NEVER use bleach anytime on my dishwasher, but love the rest of the method you use!!

  • Jillee’s tips should be followed as needed. What Jillee suggests is important to maintain a dishwasher. I believe if you follow the daily tips that were suggested to me, there may be less time spent cleaning the dishwasher itself.

    These are suggestions to be used on a daily basis. Many years ago an appliance tech told me not to treat the dishwasher like a garbage disposal. He explained that I should scrape the dishes before loading.

    Also, be sure the water is hot. I believe most dishwashers today will preheat the water. This allows you to keep the whole house water heater at a safer temperature and the dishwasher will heat its’ own water.

    He said that there should be no need to rinse first as long as the dishes are scraped of any excessive food. In order for the dishwasher to do its’ job, the dishes should be dirty and not rinsed. Most important is to make sure any seeds… tomato, poppy, sesame, etc. or any solid food chunks are not put into the dishwasher since that will clog the filter.

    I keep a scraper in my dishwasher in one spot in the basket and use that to scrape the dishes. At times, I will use slightly used paper towels / napkins to wipe dishes of excessive food.

    I have been using a dishwasher for over 30 years and have followed his advice. I never had a problem with the dishes not being clean coming out of the dishwasher.

  • My husband swears that dishes have to be completely clean before they go in the dishwasher. I can’t convince him otherwise. The other day one plate came out with one piece of food on it and he said that proved his point. UGH. Can you help me convince him that perfectly clean dishes going into the dishwasher is not helpful?

    • Funny you should bring this up… I think every household has this controversy, to rinse completely or not! Truth is, if you have a dishwasher purchased within the last 5 years, it is recommended by a chemist from Cascade, to only scrape off the large chunks of food. Reason being, dishwashers have a sensor and if the dishes are too clean it will shorten the wash time (no matter what setting you use) and will not clean your dishes completely. Here is a great printout I posted for the dos and don’ts for your dishwasher: http://bit.ly/2VPa8l3
      Sorry Hubby, you lost this one! :-)

      • Smithsonian Magazine had an article about that very thing (the sensor in newer dishwashers). My daughter told me that wasn’t true; then she tried it. She called me in a few days to say that, as much as she hated to admit it, the article was true. LOL.

    • I add 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar each time I run the dishwasher. If I don’t need my dishes are left with a white residue. I’ve asked my appliance repair guy if the vinegar would hurt the rubber parts and he said it would not.

  • I clean my dishwasher with a branded product every three months and check the filter regularly between cleans. That was the advice with my first dishwasher (bought thirty years ago) though I notice it now advises monthly…maybe to sell more product? Have never had any trouble with smells, filters etc the only reason I had to replace my first dishwasher was due to changing to an integrated model.

    Not sure if anyone’s mentioned the seal? It needs special care as stuff can stick on and behind it and it can become brittle, crack, lose its flexibility and allow leaks. Both my dishwashers have had a removable door seal so I pull it out carefully, clean it with the product, let it dry fully, clean the space it’s come out of and replace, pushing it firmly in place.

    Notice people saying to let the water run first so that it’s hot from the start of the programme. In the UK I don’t think you can buy anything other than cold fill dish or clothes washers now.

  • Hi Jillee! Thank you so much for this tutorial. I live in an apartment and have tried numerous times to clean my dishwasher but it never gets out the stains. I used your tutorial and was amazed. After the baking soda step it was literally gleaming!!! Wow! I love your site. Thank you for all the love and effort you put into it.

  • Your articles are wonderful. Thank you. I probably haven’t seen them all and as I am having difficulty cleaning the aspirator over my cooking area (because of the position) and the worst of all I cannot seem to keep my vegetable drawer free of moist and my vegetables go bad very quickly. Thanks for any suggestions

    • Here’s a post all about cleaning over the oven: https://jillee.co/2DIfdD6

      For your vegetable drawer, some fridges have a humidity setting – so make sure you set it properly. If that doesn’t work, you could try laying a clean kitchen towel on the bottom of the drawer. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions! :-)

  • Can you use the distilled white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher in substitution for the plain white vinegar?

    Thank you for all your great recipes : )….

  • Thanks for this! I have my very first dishwasher and want to keep it pretty and working for as long as possible because so help me if I have to go back to handwashing dishes I will cut someone.

  • no no no no no!!! I tried the bleach trick and now there is foam leaking out the bottom everywhere all over my hard-wood floors in my kitchen!!! cant find any help whatsoever!! never try that !!!!!! worst decision ever!!!!!!!

  • I have the same dishwasher as in the picture in my apartment. The previous tenants did not clean it. It was molded and had glass shards and gunk all underneath the bottom when I pulled everything out and disassembled it. (The handle in the bottom turns and everything pops out and the bottom is exposed.) Since then I take everything apart and hand wash it with bleach water every so often and run the vinegar cycle every 2 weeks or so. Keeping it clean inside the pump area where it cycles water is important also.

  • I have a 10 yr old Maytag built-in that was given to me by the previous owners, who had four huge dogs and the doggie dishes were washed without rinsing, in the dishwasher. I did two full extra-heat washes with CLR, and a million little hairs came out of the drain, all from the muzzles of the dogs. I do not use the heated dry cycle, because with the extra-heat wash and rinse, the dishes dry themselves in about two minutes as soon as the last water has drained and I open the door.
    However, I do take time to check the filters, clean the inside (similar to the process you describe), and have even removed the spray arm on the bottom and cleaned out the secondary filters (under the primary one which is visible). I put the dishwasher through a CLR wash once a year, and have emailed my friends who gave me the dishwasher, asking them if they want their perfectly-functioning dishwasher back (a little bit of a tease). They still have four big dogs, still wash the doggie dishes in the dishwasher, and buy a new machine once every three or four years. I’ve offered to clean their machines for them, as a thank-you for giving me that wonderful Maytag washer 10 years ago, but I think they like getting the new machines, and have not taken me up on my offer. :-)
    Bottom line is that if you keep your dishwasher in top running order, it’ll last a long time, and if you don’t use the heated dry cycle, you’ll save yourself some serious money on your electric bill (and if you live in a dry climate, the moisture in the air from the dishes drying themselves is quite lovely!).

  • Several months ago, I noticed several “clean” pieces were greasy as I took them out of my dishwasher. There were no greasy dishes put in to wash that time so I don’t know where the grease came from. I have tried several times to use the washer, and it happens every time…some, if n’t all, come out greasy!
    I am going to try this over the weekend. I hope it will fix the problem. Washing dishes twice a day has done a number on my ha da the last few months.

    • You might want to notice if you are using the hottest temp and use the heat dry setting. I have the same problem when my husband uses the dishwasher and he uses the basic settings with no heat. Also the type of dishwasher pods you use can cause this. I have found the ones that contain the liquid soap vs all powder tabs do this. Hope this helps.

  • On the bleach step and my dishwasher is bubbling over. Only using 1/4 cup. Don’t know what happen, just that I have a mess on my hands lol. Just a reminder to always pay attention when trying new cleaning methods.

  • I love love love how to clean dishwasher – doing it right now – on the bleach step. I also love your dishwasher soap! I am telling you, I tried so so so many things to clean my dishes, it almost drove me to screaming…well, actually I did scream a few times. After trying everything under the sun, I finally found that finish Booster alone – 2 Tblsp in bottom of dishwasher (after scrubbing dishes clean) run thru short wash cycle and then full wash cycle with booster again on bottom, with finish super charged in the dispenser Got Them Clean.

    And then I found your simple 3 step dishwasher soap to clean dishes (oxygen cleaner, dawn, and vinegar). Hopped right on it. It worked! I am so excited I don’t have to go through all of those steps and money anymore. Thank you.

    • Is your dishwasher plugged in! Check your power, is your washer on a seperate fuse all its own! If you have power, check to see that nothing is clogging up the drain causing the safety to automatically turn off.

  • So I ran the process of a cup of vinegar as the post instructed. But it doesn’t seem like it did anything at all. The dishwasher isn’t any cleaner now. Any ideas?

    • Oh no! Did you wash on a hot temperature? If it really isn’t working, then I would use a rag soaked in warm water and vinegar to wipe down the inside of the machine :-)

  • You should also clean near the hinge where the bottom of the door opens. Seems crud likes to accumulate there!! Also if you have electronic buttons that you push in, make sure they don’t have any dust or crumbs – this can really mess up the controls on your panel. Don’t ask how I found out!!! LOL!!

  • Love it. Now I know why that little bit of water is always left in the bottom of my dishwasher.
    I thought it was time for a new one.
    Thank you Jillee.

  • A Sears serviceman told me to use TANG to clean the dishwasher.
    1/4 cup original Tang in the open area and one TBSP in the soap dispenser.
    Run on regular cycle.
    It really does work and I also don’t know why.
    I clean the garbage catcher drain in the bottom and also the plate strainer on the floor of the dishwasher before I run the cleaning cycle.
    I can’t believe how dirty they get now that I’ve discovered them. LOL

  • I throw about 1/2 c. borax into the bottom of mine for each wash cycle, in addition to usual detergent. I also use vinegar in the rinse-aid compartment, rather than the expensive alternative(s).

  • We live in an area of hard water and do not have a water-softener. I have gotten into the habit of pouring “a hefty slug” of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher when preparing it for turning on.

    It has, so far, worked and I type this with crossed fingers (not easy) as the dishwasher is very old (20+yrs) and I expect it to stop any day.

    The interior has been kept clean and odour free with the vinegar. I wipe the edges with a wet cloth.

    My fingers are still crossed!

  • Cleaning your dishwasher is vital especially if you have a newer one with electronic controls. You need to remove the cup trap that is in the bottom tray and clean it at least a couple times a month. When the electronic brains senses decreased flow through that cup it shuts down. I learned that the hard way which ended up costing me a service call.

  • I use one package of kool-aid (lemonade flavor only). to clean my dishwasher. Just pour it into the soap dispenser, run water until hot then start your dishwasher. Only one step. I don’t know how or why it works, but it does a beautiful job.

    • Nell,
      There should be an icon on your screen that shows the Pinterest symbol. If you click it, it should prompt you to pin it there.

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