Can You Clean a Dishwasher with Apple Cider Vinegar

Keeping your dishwasher clean is essential for maintaining its efficiency and ensuring your dishes come out spotless every time. While there are various commercial dishwasher cleaners available on the market, some people prefer using natural alternatives. One such option is apple cider vinegar, a versatile household ingredient known for its cleaning properties. In this article, we will explore whether apple cider vinegar can effectively clean a dishwasher and provide you with a step-by-step guide to using it.

Why Clean Your Dishwasher Regularly?

A dishwasher is a haven for food particles, grease, and soap scum. Over time, these residues can build up and compromise the dishwasher’s performance, leading to issues like foul odors, inefficient cleaning, and even clogged pipes. Regular cleaning not only helps eliminate these problems but also extends the lifespan of your dishwasher.

What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar a Potential Cleaning Agent?

Apple cider vinegar possesses several qualities that make it an effective natural cleaner. Firstly, it has antimicrobial properties, which help kill germs and bacteria present in the dishwasher. Additionally, its acidic nature aids in breaking down mineral deposits, stains, and grease. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, making it a safe alternative to harsh chemicals.

How To Clean a Dishwasher with Apple Cider Vinegar?

Keeping your dishwasher clean is essential for maintaining its efficiency and ensuring that your dishes come out sparkling clean. Over time, dishwashers can accumulate buildup from food particles, soap scum, and hard water minerals. One of the most effective ways to remove this grime is by using apple cider vinegar – a natural cleaning solution that’s both safe and affordable.

To begin the cleaning process, start by removing any debris or large food particles from the bottom of your dishwasher. Then, pour one cup of apple cider vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl or container and place it on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. Run a hot water cycle with no detergent or dishes in the machine to allow the vinegar to work its magic.

Once the cycle is complete, open up your dishwasher and inspect its interior for any remaining buildup or stains.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before you begin, gather the following supplies:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Soft brush or toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloth

Remove Debris and Food Residues

Start by inspecting the dishwasher’s interior for any visible debris or food residues. Remove larger particles by hand and use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub away stubborn stains or residue.

Prepare the Apple Cider Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl or measuring cup. This diluted solution will effectively clean your dishwasher without causing any damage.

Clean the Interior of the Dishwasher

Dampen a microfiber cloth or sponge with the apple cider vinegar solution. Wipe down the interior surfaces of the dishwasher, including the walls, door, racks, and the rubber gasket around the door. Pay extra attention to areas with stains or buildup.

Clean the Filters and Spray Arms

Remove the dishwasher’s filters and spray arms, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Rinse them under warm water to remove any accumulated debris. If necessary, use a toothbrush to clean the smaller crevices. Soak the parts in the apple cider vinegar solution for about 15 minutes to dissolve any stubborn residue.

Run a Cleaning Cycle

Place a dishwasher-safe container filled with a cup of apple cider vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher. Then, add a small amount of dish soap to the detergent dispenser. Close the dishwasher and run a hot water cleaning cycle.

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Benefits of Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Dishwasher Cleaning

Using apple cider vinegar to clean your dishwasher offers several benefits. Firstly, it is a cost-effective option compared to commercial dishwasher cleaners. Secondly, it eliminates the need for harsh chemicals, making it safer for both your family and the environment. Additionally, apple cider vinegar’s natural properties help remove odors, stains, and mineral deposits, leaving your dishwasher fresh and clean.

Precautions to Keep in Mind

While apple cider vinegar is generally safe to use for dishwasher cleaning, it’s important to take a few precautions:

  • Avoid using apple cider vinegar if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior, as the acidic nature of vinegar may cause damage.
  • Never mix vinegar with bleach or other cleaning agents, as it can produce harmful fumes.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for cleaning your dishwasher.

Can I use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar to clean my dishwasher?

Yes, you can substitute white vinegar for apple cider vinegar. Both types of vinegar possess similar cleaning properties and can effectively clean your dishwasher.

How often should I clean my dishwasher with apple cider vinegar?

It is recommended to clean your dishwasher with apple cider vinegar once every month or whenever you notice any buildup, odors, or stains.

Can I use apple cider vinegar to clean other kitchen appliances?

Yes, apple cider vinegar can be used to clean various kitchen appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, and refrigerators. However, make sure to follow the specific cleaning instructions for each appliance.

Can apple cider vinegar damage the rubber gasket of my dishwasher?

No, apple cider vinegar is safe to use on the rubber gasket of your dishwasher. In fact, it helps remove mold, mildew, and other buildup that can accumulate in the gasket.

Is it necessary to run an empty cleaning cycle after using apple cider vinegar in my dishwasher?

Running an empty cleaning cycle after using apple cider vinegar helps rinse away any remaining vinegar residue and ensures your dishwasher is ready for regular use.


In conclusion, apple cider vinegar can indeed be used to clean a dishwasher effectively. Its natural cleaning properties, antimicrobial qualities, and ability to remove stains and mineral deposits make it a suitable alternative to commercial dishwasher cleaners. By following the step-by-step guide mentioned above, you can keep your dishwasher in optimal condition, ensuring it delivers sparkling clean dishes every time.

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