How to Clean Dishwasher with Apple Cider Vinegar

The dishwasher, a kitchen workhorse, demands attention to function at its best. Neglecting its cleanliness may lead to unpleasant odors and compromised performance.

In this guide, we’ll explore an easy and natural way to clean your dishwasher using a household staple – apple cider vinegar.

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I. How to Clean Dishwasher with Apple Cider Vinegar?

Maintaining a clean dishwasher is essential for ensuring your dishes emerge sparkling and sanitized. Over time, grease, food particles, and mineral deposits can accumulate, impacting its efficiency.

Enter apple cider vinegar, a humble yet potent cleaner that offers a natural alternative to commercial dishwasher detergents.

II. Why Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar boasts natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it an ideal cleaner for your dishwasher.

Unlike chemical-laden alternatives, it’s environmentally friendly, promoting a green and sustainable cleaning routine.

III. Gather Supplies

To embark on this cleaning journey, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Cup or bowl

These common household items make the process both accessible and cost-effective.

how to clean a dishwasher with baking soda

IV. Safety Precautions

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to take some safety precautions. Handle apple cider vinegar with care, considering its acidity. Additionally, ensure the dishwasher is unplugged to avoid any mishaps.

V. Step-by-Step Guide

A. Empty the Dishwasher

Begin by removing any dishes or utensils from the dishwasher. An empty machine allows for thorough cleaning of all components.

B. Wipe Down Interior

Using a soft cloth or sponge, wipe down the interior surfaces of the dishwasher to remove loose debris and food particles.

How to Clean Dishwasher with Apple Cider Vinegar

C. Place a Cup of Vinegar

Fill a cup or bowl with apple cider vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. This step sets the stage for a deep and effective cleaning.

D. Run a Hot Water Cycle

Run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle. The combination of hot water and vinegar works to break down grease and eliminate lingering odors.

E. Baking Soda Boost

For an extra cleaning boost, sprinkle baking soda on the dishwasher floor before starting another hot water cycle. Baking soda enhances the cleansing power of apple cider vinegar.

VI. Tackling Stubborn Stains

For stubborn stains or mineral deposits, create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush.

VII. Cleaning Dishwasher Components

A. Clean the Filter

Locate and clean the dishwasher filter. This component plays a crucial role in trapping debris, and regular cleaning ensures optimal performance.

Dishwasher Smells Bad

B. Scrubbing the Spray Arm

Remove the spray arm and scrub it gently with a brush to dislodge any trapped particles. Rinse it thoroughly before reattaching.

how to clean dishwasher racks

C. Wipe Seals and Gaskets

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the rubber seals and gaskets around the dishwasher door. These areas are prone to mold and buildup.

VIII. Regular Maintenance

To keep your dishwasher in top condition, establish a routine maintenance schedule. Consider cleaning it with apple cider vinegar once a month to prevent issues and maintain peak efficiency.

IX. Benefits of Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Apart from its cleaning prowess, apple cider vinegar has additional benefits. It helps eliminate unpleasant odors, improves water circulation, and contributes to energy efficiency – all while being cost-effective.

X. Troubleshooting Tips

Encountering issues during the cleaning process? Common problems include lingering odors or persistent stains. Refer to our troubleshooting section for solutions and alternative methods.

How to Clean Dishwasher with Apple Cider Vinegar

XI. Environmental Impact

By choosing apple cider vinegar over chemical cleaners, you contribute to a greener planet. Reduce your environmental footprint with this eco-friendly cleaning solution.

XIII. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar?

A1: While white vinegar is a viable option, apple cider vinegar’s additional benefits make it a preferred choice.

Q2: How often should I clean my dishwasher?

A2: Monthly cleaning is recommended for optimal performance.

Q3: Is it safe to use apple cider vinegar in a stainless-steel dishwasher?

A3: Yes, apple cider vinegar is safe for stainless steel and helps maintain its shine.

Q4: Can I skip the baking soda step?

A4: While optional, baking soda enhances the cleaning power, especially for stubborn stains.

Q5: Is apple cider vinegar safe for septic systems?

A5: Yes, it’s septic-safe and poses no harm to the system.


In conclusion, keeping your dishwasher clean with apple cider vinegar is a simple, cost-effective, and environmentally conscious approach.

Regular maintenance ensures your dishwasher remains a reliable ally in the kitchen, delivering spotless dishes with every cycle.

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