How to Clean Dishwasher with Bleach: A Step-by-Step Guide

Having a clean and well-maintained dishwasher is essential for ensuring that your dishes come out sparkling clean and free from any residue. Over time, dishwashers can accumulate grease, grime, and food particles, leading to unpleasant odors and reduced performance. One effective way to deep clean your dishwasher is by using bleach. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean a dishwasher with bleach, ensuring its optimal functioning and longevity.

Why Clean Your Dishwasher Regularly?

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your dishwasher offer several benefits. Firstly, it helps in removing food debris, grease, and mineral deposits that may accumulate over time, ensuring that your dishwasher performs optimally. Secondly, a clean dishwasher eliminates unpleasant odors caused by mold or mildew growth, resulting in fresher-smelling dishes. Lastly, cleaning your dishwasher regularly can extend its lifespan, saving you from expensive repairs or replacements in the long run.

Safety Precautions

Before proceeding with the cleaning process, it is important to take some safety precautions:

  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the bleach solution.
  • Ensure the dishwasher is unplugged or switched off to avoid any accidents.
  • Ventilate the area by opening windows or turning on an exhaust fan to prevent the build-up of bleach fumes.
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Gather the Necessary Supplies

To clean your dishwasher with bleach, gather the following supplies:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Bleach (check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended type and quantity)
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Toothbrush or small brush
  • Mild dish soap
  • Clean, dry towel

Step 1: Empty the Dishwasher

Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure the dishwasher is completely empty. Remove any dishes, utensils, or racks that may be inside.

Step 2: Inspect the Dishwasher Interior

Thoroughly inspect the dishwasher’s interior, paying attention to the walls, corners, and crevices. Look for any visible food debris, stains, or mineral deposits that need to be addressed during the cleaning process.

Step 3: Wipe Down the Interior

Using a soft cloth or sponge dampened with a mild dish soap and warm water, wipe down the interior surfaces of the dishwasher. Pay special attention to areas with visible stains or residue. This step helps in removing any loose dirt or grime before proceeding with the bleach solution.

Step 4: Prepare the Bleach Solution

Put on your rubber gloves and prepare a bleach solution by following the manufacturer’s instructions on the bleach bottle. Typically, a mixture of 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water is recommended. Stir the solution gently to ensure it is well combined.

Step 5: Run a Bleach Cycle

Carefully pour the bleach solution into the bottom of the dishwasher. Close the dishwasher and select the hottest and longest cycle available. Start the cycle, allowing the bleach solution to circulate throughout the dishwasher, cleaning and disinfecting the interior.

Step 6: Clean the Exterior

While the bleach cycle is running, take the opportunity to clean the exterior of your dishwasher. Use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild dish soap to wipe down the control panel, door, and any other visible surfaces. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry with a clean towel.

Step 7: Clean the Filter and Spray Arms

After the bleach cycle is complete, it’s time to clean the filter and spray arms. Remove the filter and wash it with warm, soapy water. Use a toothbrush or small brush to remove any debris or mineral deposits from the spray arms. Rinse thoroughly and reassemble the filter and spray arms.

Step 8: Rinse and Dry

To remove any residual bleach, run a rinse cycle in your dishwasher without any dishes or cleaning agents. This step ensures that no bleach remains inside the dishwasher, preventing any potential damage to your dishes or future cycles. Once the rinse cycle is complete, open the dishwasher door and allow it to air dry.

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Maintenance Tips for a Clean Dishwasher

To keep your dishwasher in excellent condition, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  2. Regularly wipe down the door gasket to prevent mold or mildew growth.
  3. Run a vinegar cycle once a month by placing a cup of distilled white vinegar on the top rack of an empty dishwasher and running a hot cycle.
  4. Check and clean the filter regularly to ensure optimal performance.
  5. Keep the dishwasher’s exterior clean and free from dust or residue.

How to clean dishwasher with bleach and baking soda?

Cleaning your dishwasher with bleach and baking soda is an effective way to get rid of built-up dirt, grease, and grime. First, you should remove any dishes from the dishwasher and run it on a full cycle without any detergent. This will help loosen up any stuck-on grime.

Next, make a cleaning paste using equal parts of baking soda and bleach. Apply the paste directly onto the interior walls of the dishwasher, paying special attention to areas where there is visible buildup. Let the paste sit for at least 30 minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth or sponge.

Finally, run another full cycle on your dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar added to the detergent compartment. This will help remove any remaining residue and leave your dishwasher looking good as new!

How to clean a dishwasher with baking soda?

Cleaning a dishwasher with baking soda is a simple and effective way to remove odors and residue buildup.

To begin, start by running an empty cycle on your dishwasher. This will help to remove any food or debris that may be stuck in the machine. After the cycle has finished, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the bottom of the dishwasher. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then scrub it with a damp cloth to loosen any dirt or residue.

Finally, run another empty cycle on your dishwasher to rinse away the baking soda and any other debris that may have been loosened during the cleaning process. This should leave your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean!

How to clean dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda?

Cleaning a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda is an easy and effective way to keep your dishwasher running smoothly.

First, fill a dishwasher-safe cup with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on the hottest setting. This will help to dissolve any soap scum or grease that may be stuck on the walls of the dishwasher.

Next, sprinkle baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through another cycle on the hottest setting. The baking soda will help to remove any odors from inside the machine.

Finally, wipe down all surfaces inside of the dishwasher with a damp cloth to remove any residue left behind by either cleaning agent. Your dishwasher should now be clean and fresh!


Cleaning your dishwasher with bleach is a simple and effective way to maintain its cleanliness and functionality. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can ensure that your dishwasher remains in top condition, providing you with spotless and fresh-smelling dishes every time.


  1. Can I use bleach to clean stainless steel interiors of dishwashers?
    • Bleach is not recommended for cleaning stainless steel interiors as it can cause discoloration or damage. Instead, use stainless steel cleaners specifically designed for this purpose.
  2. How often should I clean my dishwasher with bleach?
    • It is recommended to clean your dishwasher with bleach every 3 to 6 months, depending on usage and the water hardness in your area.
  3. Is it necessary to wear rubber gloves while handling bleach?
    • Yes, wearing rubber gloves is essential to protect your skin from the harsh chemicals in bleach.
  4. Can I use bleach tablets instead of liquid bleach?
    • Yes, bleach tablets can be used as an alternative. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate usage.
  5. Is it safe to use bleach in a dishwasher that has a stainless steel tub?
    • Bleach can be used in dishwashers with stainless steel tubs, but it should be used sparingly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

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