How to Naturally Clean a Dishwasher

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, the dishwasher often becomes the unsung hero of the kitchen. It tirelessly tackles the remnants of our meals, leaving our dishes spotless. But what happens when the dishwasher itself needs a good cleaning? In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of naturally cleaning your dishwasher, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently.

Signs of a Dirty Dishwasher

Have you ever noticed a funky smell when you open your dishwasher? Or perhaps your once-shiny dishes now bear a residue that refuses to budge. These are telltale signs that your dishwasher is in need of a thorough cleaning. Mold and grime can accumulate over time, affecting both the cleanliness of your dishes and the performance of your appliance.

Benefits of Natural Cleaning

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of cleaning, let’s talk about why you should opt for natural cleaning agents. Unlike commercial cleaners loaded with chemicals, natural alternatives like baking soda, vinegar, and lemons are not only effective but also eco-friendly. Plus, they pose no harm to your family’s health, making them a win-win for both you and the environment.

Items Required for Natural Cleaning

Gather your arsenal for a natural cleaning extravaganza. Baking soda’s abrasiveness, vinegar’s disinfectant properties, and the freshness of lemons will be your secret weapons. Don’t forget a toothbrush for those hard-to-reach corners and a microfiber cloth for a sparkling finish.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean a Dishwasher Naturally

  1. Emptying the Dishwasher: Start by removing all dishes and utensil trays.
  2. Removing Debris from the Drain: Check the drain for any food particles or debris and clear them out.
  3. Cleaning the Spray Arm: Ensure the spray arm is free from clogs by using a toothbrush to clean the nozzles.
  4. Wiping Down Interior Surfaces: Mix baking soda with water to form a paste and use it to scrub the interior surfaces.
  5. Running a Cleaning Cycle: Place a cup of vinegar on the top rack and sprinkle baking soda on the bottom. Run a hot water cycle to cleanse the dishwasher thoroughly.

Maintaining a Clean Dishwasher

Consistency is key. Set a regular cleaning schedule to prevent grime buildup. For daily maintenance, a quick wipe of the interior surfaces and a glance at the filter can go a long way in preserving your dishwasher’s cleanliness.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Using Harsh Chemicals: Stick to natural cleaners to avoid damaging your dishwasher or leaving chemical residues on your dishes.
  • Neglecting Hidden Areas: Remember to clean areas like the filter, door gasket, and detergent dispenser.
  • Overlooking the Dishwasher Filter: Regularly clean or replace the filter to ensure optimal performance.

The Science Behind Natural Cleaners

Baking soda’s abrasiveness helps scrub away grime, while vinegar’s acidity fights off mold and bacteria. The natural oils in lemons add a fresh scent while also breaking down grease. Together, these ingredients create a powerful, chemical-free cleaning solution.

FAQs About Dishwasher Cleaning

  1. How often should I clean my dishwasher?
    • Aim for a monthly deep clean, with occasional checks for any visible debris.
  2. Can I use regular detergent for cleaning?
    • It’s best to stick to natural ingredients; regular detergent may leave residues.
  3. Is it safe to use bleach?
    • Avoid using bleach as it can damage the dishwasher and leave harmful residues.
  4. What if the dishwasher still smells after cleaning?
    • Run another cycle with baking soda to neutralize any remaining odors.
  5. Can I clean the dishwasher with citrus peels?
    • Yes, citrus peels can be added to the cleaning cycle for a fresh scent.


A naturally clean dishwasher not only ensures your dishes come out sparkling but also prolongs the life of your appliance. By embracing eco-friendly cleaning habits, you contribute to a healthier home and planet. So, roll up your sleeves, grab those lemons, and give your dishwasher the pampering it deserves.

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