What is the Best Way to Clean the Inside of a Dishwasher

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning the Inside of Your Dishwasher

Keeping your dishwasher clean is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring sparkling clean dishes every time. Over time, food particles, grease, and mineral deposits can build up inside your dishwasher, leading to unpleasant odors, clogged spray arms, and diminished efficiency. In this blog post, we will explore the best way to clean the inside of your dishwasher, helping you extend its lifespan and enjoy spotless dishes with every wash.

  1. Clear out debris: Before you begin cleaning, remove any visible food debris or objects from the dishwasher. Take out the bottom rack and inspect the drain area for any clogs or blockages. Clear away any accumulated food particles using a soft brush or cloth. This step ensures effective cleaning and prevents potential damage to the dishwasher.
  2. Check and clean the filter: Most dishwashers have a removable filter located at the bottom. This filter helps trap food particles and prevents them from clogging the spray arms. Remove the filter and rinse it under running water to eliminate any debris. If the filter is particularly dirty, soak it in warm soapy water for a while before rinsing. Once cleaned, reinsert the filter back into its place.
  3. Remove mineral deposits: Mineral deposits, commonly caused by hard water, can accumulate on the interior surfaces of your dishwasher, affecting its performance. To remove these deposits, place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle without any dishes. The vinegar will break down mineral deposits and eliminate any unpleasant odors. Alternatively, you can use dishwasher cleaning tablets designed to remove mineral build-up.
  4. Wipe down the interior: After running the vinegar cycle, carefully wipe down the interior of the dishwasher using a soft cloth or sponge. Pay special attention to the door edges, gasket, and crevices where food particles and grime tend to accumulate. If necessary, use a mild dishwashing liquid diluted in water to tackle stubborn stains or grease.
  5. Clean the spray arms: Clogged spray arms can hinder proper water flow and result in poorly cleaned dishes. Inspect the spray arms for any blockages and remove them if necessary. Use a toothpick or a small brush to clear the spray arm nozzles. Make sure the water flow is unobstructed for optimal performance.
  6. Maintain a fresh-smelling dishwasher: To keep your dishwasher smelling fresh between cleanings, consider placing a small cup of baking soda on the top rack and running a short hot water cycle. Baking soda helps absorb odors and leaves your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh.
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What to clean dishwasher with?

Cleaning your dishwasher is an important part of keeping it running efficiently and preventing the buildup of bacteria and other debris. The best way to clean your dishwasher is to use a combination of vinegar and baking soda. Start by pouring a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher, then sprinkle a half cup of baking soda over it.

Run the dishwasher on its hottest setting for one cycle, allowing the vinegar and baking soda to work their magic. After this cycle is complete, wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth or sponge. This will help remove any remaining debris that may have been loosened by the vinegar and baking soda. Finally, run another cycle with just hot water to rinse away any remaining residue.


Regular cleaning of the inside of your dishwasher is crucial for its longevity and efficiency. By following these simple steps, you can effectively remove debris, eliminate mineral deposits, and keep your dishwasher in excellent working condition. A clean dishwasher not only ensures hygienic and spotless dishes but also saves you time and energy in the long run. Invest a little effort in cleaning your dishwasher regularly, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained appliance for years to come.

How often should I clean the inside of my dishwasher?

It is recommended to clean the inside of your dishwasher every month or whenever you notice a build-up of debris or odors.

Can I use bleach to clean the inside of my dishwasher?

While bleach can effectively kill bacteria and remove stains, it is generally not recommended for cleaning the inside of dishwashers. The harsh chemicals in bleach can damage the dishwasher’s components. It’s best to use mild, dishwasher-safe cleaning agents like vinegar or specialized dishwasher cleaning tablets.

Are there any dishwasher parts that require special attention during cleaning?

Yes, there are a few parts that require special attention. These include the filter, spray arms, and door edges. Regularly check and clean the filter to prevent clogs. Clear any debris from the spray arm nozzles to ensure proper water flow. Wiping down the door edges and gasket helps remove food particles and prevents odors.

What if my dishwasher has a stainless steel interior?

A: If your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior, avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that can scratch the surface. Instead, opt for mild dishwashing liquid or specialized stainless steel cleaners. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning stainless steel surfaces.

Can I clean the dishwasher with a dishwasher cleaning cycle?

Yes, many modern dishwashers have a cleaning cycle or a self-cleaning option. These cycles are designed to remove debris, odors, and mineral build-up. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the cleaning cycle effectively.

How can I prevent unpleasant odors in my dishwasher?

To prevent unpleasant odors, make sure to remove food debris from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher to prevent food particles from accumulating in the drain. Additionally, leave the dishwasher door slightly ajar after each use to allow air circulation and reduce moisture build-up.

Is it necessary to rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher?

It is generally recommended to scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. However, modern dishwashers are designed to handle lightly soiled dishes, so heavy pre-rinsing may not be necessary. Check your dishwasher’s manual for specific guidelines on pre-rinsing.

Why is my dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly even after cleaning the inside?

If your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes properly, there may be other factors at play. Ensure that you are loading the dishwasher correctly, allowing proper water circulation. Check the spray arms for blockages and ensure they can rotate freely. Also, make sure you are using the appropriate dishwasher detergent and following the recommended dosage. If the problem persists, it may be worth consulting a professional for further assistance.

Remember to consult your dishwasher’s manual for specific cleaning instructions and recommendations tailored to your appliance.

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