How To Easily Clean A Dishwasher (With Vinegar And Baking Soda!)

Maintaining your dishwasher clean is as important as washing your dishes, especially if you use this appliance frequently. 

Luckily, cleaning and disinfecting your dishwasher is easily done with the help of vinegar and baking soda. Check out this easy step-by-step method to learn how to do it.

Does vinegar damage the dishwasher?

There are many cleaning products to choose from, but not all are good for this appliance. Some of them (such as bleach) could even damage the dishwasher’s walls. Luckily, vinegar is not one of them!

While it’s true that vinegar could corrode the inner workings of the dishwasher, washing the walls and the door won’t harm the appliance as long as you don’t put the vinegar in the detergent compartment. 

In fact, vinegar is a great way to loosen up stuck food and stains, which makes it the perfect choice for this task.

How to wash the dishwasher in four steps

Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda is simpler than you think! Just follow these easy steps and see how your appliance goes from grimy to spotless.

Step 1. Empty the dishwasher

First, you need to take the racks and dishes out of the dishwasher. You can wash the racks with soapy water over the sink, and the dishes—if not clean—can wait for when you’re done with the appliance.

During this step, check if your dishwasher has a self-cleaning filter. If so, there’s nothing else to do for this step! However, if it doesn’t have this feature, you need to take it out, clean it, and put it back before continuing with this method.

Step 2. Wipe off the food residue

Now that you have room to clean, wipe the crumbs and food bits off with a microfiber cloth. Doing so helps remove any loose grime that could get stuck to the dishwasher walls when running your washing cycles.

Step 3. Run a washing cycle with vinegar

For the vinegar to remove the grime, you need to pour two cups of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl, place it at the bottom of the appliance, and run a hot water cycle on the dishwasher.

During this cycle, the heat from the water and the vinegar’s acidity will loosen up the grime and stains on the appliance walls.

Step 4. Run a cycle with baking soda

After the first cycle, take out the bowl and sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the dishwasher. Since baking soda is a natural deodorizer, it will trap any odors from the dishes the appliance washes and even vinegar if it hasn’t dissipated yet.

Extra step: clean the rubber seals

The dishwasher rubber seals seldom get dirty since they’re not in contact with the grimy dishes. However, every once in a while, a little bit of dirt can make its way to the gasket.

So, even if you don’t need to clean your whole appliance, you can wash the rubber sealing with a toothbrush and soapy water. Either rinse the residue off with a wet cloth or run a quick cycle, and you’re done!

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