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How to Clean Your Dishwasher

My dishwasher is one of the hardest working things in my house (I basically run it everyday!), but it’s easy to forget that it needs a good cleaning too. When my dishwasher starts to smell, you know it's time to give it a good cleaning. With just two green ingredients you can have an Eco clean dishwasher (without using expensive dishwasher detergent).
Time: 30 Minutes Cost: $2 Difficulty: Easy
  • how to clean your dishwasher
As with any green-friendly cleaner, baking soda and vinegar are my go-to cleaning ingredients.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
  • how to clean your dishwasher
I used white vinegar (cleaning vinegar), baking soda, and a dishwasher safe cup (not pictured).
Step 2: Put Your Cup in the Top Rack
  • how to clean your dishwasher
Place your cup upright on the top shelf. I did this, because it allows the dishwasher to flood the vinegar out of the cup. This gives it a slow release as opposed to being poured out all at once. You don't have to do this, but I think it makes the cleaner work better.
Step 3: Add the Vinegar to the Cup
  • how to clean your dishwasher
Fill the cup almost all the way to the top with vinegar.
Step 4: Sprinkle Baking Soda and Set Your Machine to Wash
  • how to clean your dishwasher
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher. Then set it to the hottest setting, and let it start.
  • how to clean your dishwasher
How simple was that? The smell is gone and now my dishwasher is nice and clean.

Materials I used for this project:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda (soda bi-carb)
  • Dishwasher safe cup
  • Rosel Kynast
    Rosel Kynast Madison, WI
    on Feb 16, 2017

    Gladys, good idea but we will never see it in the manual, because the maker of the product are in contact with the cleaner manufacturer, so they like selling their stuff. I been using vinegar and baking soda for ages. Cheap and clean.

  • Danielle
    Danielle Canada
    on Feb 19, 2017

    I pour vinegar in each load, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Now i no longer need to use rinsing agent and no need to clean the dishwasher as it cleans itself every load. Also great for,people like me who don't have a water softener.

    • Eleanor Korf
      Eleanor Korf Glendale, AZ
      on Jun 1, 2017

      I just pour it into my dishwasher when washing dishes. I do this periodically to get the hard water deposits off everything.

  • Linda Williamson
    Linda Williamson Chatsworth, CA
    on Mar 11, 2017

    I was told by an independant repair service not to use vinegar often. Besides cleaning services it can destroy the machine parts. I use vinegar all the time. Works especially well when cleaning windows inside and out. It will also clean algae out of tanks, water bottles, etc.

  • Marto74
    on Mar 31, 2017

    I'm just curious, lately at my local stores I see cleaning white vinegar and white vinegar...I've always used just white vinegar since I use in making hard boiled eggs and a couple of other recipes. Is the cleaning vinegar stronger? I hate to buy two of gallon bottles if I don't have to.

  • Bunny
    Bunny Raleigh, NC
    on Aug 7, 2017

    click on this link to find out about vinegars:

    or copy & paste into address bar

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!