How to Clean a Dishwasher Quickly Using Natural Ingredients

2 Materials
$20
1 Hour
Easy

We are all busy people and we rely on our modern day appliances to save us time and energy. But when those appliances, like our dishwasher, gives us plates with stuck on food debris or glasses covered in water spots, they have let us down. Who has time to re-wash last night’s dishes?

How to Clean a Dishwasher (pixabay)

When your dishwasher delivers you unclean pots, bowls, and forks, it may be time to clean your dishwasher. Reclaim those lost minutes standing in front of the sink re-washing dishware by learning some DIY tricks to cleaning a dirty dishwasher. And the best part? You only need 1-3 natural ingredients that you probably already have in the pantry to get the cleanest, most fresh-smelling dishwasher in the neighborhood. Once you discover how easy it is to clean a dirty dishwasher, this may become a monthly chore you actually look forward to crossing off the To Do list!


Do These Things Every Time You Run the Dishwasher

Depending on the size of your household, the dishwasher may be one of the hardest-working appliances in the kitchen. If there are many mouths to feed in your home and lots of dirty plates and cups as a result, the dishwasher may be run daily. To help the dishwasher keep up with the busyness of life, do these two things before you hit the ‘start’ button.


  • Run the garbage disposal before turning on the dishwasher.
  • Check to make sure no food or debris is clogging the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher. It’s often these soggy food pieces that contribute to a smelly dishwasher or unclean dishes after a cycle.


Clean the Dishwasher with Vinegar Only

When you open the door to the dishwasher, are you greeted with built-up grime and food stains? Mom4Real blogger was fed up with the coffee marks on the inside of her dishwasher. She reads that vinegar can be safely used to clean the inside of a dishwasher and decides to test the theory for herself. She puts two cups of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe cup on the top rack of the dishwasher and runs it through a normal cycle. When done, the dishwasher is clean, sparkling ...and ready for a new round of dirty dishes!

How to Clean a Dishwasher with Vinegar (Mom4Real)

See post: Mom4Real|Get a Clean Dishwasher with Vinegar


Hometalk contributor Shawna Bailey also uses white vinegar to clean her dishwasher. But she goes one step further and uses baking soda in the dishwasher. 

How to Clean the Inside of a Dishwasher(Shawna Bailey)

See post: Shawna Bailey|How to Clean Your Dishwasher


If eco-friendly home cleaners are your thing, baking soda and vinegar are the only two ingredients you will ever need!


Best Way to Clean Dishwasher for Hard Water and Lime

If you open the dishwasher after a wash cycle and find yourself pulling out spot-covered dishes, you most likely have a build-up of lime caused by hard water. Mom4Real blogger suffers from spotty glasses and discovers that the lime was in the hoses of her dishwasher. She is determined to find a way to clean them and reclaim clean dishes once more!


She grabs three ingredients she already has in the pantry for a DIY dishwasher cleaner. She uses baking soda, citric acid (also known as produce protector) and lemon essential oil for a simple and natural homemade cleaning solution.

Best ways to Clean a Dishwasher (Mom4Real)

See post: Mom4Real|Clean Your Dishwasher and Get Rid of Hardwater and Lime Buildup


Mix all three ingredients together and pour into an empty dishwasher. Turn the dishwasher on and after about 5 minutes, hit ‘pause’ and let it sit for the next 4 hours. Then let the wash cycle finish. This super simple baking soda rinse not only brightens the inside of the dishwasher and leaves it fresh-smelling but gives you spot-free glasses!


How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

Hometalk contributor Angela says the best way to bring your dishwasher back to max performance is to clean the dishwasher filter. With the dishwasher empty, she removes the bottom rack and any leftover food debris that accumulates around the filter.


She then takes off the filter cover and filter drain and cleans both in hot, soapy water. You may find yourself shocked at the “yuck” that accumulates within the dishwasher filter! Once thoroughly clean, she puts these filters back in place and runs the dishwasher on a short cycle using the same vinegar wash method our other dishwasher experts follow. Wipe the inside of the dishwasher out with a clean rag, if desired.

How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter (Angela)

See post: Angela|How to Clean the Dishwasher Naturally


Kristen from the blog, The Road to Domestication, takes the de-funking of the inside of her dishwasher to a thoroughly clean level. She starts by taking out all the holders and racks and soaks them for an hour or two in a DIY homemade cleaning mixture of warm water, dishwashing liquid and lemon juice.


She uses the same cleaning solution to wipe down and clean the inside of the dishwasher. Kristen suggests using a toothpick to remove any dried on stubborn food particles.

Dirty Dishwasher Hacks (Kristen From The Road To Domestication)

See post: Kristen From The Road To Domestication|How to Deal With a Dirty Dishwasher!


She also uses a natural cleaner of vinegar, baking soda and warm water to wipe down and clean the outside of the dishwasher.


How to Clean Household Items in the Dishwasher

Now that your dishwasher is sparkling and smelling fresh, what else can you clean in this powerful kitchen appliance besides last night’s pots and pans? It turns out the dishwasher is a handy sanitizing tool for those everyday items we may overlook.


Kara S. uses her dishwasher to get the germs and grime off household necessities like silicone oven mitts and hot pads as well as kitchen brushes and sponges. She also scours her bathrooms for items to be sanitized like shower loofahs, makeup and hair brushes as well as toothbrushes and toothbrush holders.

Cleaning Household Products in the Dishwasher (Kara S.)

See post: Kara S.|9 Things You Can Wash In Your Dishwasher


Get rid of sweat stains and dirt on baseball hats by popping them in the top rack of the dishwasher. Place a jar or can underneath them to help them keep their shape. The salt on winter rubber boots and the sand on summer sandals can also be cleaned in the dishwasher as do those often-overlooked switch plates that are full of dirty fingerprints. Just unscrew them and place them in the dishwasher.


The cleaning power of the dishwasher extends far beyond the reaches of the kitchen. What everyday household items can you clean in the dishwasher? Just be sure to place all items in the top rack so they don’t melt.


Dirty or Clean? How to Make a Dishwasher Magnet

There’s nothing more annoying than not knowing whether the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty. If you haven’t yet tried one of our easy and quick DIY dishwasher cleaning tips, you may not know if you are looking at leftover birthday cake or built-up soap scum.


Hometalk contributor BrightNest has a 5-minute solution to this common kitchen problem! They re-purpose magnets you may already have cluttering up your fridge and covers them up fun and colorful washi tape. On one side, use a Sharpie marker to write “Clean” and flip it over to write “Dirty” on the other.

Dishwasher Magnets (BrightNest)

See post: BrightNest|5-Minute DIY Project: A Clean/Dirty Dishwasher Magnet


Super cute! Now you just need to train the family to flip the magnet over.


Get the Cleanest Dishwasher Quickly and Naturally

Cleaning the dishwasher is often an overlooked chore. But every time you run a cycle, you get a reminder that things are not quite as clean in there as you want. Stop re-washing spotty glasses and caked on pans! Use everyday household products and a few minutes of time to once again have a fresh-smelling, clean dishwasher that gives you sparkling dishes every time.


For even more ideas on DIY home cleaning tips, be sure to check out Hometalk today!


Written for the Hometalk community by: Victoria | Dazzle While Frazzled

Suggested materials:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda

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