How to clean a dishwasher with vinegar?

by Norma

How do I clean a dishwasher with vinegar?

  30 answers
  • Everything Pretty Everything Pretty on Dec 27, 2018

    I have hard water, so I fill the detergent dispenser with borax and set a butter dish (about 2 cups) of vinegar on the top rack and run it on the light cycle.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Dec 27, 2018

    I do it a lot. I just put a shallow bowl of vinegar on the top rack of my dishwasher and then run it. If it's done regularly it will definitely help keep it clean.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Jun 08, 2021

    Scrub first with baking soda, a non-abrasive sponge, and a little hot water.

    Next, put vinegar in the soap dispenser (without soap), and run the dishwasher through an entire hot water cycle.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 08, 2021

    Here you go:

    How to clean a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda

    Step 1: Clear the filter Clear the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher of any food bits or debris like glass, popcorn kernels or small pieces of paper. If applicable, remove and clean the filter to clear any clogs or other obstructions. Keep in mind that some filters cannot be removed—check your Use & Care guide for specific instructions.

    Step 2: Add white vinegar Pour 2 cups (500 mL) of white vinegar into a glass measuring cup or other dishwasher-safe container and place upright in the lower rack. Run a normal cycle with the heat dry option turned off. Do not use detergent.

    Step 3: Add baking soda After the cycle with vinegar is complete, sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a hot water cycle. That’s all it takes for a clean, fresh-smelling dishwasher!


  • Janice Janice on Jun 08, 2021

    Every now and then, simply place a cup of vinegar in the dishwasher along with your usual dishes. As the dishwasher runs the vinegar will be dispersed into the dishwasher and help to clean it and the leaves the dishes spot free.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 08, 2021

    After making sure the dishwasher is free of any food particles, place a cup of white cleaning vinegar in an open dishwasher safe container on the upper rack and run a short hot cycle. Then sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the unit and run another short hot cycle. This will clean, sanitize, and make it sparkle.

    Prior to adding detergent, put one (1) drop of blue Dawn in the dispenser. You will be amazed at how much better your dishes will look, especially glasses and plastic.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jun 08, 2021

    One trick I learned that helps to get our dishes clean as well is to use 1/4 of vinegar in every wash cycle and to make sure and wipe out the bottom of the dishwasher and clean its filter every few washes!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jun 08, 2021

    all you need is vinegar just put one cup of vinegar in top of dishwasher rack and run through a short cycle

  • Dee Dee on Jun 08, 2021

    Monthly to keep it clean I put white vinegar in a spray bottle half and half water and I spray my dishwasher between use. About ever 2 months or so I use the baking soda and bowl of vinegar for a deep clean.

  • Pat Pat on Jun 08, 2021

    I used vinegar in my dishwasher in the dispenser for every load of dishes and it ate up my hoses and leaked all over. Now I know better and use vinegar once a month or every six weeks to clean the empty dishwasher.

  • I use vinegar in the Jet Dry spot in my dishwasher then run an empty load on occasion with a measuring cup full of vinegar on the top rack. The baking soda only lasts a couple of seconds after contacting the vinegar, so save yourself the extra trouble.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Jul 07, 2021

    Clear the drain: Remove the bottom dish rack. Clean the dishwasher with vinegar: Start with an empty dishwasher. Baking soda rinse: Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher

  • Pat Pat on Aug 15, 2021

    I use the two cup vinegar wash every month or so. You just need to use the vinegar in a bowl on the top rack in an empty dishwasher after cleaning the filter located on the bottom of the dishwasher tub and then run a normal load.. I learned my lesson when I used vinegar in the rinse drawer with every load. It ruined the hoses and gaskets and started leaking so had to buy a new appliance.

  • C. D. Scallan C. D. Scallan on Jul 24, 2017

    Just pour a half cup white vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser .

  • I just toss in a good cup of white vinegar and run it on the hottest setting. Here is a link for you. Or you can browse through the "cleaning" section here on Hometalk!

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Jul 24, 2017

    Step 1: Clear the drain

    Remove the bottom dish rack. Inspect the dishwasher drain, removing any gunk or food caught there. This will improve drainage, increase cleaning efficiency and prevent damage to the dishwasher.

    Step 2: Vinegar wash

    Start with an empty dishwasher. Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. This will wash away grease and grime and remove musty odors, too.

    Step 3: Baking soda rinse

    Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short, hot water cycle. The dishwasher will be fresh-smelling and have a brightened, stain-free interior.

  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Feb 25, 2018

    if the interior is Stainless steel, I would not use vinegar - can cause damage. Use a product for Dishwasher -- see the User Manual

  • Kathy Kathy on Feb 25, 2018

    I use detergent in the dispenser then I pour (count to five) white vinegar in the bottom of the gets that ugly residue off my dishes, plastic glasses and everything comes out sparkly clean-and the inside of my dishwasher looks great too! I was given this info from a dishwasher repairman..and it has worked for me in two with city water and one with well water. Hope this helps 😊

    • See 1 previous
    • Kathy Kathy on Feb 25, 2018

      I had a stainless steel lined kitchenaid when i was told to use the vinegar/detergent combo..I did not have any damage to the interior of the dishwasher!

      Now I have a plastic lined Frigidaire gallery that came with the house..and the combo works equally as well!

      I’m glad to be able to help 😊 finally a question that I had an answer for 😂

  • Anne Brennan Anne Brennan on Feb 25, 2018

    I normally do not use detergent when cleaning a dishwasher or washing machine with vinegar, however, if you feel the need to add deterfent, I would suggest only using 1/2 of normal.

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Mar 05, 2018

    It needs to run through the cycle with hot water.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Mar 05, 2018

    It doesn't matter where the vinegar sits. I used to just dump it in because the jets will circulate it. The hotter the better. Hot water helps to soften everything for the vinegar to work better.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 20, 2016

    Run orange juice or white vinegar through a cycle with no dishes.

  • Kathleen Basiewicz Kathleen Basiewicz on Dec 20, 2016

    Rub distilled vinegar around the rubber seal with a towel. Then pour in 1/2 cup of vinegar and start you wash cycle. After it has the first draining, stop the washer. I do this 2 times a month, one the first and 15 so as not to forget.

  • Constance G Constance G on Dec 21, 2016

    if it has hard water or rust stains inside, use soft scrub to get those off first, then add in a full cup measure of vinegar, run machine through a full cycle to clean it up. If water fails to drain remove trap in the bottom insert a wet dry vac into it to suck any debris that might be blocking the drain.

  • Gracie Gracie on Oct 05, 2017

    If there is a filter, make sure to take it out and clean it. Then you can put about a cup of vinegar in a cup and sit it in the top rack and run the washer on the hottest setting (no other dishes in it).

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Oct 05, 2017

    clean out the trap or filter in the bottom and then pour white vinegar in the bottom about a cup and run thru a wash cycle

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 30, 2019

    Clean strainer and remove any debris.

    Fill a bowl with white vinegar, place on top rack, run shirt hot cycle.

    Sprinkle baking soda on bottom and run another short hot cycle.

    in future, place one drop of blue Dawn in dispenser before adding detergent.

  • Tyree Bruce Tyree Bruce on Aug 13, 2017

    for stains make a paste with vinegar and baking soda and scrub....for the whole thing. 2 cups in the bottom turn on to low-stop in the middle of the wash cycle and let the vinegar sit for at least 20 minutes overnight even better. Finish the cycle and rub dry with paper towels

  • Craft Invaders Craft Invaders on Sep 01, 2018

    I use a cup of apple cider vinegar (left in the cup) sitting on the top rack and sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the machine (probably about half a cup) then I put it on a hot cycle. I also saw a hack recently where they suggested popping used halves of lemons in the top rack to freshen up your machines :)

  • Skippinsd Skippinsd on Aug 27, 2018

    I use 2 caps of lemon juice and 1/4 cup white vinegar