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The Best Way to Clean a Dishwasher


Your dishwasher is made for cleaning things, so you probably don’t think of it as something that needs to be washed. However, buildup can accumulate. When that happens, you need to show your trusty kitchen sidekick a little TLC.

The frequency with which you clean your dishwasher will depend on how often you use it. For example, if you eat out a lot and find you rarely do a load of dishes, then once or twice a year is enough. If you wash dishes almost daily because you have a large family you might want to consider washing your dishwasher monthly to help remove bits of food and debris left behind. 

You’ll need:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Microfiber cloths
  • An old toothbrush
  • Toothpicks
  1. Run a cycle using hot water with or without a load of dishes inside.
  2. Once the cycle has finished, remove everything including racks and baskets.
  3. Wash your racks/baskets with warm soapy water. Soak as needed.  
  4. Rinse the soap off of racks/baskets and set them on towels to dry.
  5. Now clean the drain of the empty dishwasher by removing any gunk or food residue.
  6. Mix a little water with baking soda to form a paste, apply around base of the drain, and gently scrub with a toothbrush. Wipe away baking soda residue with dry cloth.
  7. Review the spray arms and gently remove any food/gunk that might be stuck in the holes with a toothpick.
  8. Check manufacturer’s manual to see if your dishwasher has a filter and follow the instructions to clean it properly.
  9. Put all racks/baskets back in place. Leave a bowl with two cups distilled white vinegar in the center of bottom rack. Run a hot water cycle so vinegar is dispersed throughout your machine.
  10. Wipe down the exterior of your dishwasher and control panel. Voila your dishwasher is clean again!

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