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How to Clean a Dishwasher with Baking Soda

Baking soda spilling onto a dark surface from a wooden spoon

The dishwasher does all the work yet gets neglected when it comes time to rewarding it and maintaining it. That is the problem with the dishwasher, too many people think the water temperature alone will kill all the germs inside the appliance.

This is not so. The dishwasher has lots of downtime, trapped food items, and other issues that allow germs to grow and contaminate your dishes. When that happens, your family is at risk of contracting different ailments.

Take some time to read how you can keep your dishwasher very safe and germ-free. It will only take a few minutes to go through this article and get the information you need.

How to Deep Clean Your Dishwasher with Baking Soda

Empty, open dishwasher in a kitchen with hardwood floors and white cabinets

There is a whole process in this method as baking soda is not going to be the only item you will need to use. As you know, baking soda will help clean and reduce odors inside the interior as it works.

Step 1 – Gather Your Materials

You will need a box of baking soda, a jar of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar), rubber gloves, dishwashing liquid, a cleaning brush, and a cloth. You may also need a pail of water and a towel to wipe up any drops you spilled as you cleaned.

Step 2 – Give Your Dishwasher a Good Cleaning

The first step is to fill your sink up with hot water and a good dishwashing liquid. One that fights grease will do the trick. Remove the racks, etc. and wash them in the sink.

Then remove any food particles you find in the drain and other places while you wait for those parts to dry. Use a brush to get those hard-to-reach places your fingers cannot reach. Your brush should be a medium strength bristle or an old clean toothbrush.

Step 3 – Replace the Racks, Etc.

Close up of the shelves in an open dish washer

Once the racks are dry and you have finished cleaning out the interior of the dishwasher, replace the racks and other items putting them back into their proper place.

Get ready for the next step by getting a dishwasher safe bowl. Fill the bowl with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar. Either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar will do. Place the bowl in the top or bottom rack and close and lock the door.

Once that is done, turn the dishwasher on a regular cycle and start it up. The vinegar should get all those places you could not reach that well including the drains, drain hose, and other parts.

Step 4 – Now it is Time for the Baking Soda

There is not a lot of work involved in this stage of the deep cleaning. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher.

If you want to wipe the sides and inside of the door with a cloth, you can but it is not mandatory. Also, you do not need to make piles of baking soda. An even coating will be enough.

When this step is done, simply close and lock the door and turn the cycle on again. You will want to let the dishwasher go through the complete cycle to make sure the interior of the appliance is super clean.

4 blocks stacked on top of each other spelling out the word Tips


If you do not have any vinegar handy or you do not have enough of that food item, you can substitute it for bleach. Just place the bleach in one of the dispensers and let the dishwasher do the work through running the cycle.

All you will need will be about 1 or 1/2 cups of bleach but not more than 1 cup. Make sure to not mix any vinegar with the bleach. If you do, you will have created a poisonous gas. Get rid of it as quickly as possible.

When the bleach cycle is done, follow it with the baking soda cycle in order to get rid of the bleach odor.

Some Final Words

Cleaning your dishwasher whether it be with baking soda, or some other cleanser only requires a little common sense. The only thing you have to worry about is accidentally mixing the bleach with some other cleaning liquid.

Bleach does not need any help and should only be mixed with water at any time. Since the dishwasher does most of the work, you can relax while you clean and catch up on your daily morning programs.

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