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How to Clean the Dishwasher with Bleach

Bottle of Clorox bleach sitting next to a clear glass half full of bleach on a kitchen counter

Bleach is the go-to cleanser. This product is in just about every home. The reason for that is because it is effective at killing germs and stains. Not just on those germs and stains that are found on clothing but just about anywhere in your home.

The key to using bleach to clean your dishwasher is moderation. You do not want to overdo it as bleach, as effective as it is, is also a dangerous chemical when you use too much. To find out how to clean your dishwasher using this effective cleanser just continue reading our article.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher Using Bleach

Woman with arms wrapped around variety of cleaning supplies on a pink background.

There are two ways to clean your dishwasher using this cleanser. The old-fashion way and the easy way. The easy way will be first.

1) Run the Cleaning Cycle

This has to be the easiest way to clean anything. All you have to do is add some bleach to the dishwasher and run the cycle. Placing the bleach in your dishwasher will be up to you. You can use a dishwasher-safe bowl or cup and place it on the top or bottom rack.

Or you may be able to put it in your dispensers and get the same result. There is no harm in using two cleaning cycles if the first one fails to completely clean the appliance.

One word of caution, liquid bleach and stainless steel do not get along, so it is best to use a bleach alternative, powder, or non-bleach cleaning materials, to get your appliance spic and span.

2) Clean the Appliance Manually

Hand removing clean dishes from an open dishwasher

This option is a little more work and takes a little more time to get done but at least you know that the dishwasher is clean and germ-free. There are several steps involved with this method:

  • Remove the racks in order to reach every spot inside
  • Place bleach and water in a pail and mix thoroughly
  • Take a soft sponge and dip it into the solution and wipe down the interior parts of the dishwasher
  • As you clean, make sure to open up the drain and clean that area out.
  • Fill a spray bottle up with bleach and water and use it to get the tougher spots. Then wipe up the solution
  • Wipe the door and exterior areas as well

You do not want to damage the elements, the sprayer arms, or other parts of your dishwasher so you want to use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Also, while you are cleaning inside, take a toothpick or slim strand of metal and clean out the sprayer arm’s holes. They get clogged as well and hamper your dishwasher’s cleaning efforts.

The drain may be the toughest to clean and if you can remove it and soak it in bleach and water you will get rid of germs, mold, bacteria, and so on. If you can’t spray it well then make sure to clean all the food particles out of it.

Bleach Alternatives for Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Bottle of generic rubbing alcohol isolated on a white background.

If you do not like bleach or the odor it leaves behind, you can use other cleanser alternatives. Just be careful not to mix any of those alternatives with bleach or you may have a very serious health issue to contend with.

1. Ammonia – It is very effective at cleaning dirt, germs, and mold that has found a home in your dishwasher. Just mix it with a little water and pour it into a spray bottle for thorough cleaning.

2. Rubbing Alcohol – May not be as strong or as effective as ammonia or bleach but it still does a very good job at getting dishwashers clean.

3. Vinegar – This is one of the safest cleaning products you can use. It is fast, effective, and does not bring you any health issues when you use it.

Then if you do not like any of the odor’s bleach, rubbing alcohol, ammonia or vinegar leave behind you can use another household product to get rid of those smells. Just sprinkle a little baking soda over the bottom of your dishwasher and run the clean cycle once more.

After the cycle is over, your dishwasher’s interior should smell fresh and clean

Some Final Words

Using enough bleach when you clean your dishwasher will kill all the germs inside as well as remove all the stains. That is why it is one of the most popular cleansers around. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful so be careful when you use this option. Moderation is always the key.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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