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How to Clean the Dishwasher with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Baking soda, vinegar and dish rags on a wooden table

Cleaning the dishes is easy. You either do it the old-fashioned way and wash them in the sink. Or you use the modern way and use your dishwasher. Once you are done with cleaning the dishes, it is easy to clean the sink. Cleaning the dishwasher is another matter.

It takes a little more work to make sure that the modern appliance is ready for the next load of dishes. But with the right techniques and a little practice, the time will go quickly. To find out how to clean your dishwasher just continue to read our article.

It has the information and guidelines you need to do a thorough job.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher

Open dishwasher displaying clean white dishes and wine glasses

Step 1 – Clean the Filter

It seems that the majority of dishwashers made in the 2000s are made with a filter. Filters help clean out solids and may possibly keep small rocks from getting where they shouldn’t.

However, you cannot ignore this vital piece of equipment. Like your air conditioner and dehumidifier, your dishwasher needs to have its filter cleaned regularly. That is if you want it to last long and stay at the top of its game.

If you are not sure where the filter is checking your owner’s manual. It will tell you the location and how to remove it so the filter can be cleaned correctly. While you are at it, take a toothpick and clean out the sprayer armholes.

When they get clogged, your dishwasher does not perform as well as it should.

Step 2 – Use Vinegar

Vinegar being poured from a bottle into a white measuring cup

When you live in a hard water region of the country, your dishwasher can get mineral deposits. When this builds up, it may make it harder for your dishwasher to do its job. Soap has a habit of building up as well and one of the best cleansers you can use to get rid of both build-ups is white vinegar.

To clean your dishwasher safely and get rid of germs etc., place 2 cups of white vinegar in a bowl designed for the dishwasher and set it on the top rack. Some people will say it is better to place it on the bottom rack and we will leave the placement decision up to you.

Whichever rack produces the best results for you, place the bowl there. Make sure the dishwasher is empty except for the vinegar-filled bowl and run it through a cleaning cycle. Once the cycle is over, your dishwasher should be smelling great, germ-free, and have no stains or build-ups.

Step 3 – Use Baking Soda

If you do not particularly care for the vinegar odor, you can use baking soda. Tag teaming the cleaning is one way to make sure your dishwasher is nice and clean and odor-free. The first part of the cleaning would use vinegar as described in the previous section. Then have the vinegar tag the baking soda in for the next round of cleaning.

Or you can just use the baking soda on its own. It will be up to you and use the method that produces the best results. When you use the baking soda all you have to do is sprinkle a good amount on the bottom of the dishwasher.

After doing that, simply run your dishwasher through a cleaning cycle. When the cycle is over, your dishwasher should smell and be clean.

How to Make Your Dishwasher Run Smoother

Woman opening dishwasher full of clean dishes

No one likes doing dishes and because of that attitude, people often cram their dishwasher full of dishes. This is not the best way to utilize your appliance. Here are some steps to help your dishwasher operate on all cylinders and give you the best results.

  • Clean The Filter – See step 1 above to get the directions on how to do this. A clean filter makes for smoother operation and better results.
  • Cut The Overcrowding – You do not like living in overcrowded situations and your dishwasher doesn’t like working in them. Cut down on the number of dishes you place inside so the water can clean all the dishes and not miss one.
  • Pre-Rinse – Just run the dishes under running tap water for a few seconds to get the loose food items off. This helps keep your filter cleaner.
  • Use Your Garbage Disposal – Your dishwasher drains through the disposal and having it cleared of food items helps the dishwasher drain easier and better.
  • Check The Seals – If you spot any leaking water, check the seals and replace them. Leaking water does not help your dishwasher operate that well.

It is not hard to clean your dishwasher with vinegar or baking soda. The hardest part is just placing those items where they need to be. Then you just let your dishwasher do all the work. That gives you more time to do those tasks you really enjoy.

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