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  • Writer's pictureDameon Nelson

The Best Way to Clean Your Dishwasher Inside and Out

Keeping your dishwasher clean not only ensures it runs efficiently but also extends its lifespan. This article guides you through the process of cleaning your dishwasher thoroughly, both inside and out, using simple and effective methods.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly remove bits of food and check the manufacturer's instructions to maintain your dishwasher.

  • Use a combination of vinegar, baking soda, and warm soapy water for a deep clean of the interior including the filters, drain, and inside door.

  • Polish the exterior as needed and follow a monthly deep cleaning routine to keep your dishwasher in top condition.

Preparing to Clean Your Dishwasher

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Before you begin the cleaning process, it's essential to gather all necessary supplies. You'll need warm water, dish soap, distilled white vinegar, baking soda, a toothpick, a toothbrush, a microfiber cloth, and rubber gloves. Avoid using bleach as it's not recommended for cleaning dishwashers.

Remove Bits of Food Daily

To prevent build-up and ensure your dishwasher runs efficiently, make it a habit to remove bits of food daily. This simple step can help avoid unwanted residue like minerals, grease, grime, and limescale, which over time can compromise the effectiveness of your dishwasher.

Check the Manufacturer's Instructions

Always check the manufacturer's instructions before cleaning your dishwasher. This ensures that you use the correct methods and products that are safe for your model, preventing any potential damage or issues with performance.

Deep Cleaning the Interior

Clean the Filters and Drain

To ensure your dishwasher operates efficiently, start by cleaning the filters and drain. Remove the filter units and rinse them under running water. Use a soft brush to remove any lodged debris. This simple maintenance can significantly improve your dishwasher's performance and prevent odors.

Wipe Out the Inside

After the filters, focus on the interior walls and racks. Using a damp cloth, wipe down all surfaces to remove grease and residue. For stubborn stains, a mixture of warm water and mild detergent works effectively. Regular wiping prevents the buildup of grime and keeps your dishwasher smelling fresh.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda for a Thorough Clean

For a deep clean, use a combination of vinegar and baking soda. Start by running a hot water cycle with a cup of vinegar placed on the upper rack. After the cycle, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom and run a short cycle. This method not only cleans but also deodorizes your dishwasher, leaving it sparkling and odor-free.

Cleaning Specific Components

How to Clean a Dishwasher's Inside Door

To ensure your dishwasher's inside door remains clean and functional, start by wiping it down with a damp cloth to remove any loose debris. For tougher stains, use a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent. Be sure to clean the door seals, as these areas can accumulate significant grime. A soft brush can help dislodge any stubborn dirt.

Polish Your Dishwasher's Exterior as Needed

Maintaining the exterior of your dishwasher not only keeps it looking good but also extends its lifespan. Use a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner to gently polish the surface. For stainless steel exteriors, consider using a specialized cleaner to avoid streaks and maintain the shine. Regular polishing helps prevent the buildup of dirt and fingerprints, ensuring your appliance looks as good as new.

Maintaining Dishwasher Cleanliness

How Often to Deep Clean Your Dishwasher

Regular deep cleaning is crucial to maintain the efficiency and longevity of your dishwasher. Experts recommend a thorough clean every month to prevent the buildup of grease, grime, and limescale, which can compromise the appliance's effectiveness. This routine helps avoid unnecessary repairs and ensures your dishwasher operates at its best.

Expert Tips for Ongoing Maintenance

To keep your dishwasher in top condition, follow these simple tips:

  • Regularly use the sanitizing cycles to maintain cleanliness.

  • Remove bits of food and debris after each load to prevent clogs and odors.

  • Stick to a regular cleaning schedule, and use a combination of vinegar and baking soda for monthly deep cleans.

  • Inspect and clean the filters and drain area regularly to ensure they are free from food particles and other residues.


Keeping your dishwasher clean is essential for its longevity and performance. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that both the interior and exterior of your dishwasher are thoroughly cleaned using safe and effective methods. Remember to gather the necessary supplies, clean the filters and drain, wipe out the inside, and polish the exterior. Regular maintenance, including monthly deep cleans, will keep your dishwasher running smoothly and your dishes sparkling clean. Embrace these practices to enhance the efficiency and lifespan of your appliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best thing to clean the inside of a dishwasher?

You can use warm water, dish soap, distilled white vinegar, and baking soda. Experts do not recommend using bleach.

How often should I deep clean my dishwasher?

It's important to deep clean your dishwasher monthly to keep it in optimal condition.

How do you clean a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda?

After manual wiping, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom and pour vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl on the top rack, then run a hot water cycle.

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