Can I Run My Dishwasher Empty to Clean It? Must Know

Yes, you can run your dishwasher empty to clean it. This is a simple and effective way to remove grease, food particles, and odors from your dishwasher. Running an empty cycle with hot water and vinegar, baking soda, or a dishwasher cleaner can help sanitize and freshen up your appliance. In this article, we will explain why you should clean your dishwasher regularly, how to do it properly, and what are the benefits of doing so.

Why Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?

You might think that your dishwasher is self-cleaning, since it washes your dishes every day. However, this is not the case. Over time, your dishwasher can accumulate dirt, grime, and bacteria from the food residue and soap scum that are left behind after each cycle. These can clog the filters, spray arms, and drain, affecting the performance and efficiency of your dishwasher. They can also cause unpleasant smells and stains in your dishwasher, and even transfer to your dishes, making them less clean and hygienic.

Therefore, it is important to clean your dishwasher regularly, at least once a month, to keep it in good shape and prevent any problems. Cleaning your dishwasher can also extend its lifespan, save energy and water, and improve the quality of your dishes.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher with Vinegar, Baking Soda, or a Dishwasher Cleaner?

There are different methods to clean your dishwasher, depending on what you have at home and what you prefer. Here are some of the most common and effective ways to do it:

  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural and cheap way to clean and disinfect your dishwasher. It can help remove hard water deposits, grease, and odors from your appliance. To use vinegar, fill a dishwasher-safe cup or bowl with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run a normal cycle with hot water, without any detergent or dishes. After the cycle is done, wipe down the inside of your dishwasher with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is another natural and inexpensive way to clean and deodorize your dishwasher. It can help remove stains, grease, and odors from your appliance. To use baking soda, sprinkle about a cup of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher. Run a short cycle with hot water, without any detergent or dishes. After the cycle is done, wipe down the inside of your dishwasher with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Dishwasher Cleaner: Dishwasher cleaner is a product that is specially designed to clean and maintain your dishwasher. It can help remove limescale, grease, and odors from your appliance. To use dishwasher cleaner, follow the instructions on the package. Usually, you need to place the cleaner in the detergent dispenser or on the bottom of your dishwasher. Run a normal cycle with hot water, without any detergent or dishes. After the cycle is done, wipe down the inside of your dishwasher with a damp cloth or sponge.
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What are the Benefits of Cleaning Your Dishwasher?

Cleaning your dishwasher regularly can have many benefits for you and your appliance. Some of the benefits are:

  • Better Performance: Cleaning your dishwasher can help unclog the filters, spray arms, and drain, which can improve the water flow and pressure in your appliance. This can result in better cleaning and rinsing of your dishes, and less need for pre-washing or re-washing.
  • Higher Efficiency: Cleaning your dishwasher can help remove hard water deposits, grease, and soap scum, which can affect the heating and drying functions of your appliance. This can result in lower energy and water consumption, and less time and money spent on running your dishwasher.
  • Longer Lifespan: Cleaning your dishwasher can help prevent rust, corrosion, and damage to your appliance. This can result in longer durability and reliability of your dishwasher, and less need for repairs or replacements.
  • Better Hygiene: Cleaning your dishwasher can help eliminate bacteria, mold, and fungi from your appliance. This can result in cleaner and safer dishes, and less risk of food poisoning or infections.
  • Better Smell: Cleaning your dishwasher can help remove odors from your appliance. This can result in fresher and more pleasant smell in your kitchen, and less need for air fresheners or candles.

Conclusion

Running your dishwasher empty to clean it is a simple and effective way to maintain your appliance and enjoy its benefits. You can use vinegar, baking soda, or a dishwasher cleaner to do it, depending on your preference and availability. You should clean your dishwasher at least once a month, or more often if you notice any signs of dirt, grime, or smell. By doing so, you can improve the performance, efficiency, lifespan, hygiene, and smell of your dishwasher, and make your dishes cleaner and safer.