How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?

You should clean your dishwasher at least once a month to keep it running smoothly and prevent odors, stains, and clogs. A clean dishwasher also ensures that your dishes and utensils are sanitized and sparkling after each cycle. In this article, you will learn how to clean your dishwasher in easy and fast methods, why it is important to do so regularly, and what are the benefits of having a well-maintained appliance.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher is not a complicated or time-consuming process. You just need some basic household items and a few minutes of your time. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Remove any dishes and utensils from the dishwasher and place them in the sink or on a clean towel.
  • Pull out the bottom rack and inspect the drain and the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher. Remove any food particles, paper labels, or other debris that might be blocking the holes or causing bad smells. You can use a damp cloth or a soft brush to gently scrub the filter and rinse it under warm water.
  • Fill a dishwasher-safe container with one cup of white vinegar and place it on the upper rack of the empty dishwasher. Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can dissolve grease, limescale, and soap scum. It can also kill bacteria and mold and neutralize odors.
  • Run the dishwasher on a hot-water cycle without any detergent. The vinegar will circulate throughout the dishwasher and reach all the corners and crevices.
  • After the cycle is done, open the dishwasher and sprinkle one cup of baking soda over the bottom of the appliance. Baking soda is another natural cleaner that can absorb odors, brighten stains, and act as a mild abrasive.
  • Run the dishwasher on a short hot-water cycle again without any detergent. The baking soda will react with the vinegar and create a fizzing action that will further clean and deodorize the dishwasher.
  • Once the cycle is finished, wipe down the interior of the dishwasher with a damp cloth or sponge. Pay attention to the door, the edges, the seals, and the spray arms. You can also use a toothpick to remove any dirt or debris from the holes of the spray arms.
  • If you notice any rust or mineral deposits on the dishwasher, you can use a commercial cleaner designed for dishwashers. Follow the instructions on the label and wear gloves and eye protection when handling the product.
  • To clean the exterior of the dishwasher, use a mild soap and water solution and a soft cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that might scratch the surface. For stainless steel dishwashers, you can use a special cleaner or polish to restore the shine and prevent fingerprints.
  • To clean the dishwasher door, use a glass cleaner or a vinegar and water solution and a microfiber cloth. Wipe the door from top to bottom and remove any streaks or smudges.
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Why You Should Clean Your Dishwasher Regularly

You might think that your dishwasher gets a good cleaning every time you run it, but that’s not the case. Over time, food residue, grease, soap scum, and hard water minerals can build up inside the dishwasher and affect its performance and appearance. Some of the reasons why you should clean your dishwasher regularly are:

  • To prevent clogs and leaks. If the drain or the filter of the dishwasher is clogged with food or debris, the water will not drain properly and might overflow or leak. This can damage the dishwasher, the floor, and the cabinets around it. It can also create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold that can contaminate your dishes and utensils.
  • To improve efficiency and save energy. A dirty dishwasher will not clean your dishes and utensils as well as a clean one. You might have to run the dishwasher more often or use more detergent to get the same results. This will waste water, energy, and money. A clean dishwasher will run more smoothly and use less resources.
  • To extend the lifespan of the appliance. A dishwasher is a major investment that you want to last for as long as possible. By cleaning and maintaining your dishwasher regularly, you can prevent wear and tear and avoid costly repairs or replacements. A clean dishwasher will also look better and add value to your kitchen.
  • To eliminate odors and improve the air quality. A dirty dishwasher can emit unpleasant smells that can linger in your kitchen and affect your appetite. The odors can also transfer to your dishes and utensils and make them taste or smell bad. A clean dishwasher will keep your kitchen fresh and your dishes and utensils odor-free.
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Benefits of Having a Well-Maintained Dishwasher

A dishwasher is a convenient and useful appliance that can save you time and effort in the kitchen. By cleaning your dishwasher regularly, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Cleaner and safer dishes and utensils. A clean dishwasher will sanitize your dishes and utensils and remove any bacteria, germs, or allergens that might be present. You can also avoid cross-contamination and food poisoning by ensuring that your dishwasher is free of any dirt or debris.
  • Better tasting and smelling food and drinks. A clean dishwasher will not affect the flavor or aroma of your food and drinks. You can enjoy your meals and beverages without any unpleasant aftertastes or smells. You can also impress your guests and family with your sparkling and spotless dishes and utensils.
  • A healthier and happier home. A clean dishwasher will improve the air quality and the appearance of your kitchen. You can avoid mold, mildew, and pests that can cause health problems and damage your home. You can also create a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere for yourself and your loved ones.


Cleaning your dishwasher is an easy and fast task that you should do at least once a month. By doing so, you can keep your dishwasher in good condition and enjoy its benefits. You can use natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda or commercial products designed for dishwashers. You can also follow some simple tips to prevent your dishwasher from getting dirty in the first place, such as rinsing your dishes before loading them, running the dishwasher regularly, and using the right amount and type of detergent. By taking care of your dishwasher, you can take care of your dishes, your kitchen, and your home.