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

The best thing to clean the inside of a dishwasher is a combination of white vinegar and baking soda. These natural ingredients are safe, effective, and inexpensive. They can remove grease, food particles, soap scum, and odors from your dishwasher and make it look and smell fresh. In this article, we will show you how to use vinegar and baking soda to clean your dishwasher in a few simple steps.

Why do you need to clean your dishwasher?

You may think that your dishwasher is self-cleaning, since it washes your dishes with hot water and detergent every day. However, this is not the case. Over time, your dishwasher can accumulate dirt, grime, and bacteria that can affect its performance and hygiene. Some of the common problems that can arise from a dirty dishwasher are:

  • Poor cleaning results. Your dishes may come out with spots, stains, or food residue.
  • Unpleasant smells. Your dishwasher may emit a musty, sour, or rotten odor that can transfer to your dishes and kitchen.
  • Mold and mildew growth. Your dishwasher may harbor fungi that can cause health issues and damage your appliance.
  • Clogged filters and spray arms. Your dishwasher may have reduced water pressure and drainage due to food particles and grease that block the filters and spray arms.

To prevent these problems and keep your dishwasher in good shape, you need to clean it regularly. Experts recommend cleaning your dishwasher at least once a month, or more often if you use it frequently or notice any signs of dirtiness.

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How to clean your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda are two of the most versatile and eco-friendly cleaning products you can find in your pantry. Vinegar is a natural acid that can dissolve grease, soap scum, and mineral deposits. Baking soda is a natural alkali that can neutralize odors, remove stains, and gently scrub surfaces. Together, they can create a powerful cleaning solution that can tackle any dirt and grime in your dishwasher. Here is how to use them:

  • Step 1: Empty your dishwasher. Remove any dishes, utensils, and racks from your dishwasher. Check the bottom of the dishwasher for any large food scraps or debris and discard them.
  • Step 2: Clean the filter and spray arms. Locate the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher and remove it. Rinse it under warm water and scrub it with a soft brush or sponge. If it is very dirty, soak it in a bowl of vinegar for 15 minutes before rinsing. Check the spray arms for any clogged holes and clear them with a toothpick or a wire. Replace the filter and spray arms when they are clean.
  • Step 3: Run a vinegar cycle. Fill a dishwasher-safe cup or bowl with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run a normal cycle with hot water, but do not add any detergent or dishes. The vinegar will circulate throughout the dishwasher and loosen any dirt and grime.
  • Step 4: Run a baking soda cycle. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda over the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short cycle with hot water, but do not add any detergent or dishes. The baking soda will react with the vinegar and create a fizzing action that will further clean and deodorize the dishwasher.
  • Step 5: Wipe down the interior and exterior. After the cycles are done, open the dishwasher and wipe down the interior walls, door, and gasket with a damp cloth or sponge. You can also use a toothbrush to clean any hard-to-reach areas. For the exterior, use a cloth or paper towel with vinegar or a mild cleaner to wipe down the control panel, handle, and edges. If your dishwasher has a stainless steel finish, use a product designed for that material to avoid streaks and scratches.
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How to maintain your dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda is a simple and effective way to keep it in good condition. However, you also need to follow some maintenance tips to prolong its lifespan and efficiency. Here are some of them:

  • Use the right detergent and rinse aid. Choose a detergent that is suitable for your dishwasher and water hardness. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much to use and where to place it. Use a rinse aid to prevent water spots and improve drying performance.
  • Load your dishwasher properly. Do not overload or underload your dishwasher. Arrange your dishes and utensils in a way that allows water and detergent to reach all surfaces. Do not block the spray arms or the detergent dispenser. Scrape off any large food particles from your dishes before loading, but do not rinse them too much, as this can reduce the cleaning power of the detergent.
  • Run your dishwasher regularly. Do not let your dishes sit in the dishwasher for too long, as this can cause odors and bacteria growth. Run your dishwasher at least once a week, even if it is not full. This will prevent the seals and hoses from drying out and cracking.
  • Check and replace any worn or damaged parts. Inspect your dishwasher regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as leaks, cracks, rust, or corrosion. Replace any parts that are broken or malfunctioning, such as the filter, spray arms, gasket, or drain hose. You can find replacement parts online or at your local appliance store.
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Conclusion

Your dishwasher is an essential appliance that helps you keep your kitchen clean and organized. However, it also needs some care and attention to perform at its best. By cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda, you can remove any dirt, grime, and odors that may affect its function and appearance. By following some maintenance tips, you can extend its lifespan and efficiency. By doing these simple steps, you can enjoy a clean and fresh dishwasher that will serve you well for years to come.