Jump to Specific Section1How Often Should a Dishwasher Be Cleaned?Several manufacturers advise cleaning








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Front of a dishwasher in a kitchen.


And to do that, the entire interior, door, gasket, and filter must be cleaned


Why Dishwasher Cleaning Is Important

Close up of a dirty dishwasher.

One essential preventative measure in home maintenance is cleaning the dishwasher If you routinely put off doing this chore, your appliance will accumulate undesirable residue like minerals, grease, grime, and limescale It will lose effectiveness over time compromising its effectiveness over time Alternatively put, your dishwasher simply won't clean things as thoroughly Think plates with stuck-on crumbs and cloudy wine glasses Additionally, its poor performance might force you to spend money on unnecessary, expensive repairs. .

Nobody wants the unpleasant smell that can develop from a dirty dishwasher. So, for the sake of your future dishes and the current state of your kitchen, follow the tips below and clean your dishwasher on a regular basis

Cleaning Dishwasher Components.

Someone soaking and cleaning a dishwasher part.

On the other hand, if you put your dishwasher through the wringer on a regular basis, you may want to consider cleaning it more frequently than once a month Dishwasher racks and the utensil holder should be removed Then, after you have a better sense of how dirty your dishwasher actually gets in a month’s time, you can adjust your cleaning schedule





Someone placing a measuring cup full of vinegar into a dishwasher.




Why It's Important to Clean a Dishwasher After that, put a dishwasher-safe bowl containing 1 cup of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher Run the dishwasher's hottest cycle



Cleaning a dishwasher is a key preventative step in home maintenance If you habitually put this chore off, unwanted residue like minerals, grease, grime and limescale will build up inside your unit Over time, it will become less effective compromising its effectiveness over time

In other words, your dishwasher just won’t clean things as well Put a bowl that is dishwasher and bleach safe with 1 cup of bleach in it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Then run a full cycle, but skip the drying cycle

A word of advice: Bleach will damage stainless steel dishwashers and dishwashers with stainless steel components Additionally, avoid using bleach when cleaning with vinegar or baking soda


How to Clean a Dishwasher Door and Gasket

Someone using a toothbrush to clean small spaces.

Sanitize the interior of the dishwasher door. Use a soft, old toothbrush and a solution of three cups of hot water and one-half cup of vinegar to gently clean the rubber gasket Several manufacturers will advise you to only use warm water when cleaning, so be sure to follow your dishwasher's instructions

Read the manufacturer's instructions to determine whether you can use an all-purpose cleaner or other product to clean the gasket without damaging it if it still appears dirty or exhibits signs of mold or mildew

How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

A person removing the filter from the dishwasher.

Even though many more recent dishwashers have self-cleaning filters, if your particular model has a manual filter, remove it and clean it once a month or more frequently as necessary More details on how to clean a dishwasher filter can be found in your owner's manual, but in general, remove and rinse the filter by following these steps:

  • Gently remove the upper dishwasher filter after unlocking it Remove the lower filter as well if your model has one.
  • Look inside the dishwasher's filter base for any food that might be trapped there To clean the area, use a damp microfiber towel
  • If there are food particles stuck on, gently scrub it with a tiny, soft-bristle brush.

One of the easiest ways to clean a dishwasher is by starting with the removable parts Take out the utensil holder and dishwasher racks

Rinse or wipe them to remove bits of food 


Someone cleaning the inside of the dishwasher.


If foods are caked-on, fill your sink half-full with warm water and add 2 cups of white vinegar

Vinegar is natural and safe to use in your dishwasher and works as a DIY dishwasher cleaner Place the parts in the sink and let them soak for 20 minutes Then rinse them and put them back in place

Carefully pour the water down the dishwasher drain as the boil is winding down to help remove any debris or clogs. Slowly complete this, being careful to avoid being splashed by the hot water





Someone cleaning the outside of the dishwasher.




Use a glass cleaner or stainless steel cleaner on a stainless steel dishwasher


How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher

A person washing the dishwasher filter.

Sometimes dishwashers don’t just fail to clean dishes properly, they also start to smell bad These odors are frequently caused by food particles stuck in the dishwasher drain or in the spray arm jets Grime can accumulate inside a dishwasher until your dishes no longer get properly clean

Check the spray arms first, and if necessary, use toothpicks to unclog any obstructed jets. To clean up any dirt from the bottom of the dishwasher tub, use paper towels or a cloth. If the smell continues, clean the dishwasher's interior once more or as often as necessary


Finding a cleaning technique that works for you and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule are the best ways to keep a dishwasher clean. Here’s how: First, empty the dishwasher

Are you prepared to find cleaning supplies or other items in your neighborhood store to clean a dishwasher. Check inventory and find products using The Home Depot app. We'll lead you directly to the aisle and bay.

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