Simple and Effective Way to Clean a Dishwasher with Vinegar Infographic Cleanzen


Your dishwasher uses very hot water, detergent and a heating element to do the dishes for you, so it’s easy to assume that the appliance’s interior would remain clean without extra effort. However, this is not the case. The interior of your dishwasher can develop a buildup of soap residue as well as food particles and grease. The good news is that deep cleaning your dishwasher is easy to do with vinegar.


How Do You Know When It’s Time to Clean Your Dishwasher?


Generally, your dishwasher should be deep cleaned with vinegar every few weeks. You can determine if it’s time to clean the dishwasher by looking at the racks and walls. If you can see soap scum and other residue, you need to clean the dishwasher using vinegar.


How to Deep Clean a Dishwasher With Vinegar


Cleaning your dishwasher with white vinegar requires minimal time and effort, and it can make a big impact on how clean your dishes are. What are the steps?

  • Add a cup of white vinegar to a dishwasher-safe coffee mug. This mug should be heavy enough that it won’t flip over during the cleaning cycle. Choose distilled white vinegar over cleaning vinegar.
  • Put the mug with the vinegar in it upright in the dishwasher.
  • Run the dishwasher on the hot water setting as usual. The vinegar will remove all of the grease, soap residue and food particles that are caked on the dishwasher’s racks and walls.
  • When the dishwasher cycle is done, look for large particles of food that are at the bottom of the dishwasher. These can be removed by hand using a dish cloth.
  • After removing the chunks, sprinkle baking soda on the drain. Then, pour a cup of vinegar on the baking soda. This will produce a chemical reaction that removes any remaining grime from the drain.
  • While you may not have cleaned your dishwasher with vinegar before, this process should be completed every three or four weeks for optimal results.


Here’s a walkthrough on how you can safely clean your dishwashers with vinegar.



Tips to Keep Your Dishwasher Clean Longer


Your garbage disposal drain is linked to your dishwasher drain. Before starting each load, run the garbage disposal with clean water until you can hear that the disposal is clear of debris. Remember to follow deep cleaning instructions for your garbage disposal regularly as well.


In addition to focusing on the garbage disposal, you should pay attention to the dishes as you place them in the dishwasher. By pre-rinsing the dishes, you can prevent a grimy buildup at the bottom of the dishwasher on the drain. Never overload the dishwasher. Doing so can prevent the water from circulating and cleaning the dishes thoroughly. This can lead to a dirtier dishwasher as well as dirty dishes.


Simple and Effective Way to Clean a Dishwasher with Vinegar Cleanzen Image of Young Woman Putting Dishes in Dishwashing Machine


After each load, inspect the drain. Remove any food particles that you find there right away. This will prevent them from rotting and causing bad odors. It will also minimize the risk of having a clogged drain down the road.


While you are cleaning the dishwasher’s interior, remember to focus on the perimeter of the door and the exterior of the door. Mold can grow along the sides of the dishwasher where the seal is, so ensure that this is cleaned regularly.


When deep cleaning the dishwasher, do so with an empty load. As the salt in your dishwasher combines with the vinegar, it can create a chemical reaction. This reaction can damage all of your metal items, so they should not be in the dishwasher when it is being deep cleaned.


Can White Vinegar Destroy Your Dishwasher?

White vinegar is acidic, so it can damage the gaskets and rubber seals in your dishwasher with repeated use. If this happens, your dishwasher may leak with each use. However, by placing the coffee mug upright in the dishwasher, the vinegar will steam the dishwasher. You should never apply undiluted vinegar directly to the seals and gaskets. Instead, periodically wash these with a soapy cloth.




How do you know if there is mold in your dishwasher?

Mold in the dishwasher will generally be black or dark green. If you spot a dark-colored growth in your dishwasher or along the perimeter along the seal, you likely have mold in the dishwasher. To clean the mold, use the deep cleaning method with vinegar. However, do not apply vinegar to the rubber seals as this can cause damage. You can use hot, soapy water to safely tackle mold on the seal.


How do I deep clean my dishwasher without vinegar?

An alternative to cleaning the dishwasher with vinegar is to use baking soda. Pour a cup of baking soda across the dishwasher’s floor. Run an empty load on the hot water setting. Do not add detergent to the load.


Is bleach or vinegar better to clean a dishwasher?

While bleach can kill mold and bacteria, it is not suitable for use in the dishwasher because it is so abrasive. Rather than washing the dishwasher with mold, use the deep cleaning method using white vinegar or baking soda instead.


Your dishwasher is only one of many areas of the home that need to be deep cleaned regularly. Staying on top of your home’s regular and deep cleaning needs are essential for a healthy home. While it’s challenging to tackle all of the chores yourself, you don’t have to do it alone. Our Boston cleaners are available to provide the extensive services you need now and in the future. Contact the Cleanzen team today to learn more.


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