how to clean dishwasher

How to Clean Your Dishwasher: Mastering Dishwasher Maintenance

Discovering the art of maintaining a spotless kitchen involves more than just tidying up countertops and stovetops. Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, the humble dishwasher quietly stands as an essential component of our culinary routine. It’s easy to overlook its care, but learning how to clean a dishwasher is fundamental to kitchen hygiene and efficiency.

In this guide, we unravel the intricacies of mastering dishwasher maintenance, ensuring that this diligent helper continues to provide sparkling results for years. From tackling odors to unclogging spray arms, we delve into a step-by-step process that redefines your dishwasher’s performance.

Embrace the knowledge and techniques shared here to make your dishwasher an asset that contributes not only to cleaner dishes but also to the overall harmony of your kitchen.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Emptying Your Dishwasher For Cleaning

Before diving into cleaning your dishwasher, it’s crucial to start with a clean slate. This means making sure your dishwasher is empty before you begin. Take a moment to remove all dishes, utensils, and other items lingering inside.

This step allows you to access every nook and cranny more effectively and ensures that you’re giving your dishwasher a thorough cleaning. Remember to remove the racks and utensil holders, too; this will enable you to clean them separately, leaving no spot untouched in your mission of revitalizing your trusty cleaning companion.

Step 2: Check and Clean the Filter For Cleaning Dishwasher

Now, let’s delve into a critical component that keeps your dishwasher running smoothly: the filter. This unsung hero plays a vital role in trapping debris and food particles, preventing them from recirculating onto your dishes.

To maintain its efficiency, you’ll want to clean it regularly. Begin by locating the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher. Gently remove it and thoroughly rinse under warm water to dislodge any stubborn buildup.

Use a soft brush to scrub away residue for a deeper cleanse gently. By cleaning this filter, you’re enhancing your dishwasher’s performance and ensuring that every cleaning cycle results in dishes that truly shine.

Step 3: Wiping the Interior Clean of the Dishwasher

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and love your dishwasher’s interior. To get started on this essential step of cleaning your dishwasher, grab a damp cloth and a gentle dish soap. Gently scrub the interior surfaces to remove any lingering residue or stains.

 Don’t forget to pay special attention to the door gasket and rubber seals – these areas are notorious for trapping moisture and can become a breeding ground for mold if neglected. By thoroughly cleaning these spots, you’re ensuring a fresher smell and promoting a healthier environment for your dishes. So, make your dishwasher’s insides shine as bright as your clean dishes!

Step 4: Reviving the Spray Arms For Cleaning Dishwasher

Cleaning Dishwasher filter

Clearing your dishwasher’s spray arms is the next vital task on your cleaning journey. Picture this: clogged spray arm nozzles can hamper water distribution during cycles, leading to less effective cleaning. Fear not, for a simple solution awaits! Grab a trusty toothbrush and set to work on the spray arms with gentle determination.

Using the toothbrush, dislodge any buildup that might be causing blockages. This process rejuvenates the water flow and covers every corner of your dishwasher. With transparent spray arms, you’re giving your dishes the gift of thorough cleaning and yourself the satisfaction of knowing your dishwasher is performing at its peak capacity.

Step 5: Freshening with Baking Soda In Dishwasher Base

As you proceed with learning how to clean your dishwasher, a touch of natural magic awaits in the form of baking soda. Deodorizing your dishwasher is a breeze – sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda across the dishwasher’s base. This humble ingredient performs a dual role: it absorbs stubborn odors and is gentle abrasive.

Let the baking soda work wonders for a few hours, allowing it to soak up unwanted scents. Once the waiting game is over, grab a damp cloth and gently wipe away the baking soda. This simple step leaves your dishwasher smelling fresh and ready for its next cleaning cycle.

Step 6: Cleaning dishwasher with vinegar

Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar is a simple and effective way to maintain its performance and cleanliness. Vinegar is a natural and powerful cleaner that helps remove mineral deposits, odors, and buildup from the interior of your dishwasher. 

How to Clean a Dishwasher with Vinegar

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean a dishwasher with vinegar:

Materials Needed:

  • White vinegar
  • Cup or container


  • Empty the Dishwasher: Make sure your dishwasher is empty before you begin cleaning. Remove any dishes, utensils, and racks.
  • Place the Vinegar: Take a cup of white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. The vinegar will work to break down mineral deposits and remove any lingering odors.
  • Run a Hot Water Cycle: Set your dishwasher to a hot water cycle. Choose the hottest water temperature available. Combining vinegar and hot water will help dissolve built-up residue and clean the dishwasher’s interior.
  • Pause Mid-Cycle: Once the dishwasher has filled with hot water and started the wash cycle, pause the machine for 15-20 minutes. This allows the vinegar to work its way through the dishwasher’s components.
  • Complete the Cycle: After the pause, resume and let it run. The vinegar-infused hot water thoroughly cleans the interior, including the spray arms, filters, and other hard-to-reach areas.

Step 7: Refreshing the Exterior Of Dishwasher

Give your dishwasher’s exterior some attention to match its newly cleaned interior. First, dampen a cloth and apply a mild cleaner to wipe down the control panels and handles.

These areas can accumulate fingerprints and grime over time, so a gentle cleaning ensures a polished look. Regular exterior maintenance enhances your kitchen’s appearance and complements the effort you’ve put into cleaning the dishwasher’s insides.

How to Clean a Dishwasher

Step 8: Caring for Stainless Steel Surfaces

Maintaining their lustrous shine requires special care for those with stainless steel dishwashers. After cleaning, apply a dedicated stainless steel cleaner to a soft cloth. Gently rub the cleaner onto the stainless steel surfaces, following the grain.

This step removes smudges and provides a protective layer against future stains. Embracing stainless steel care ensures your dishwasher’s sleek aesthetics endure.

Step 9: Reassembling and Sustaining the dishwasher

With your dishwasher components gleaming, it’s time to reassemble the racks and utensil holders. Make sure they’re scorched before reattaching them. To prolong your dishwasher’s newfound cleanliness, adopt a few practices.

Scrape off excess food from dishes before loading, and consider running a vinegar cleaning cycle monthly. These simple habits maintain the appliance’s efficiency and keep it odor-free.

Step 10: Embrace a Regular Routine to Clean the Dishwasher

As you wrap up the cleaning process, remember the importance of consistency. Create a regular cleaning schedule for your dishwasher to ensure its peak performance persists. By making dishwasher maintenance routine, you’ll ensure clean dishes and a well-functioning kitchen companion. With your newfound knowledge of cleaning a dishwasher, maintaining this crucial appliance becomes a seamless part of your kitchen upkeep.


Mastering the art of cleaning your dishwasher is a journey that leads to a more efficient and pleasant kitchen experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide on cleaning a dishwasher, you’re ensuring sparkling dishes and prolonging the life of this invaluable appliance.

Each step plays a crucial role, from tackling the interior and scrubbing spray arms to using vinegar for a thorough cleanse. A clean dishwasher doesn’t just enhance your kitchen’s cleanliness but also contributes to improved efficiency. So, remember that a well-maintained dishwasher isn’t just a cleaning tool – it’s a partner in creating a more organized, hygienic, and enjoyable kitchen environment.


1. Why is cleaning my dishwasher necessary?

Regular cleaning prevents odors, buildup, and clogs that can affect performance. It ensures cleaner dishes and prolongs the dishwasher’s lifespan.

2. How often should I clean my dishwasher?

A thorough cleaning every 1-2 months is recommended. Regular maintenance, like wiping down after use, keeps it in shape.

3. Can I use regular dish soap to clean the interior?

It’s best to use a mild dish soap. Harsh detergents might leave residue or damage components. Opt for gentle cleaners to ensure a clean, safe result.

4. What’s the benefit of using vinegar?

Vinegar dissolves mineral deposits, removes odors, and enhances cleaning. A vinegar cycle clears residue, leaving your dishwasher fresher and more efficient.

5. Can I clean stainless steel interiors with abrasive materials?

Avoid abrasive scrubbers to prevent scratches. Instead, use soft cloths, mild cleaners, and stainless steel-specific products for a polished, scratch-free finish.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top