Top Tips to Clean Your Dishwasher: Maintenance Guide for Freshness and Efficiency

Ever wondered why your dishwasher doesn’t seem to clean as well as it used to? Picture this: you open the dishwasher after a cycle, only to find spots and residue still clinging to your supposedly clean dishes. Frustrating, right? But fear not, as we’re here to guide you on the best way to tackle this common issue.

Have you ever paused to think about what you clean your dishwasher with? It’s easy to overlook this hardworking appliance when it comes to cleaning. But just like your dishes need a scrub now and then, your dishwasher deserves some TLC too. In this article, we’ll show you the simple yet effective ways to keep your dishwasher sparkling clean and odor-free.

Importance of Cleaning Your Dishwasher Regularly

Maintaining a clean dishwasher is crucial for optimal performance and prolonging its lifespan.

Here’s why cleaning your dishwasher regularly is essential:

  • Prevents Build-up: Regular cleaning helps prevent limescale, mineral deposits, and soap scum from accumulating, ensuring your dishes come out spotless.
  • Improves Efficiency: A clean dishwasher operates more efficiently, leading to better cleaning results and reduced energy consumption.
  • Eliminates Odors: Cleaning your dishwasher eliminates foul odors caused by trapped food particles and bacteria, keeping your kitchen fresh.

To keep your dishwasher in top condition, consider these simple yet effective cleaning tips:

  • Wipe Down: Regularly wipe down the door gasket, spray arm, and utensil holders with a mixture of vinegar and water to remove debris.
  • Run a Cleaning Cycle: Use a dishwasher cleaner and run a hot cleaning cycle without any dishes to eliminate build-up and odor.
  • Clean the Filter: Remove and rinse the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher to prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage.

Click here to preview your posts with PRO themes ››

By incorporating these habits into your routine, you’ll ensure your dishwasher remains clean, odor-free, and ready to tackle dirty dishes effectively.

Signs Your Dishwasher Needs Cleaning

  • Cloudy Dishes: When your dishes come out looking cloudy or still dirty, it’s a sign that your dishwasher might need cleaning.
  • Unpleasant Odors: If your dishwasher has started to emit a funky smell, it’s time to give it a good clean.
  • Visible Build-Up: Check for any visible build-up of food particles, grease, or limescale inside your dishwasher.
  • Longer Cycle Times: When your dishwasher takes longer than usual to complete a cycle, it could indicate a need for cleaning.
  • Loud Operation: Any unusual noises during the dishwasher cycle might mean it’s struggling due to dirt or debris.
  • Clogged Filter: A clogged filter can lead to poor drainage and ineffective cleaning, signaling a cleaning requirement.
60% of dishwasher failures are due to poor maintenance.
82% of people reported cleaner dishes after cleaning their dishwasher.*

Common Household Products for Cleaning Your Dishwasher

When it comes to cleaning your dishwasher, you don’t always need fancy products. Common household items can effectively clean and freshen up your machine. Here are some simple and affordable solutions you can use:

  • White Vinegar:
  • Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run a hot water cycle to deodorize and remove mineral deposits.
  • Baking Soda:
  • Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher to help scrub away stains and odors.
  • Citrus Peels:
  • Toss in some citrus peels to give your dishwasher a fresh, citrusy scent while it cleans.
  • Salt:
  • Use table salt to scrub the interior of your dishwasher for a sparkling clean finish.

By utilizing these everyday items, you can keep your dishwasher clean, fresh, and performing at its best. No need for fancy products—just raid your pantry for these effective cleaning solutions.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a simple step-by-step guide, you can keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Follow these easy steps to ensure your dishwasher stays clean and fresh:

  • Inspect Your Dishwasher: Check for any food particles or debris in the drain, filters, and along the edges.
  • Gather Cleaning Supplies: You’ll need white vinegar, baking soda, citrus peels, salt, and a soft brush.
  • Run a Vinegar Cycle: Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher and run a hot water cycle.
  • Sprinkle Baking Soda: After the vinegar cycle, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run another hot water cycle.
  • Scrub the Edges: Use a soft brush dipped in white vinegar to scrub the edges, crevices, and seals.
  • Freshen with Citrus Peels: For a fresh scent, add citrus peels to the silverware basket and run a short cycle.
  • Finish with Salt: Sprinkle salt on a damp sponge and gently scrub the interior to remove any remaining buildup.
  • Wipe Down Exterior: Don’t forget to wipe down the exterior of your dishwasher with a damp cloth for a shiny finish.
  • Regular Maintenance: Repeat these steps every few months to keep your dishwasher clean and odor-free.

Click here to preview your posts with PRO themes ››

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Dishwasher Clean

To maintain a fresh and efficient dishwasher, regular upkeep is key. Here are some effective maintenance tips to keep your dishwasher running smoothly:

  • Inspect Regularly: Check for food debris in the filter and door gasket.
  • Run Monthly Vinegar Cycle: Pour a cup of white vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run a cycle to sanitize and remove foul odors.
  • Use Baking Soda: Sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the dishwasher to deodorize and clean it.
  • Scrub the Edges: Use a soft brush dipped in vinegar to scrub away residue and mold along the door and edges.
  • Freshen with Citrus: Toss in some citrus peels to naturally refresh and dissipate odors.
  • Finish with Salt: Finish by sprinkling table salt to absorb lingering smells and maintain a clean interior.

Try these tips every few months to ensure your dishwasher remains clean, fresh, and odor-free for optimal performance.

Key Maintenance Tips for Your Dishwasher
Inspect Regularly
Run Monthly Vinegar Cycle
Use Baking Soda
Scrub the Edges
Freshen with Citrus
Finish with Salt


Now that you have learned these key maintenance tips, your dishwasher will stay clean, fresh, and odor-free for optimal performance. Remember to regularly inspect for food debris, run a monthly vinegar cycle, use baking soda to deodorize, scrub edges with vinegar, freshen with citrus peels, and finish with salt. By following these simple steps every few months, you’ll ensure that your dishwasher continues to work efficiently. Happy dishwashing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I inspect my dishwasher for food debris?

Inspect your dishwasher for food debris regularly to prevent clogs and maintain optimal performance.

Click here to preview your posts with PRO themes ››

How can I sanitize and remove odors from my dishwasher?

Run a monthly vinegar cycle to sanitize and remove odors effectively.

What is a natural way to deodorize my dishwasher?

Use baking soda to naturally deodorize your dishwasher and eliminate unpleasant smells.

How can I remove residue and mold from the edges of my dishwasher?

Scrub the edges of your dishwasher with vinegar to effectively remove residue and mold buildup.

How can I freshen my dishwasher with natural ingredients?

Freshen your dishwasher by using citrus peels to provide a fresh and pleasant scent.

What is a simple way to absorb smells in my dishwasher?

Finish by sprinkling salt in your dishwasher to absorb smells and keep it odor-free.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend