Expert Guide: How to Clean Inside of Dishwasher for Sparkling Dishes

Tired of opening your dishwasher to find dishes that still look dirty? Ever wondered what’s lurking inside your dishwasher that might be causing this issue? Well, you’re not alone. The inside of your dishwasher can get dirty too, affecting its performance. But fret not! In this article, you’ll discover simple and effective ways to clean the inside of your dishwasher with items you probably already have at home.

Picture this: you load your sparkling clean dishes into the dishwasher, only to have them come out looking less than satisfactory. Frustrating, right? The culprit might be a dirty dishwasher. By learning how to properly clean the inside of your dishwasher, you can say goodbye to those pesky food particles and residue, and hello to spotless dishes every time.

Importance of Cleaning the Inside of Your Dishwasher

Wondering why you should bother cleaning your dishwasher when its job is to clean dishes? Let’s dive into a few reasons:

  • Efficiency Boost: Clean parts mean better performance. A dirty dishwasher has to work harder.
  • Odor Prevention: A stinky dishwasher can transfer unpleasant smells to your dishes.
  • Extend Lifespan: Regular cleaning can extend the lifespan of your dishwasher.

Ready for the next step? Let’s explore what you can use to clean your trusty dishwasher.

Signs Your Dishwasher Needs Cleaning

  • Food Residue: Are you noticing food particles stuck on dishes after a wash?
  • Cloudy Glasses: Do your glassware come out looking dull and cloudy?
  • Foul Odors: Is there a lingering unpleasant smell inside your dishwasher and on clean dishes?
  • Slow Drainage: Do you see water pooling at the bottom of the dishwasher after a cycle?
  • Visible Build-Up: Take a look at the walls and bottom of the dishwasher – do you spot grime or mold growth?

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Sign Description
Food Residue Food particles visibly remaining on dishes after washing.
Cloudy Glasses Glassware appearing dull and cloudy after a wash cycle.
Foul Odors Lingering unpleasant smell inside dishwasher and on dishes.
Slow Drainage Water pooling at the bottom of the dishwasher post-cycle.
Visible Build-Up Grime or mold growth on walls and bottom of the dishwasher.

Items Needed to Clean Your Dishwasher

To effectively clean the inside of your dishwasher, you’ll need a few common household items. Here’s what you should gather before starting the cleaning process:

  • White vinegar: Helps to remove limescale and soap scum buildup.
  • Baking soda: Acts as a gentle abrasive to scrub away tough stains.
  • Toothbrush: Useful for scrubbing small and hard-to-reach areas.
  • Microfiber cloth: Great for wiping down surfaces and removing residue.
  • Dish soap: Works well for general cleaning and degreasing.
  • Old toothpicks or brushes: Ideal for cleaning nooks and crannies.
  • Rubber gloves: Protects your hands from hot water and cleaning solutions.

By having these items on hand, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the task of cleaning your dishwasher efficiently.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning the Inside of Your Dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and these simple steps, you can ensure that your dishwasher is functioning at its best:

  • Step 1: Remove any food debris: Check the bottom of your dishwasher for any food particles or debris that could be clogging the drain. Clean it out.
  • Step 2: Wipe down the walls and racks: Use a mixture of warm water and dish soap to wipe down the interior walls and racks of your dishwasher. Pay special attention to corners and crevices.
  • Step 3: Clean the spinning arms: Inspect the spinning arms for any blockages and use a toothpick or brush to clear out any obstructions.
  • Step 4: Run a cleaning cycle: Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run a hot water cycle to remove residue and odors.
  • Step 5: Deodorize with baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short hot water cycle to deodorize and clean.
  • Step 6: Polish the exterior: Don’t forget to wipe down the exterior of your dishwasher with a damp cloth to give it a clean finish.

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Regular maintenance like this will help prolong the life of your dishwasher and ensure sparkling clean dishes every time.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Dishwasher

To keep your dishwasher in top shape, here are some handy tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down the interior and door seals weekly to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
  • Filter Check: Clean the filter at the bottom every few weeks to ensure optimal performance.
  • Vinegar Rinse: Run a cleaning cycle with white vinegar once a month to remove any lingering odors and buildup.
  • Baking Soda Boost: Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher before running a cycle to freshen it up.
  • Proper Loading: Avoid overcrowding the racks to ensure water reaches all dishes properly.

Frequency Task
Weekly Wipe down interior and door seals
Every Few Weeks Clean the filter at the bottom
Monthly Run cleaning cycle with white vinegar

Remember, a well-maintained dishwasher not only ensures clean dishes but also extends the appliance’s lifespan.


Keep your dishwasher in top condition by following these simple maintenance tips. Regularly wiping down the interior and door seals, cleaning the filter, running a white vinegar cycle, and using baking soda will ensure a fresh and clean appliance. Remember to load your dishwasher correctly to avoid issues and achieve the best results. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you’ll not only enjoy spotless dishes but also prolong the life of your dishwasher. Happy cleaning!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean the interior and door seals of my dishwasher?

It is recommended to wipe down the interior and door seals weekly to prevent the buildup of grime and mold.

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How frequently should I clean the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher?

Cleaning the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher every few weeks ensures proper water drainage and prevents clogs.

How often should I run a white vinegar cleaning cycle for my dishwasher?

To maintain optimal performance, running a white vinegar cleaning cycle monthly helps remove mineral deposits and keeps the dishwasher smelling fresh.

Can baking soda be used to freshen up the dishwasher?

Yes, using baking soda can help eliminate odors and freshen up the dishwasher effectively.

Why is proper loading of dishes important for dishwasher performance?

Proper loading prevents overcrowding, allowing water and detergent to reach all dishes for a thorough and efficient cleaning cycle.

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.

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