How to Clean Your Dishwasher: Effective Tips for Sparkling Results

Tired of a dishwasher that doesn’t quite sparkle like it used to? Ever wonder what secret items you can toss in there to give it a thorough clean? Picture this: you open your dishwasher after a cycle, only to find lingering grime and mysterious odors. Frustrating, right? But fear not, because in this article, you’ll discover the surprising things you can run through your dishwasher to bring back that fresh, clean shine. From kitchen staples to everyday items, we’ll show you how to make the most of your dishwasher for a spotless clean every time. Get ready to transform your dishwasher into a cleaning powerhouse with these simple tips and tricks.


One of the most versatile and effective cleaning agents for your dishwasher is vinegar. It’s a natural and budget-friendly solution that can help tackle grime and odors. Here’s how you can use vinegar to keep your dishwasher clean and fresh:

  • Run a Cycle with Vinegar: Place a cup of vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. Run a hot water cycle to help sanitize and deodorize the interior.
  • Clean the Spray Arms: Remove the bottom and top spray arms and soak them in a mixture of vinegar and water to loosen any buildup or debris.
  • Wipe Down Surfaces: Use a cloth dampened with vinegar to wipe down the door gasket, detergent dispenser, and any other areas where residue may accumulate.

By incorporating vinegar into your dishwasher maintenance routine, you can maintain its performance and extend its lifespan.

Baking Soda

When it comes to cleaning your dishwasher, Baking Soda is another powerhouse ingredient to have on hand. This versatile product helps eliminate odors, break down grease, and remove stains.

How to Use Baking Soda:

  • Deodorize: Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher in between cycles to neutralize any lingering odors.
  • Scrub: Create a paste with baking soda and water to scrub away tough stains on the interior walls or door of your dishwasher.
  • Freshen Up: For a quick refresh, run an empty cycle with a cup of baking soda to keep your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh.

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Why It Works:

Baking soda is known for its natural cleaning and deodorizing properties. It’s gentle yet effective, making it a great option for maintaining a clean and odor-free dishwasher.

Key Point Details
Benefits – Odor elimination
– Grease breakdown
– Stain removal
Action Steps – Sprinkle in between cycles
– Create a scrub paste
– Run an empty cycle with baking soda
Effectiveness Natural cleaning agent


When it comes to keeping your dishwasher fresh and clean, lemons can be your go-to natural solution. Their acidic properties help cut through grease and grime, leaving your dishwasher smelling citrus-fresh. Here’s how you can use lemons effectively for dishwasher cleaning:

  • Lemon Slices: Place a few lemon slices in the utensil holder and run a hot water cycle to deodorize your dishwasher.
  • Lemon Juice: Pour a cup of lemon juice into a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack and run a hot water cycle to help remove buildup and stains.
  • Lemon Rinse: After cleaning, give your dishwasher a final rinse by running a cycle with lemon water – a mixture of water and lemon juice – to leave it smelling fresh.

Lemons are a versatile and cost-effective solution for maintaining a clean and odor-free dishwasher. Try incorporating them into your cleaning routine for a refreshing twist on dishwashing maintenance.

Dishwasher-Safe Toys and Utensils

When it comes to cleaning your dishwasher effectively, utilizing dishwasher-safe toys and utensils can be a game-changer. These items are often overlooked but can accumulate dirt and bacteria over time.

  • Small plastic toys: Gather up your child’s small plastic toys that are dishwasher-safe and place them in the utensil holder. Running them through a cycle can sanitize them effectively.
  • Silicone kitchen utensils: Cooking utensils like spatulas, ladles, and whisks can get greasy and lose their shine. Pop them in the dishwasher for a hassle-free way to keep them clean and hygienic.
  • Plastic toothbrush holders or soap dishes: These little items in your dishwasher can reduce grime buildup and keep your bathroom essentials sparkling clean.
  • Pet food bowls: Don’t forget about your furry friends! Regularly washing their food or water bowls in the dishwasher helps maintain their health and cleanliness.
  • Mesh strainers and vegetable scrubbers: Items that come into contact with food particles can harbor germs. Putting them through a dishwasher cycle ensures they’re thoroughly disinfected.

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Incorporating these everyday items into your dishwasher cleaning routine can elevate the hygiene and freshness of your kitchen and home effortlessly.

Rubber Seals and Removable Parts

When cleaning your dishwasher, it’s crucial to pay attention to rubber seals and removable parts. Over time, these areas can accumulate grime and buildup, affecting the dishwasher’s performance. Here’s how to tackle this task effectively:

  • Rubber Seals: Check the door seal for any food particles or residue. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Ensure it’s completely dry before closing the door to prevent mold growth.
  • Removable Parts: Take out any removable components like the silverware basket and dish racks. Scrub them with a mixture of vinegar and water to eliminate stubborn stains and odors. Don’t forget to clean the filter as well for optimal dishwasher function.

Remember, maintaining these often overlooked areas is key to a well-functioning dishwasher and spotless dishes.


Keep your dishwasher running smoothly by regularly cleaning overlooked areas like rubber seals and removable parts. Using natural cleaning agents like lemons and vinegar can effectively remove buildup and ensure spotless dishes. Remember to wipe down seals with a mild detergent and scrub removable parts with a vinegar and water mixture. By maintaining these key components, you’ll not only prolong the life of your dishwasher but also guarantee optimal performance. Happy cleaning!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use lemons for natural cleaning in my dishwasher?

Yes, lemons are a great natural cleaner for dishwashers. Cut a lemon in half and run a cycle. It helps with odor and grease removal.

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Are dishwasher-safe toys and utensils effective to clean in the dishwasher?

Yes, using dishwasher-safe toys and utensils is effective. Place them on the top rack to avoid any damage during the washing cycle.

Why is it important to clean rubber seals and removable parts in dishwashers?

Cleaning rubber seals and removable parts prevents mold and bacteria buildup. It also ensures a longer lifespan for your dishwasher.

How do I clean rubber seals and removable parts in my dishwasher?

Wipe rubber seals with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Scrub removable parts with a mixture of vinegar and water for a thorough clean.

Why is proper maintenance of rubber seals and removable parts crucial for a dishwasher?

Proper maintenance ensures a well-functioning dishwasher and helps to maintain hygiene, preventing cross-contamination during wash cycles.

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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