How to Clean Your Dishwasher

How to Clean Your Dishwasher via Clean Mama

It doesn’t necessarily make sense to have to clean an appliance that cleans, but food particles and minerals can build up in your dishwasher preventing it from cleaning thoroughly.Β  Add cleaning your dishwasher to your cleaning rotation – your dishes will be cleaner and your dishwasher will run more efficiently.

ADD IT TO YOUR ROUTINE: If you’re adding cleaning your dishwasher to your cleaning rotation, completely clean it every month or at least every 3 months.


Start by running the dishwasher and removing any clean dishes.
Wipe the seal and edges with white vinegar via Clean Mama
Wipe the edges and seal with your favorite all-purpose cleaner or white vinegar.
Remove the Bottom Rack and Check for Food Particles via Clean mama
Remove the bottom rack and check for any food particles or blockages.
Add 1 cup white vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher via clean mama
Pour a cup of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and sprinkle with about 1/4 cup baking soda (optional) – the baking soda can help to break down any build up with the vinegar.

Run short cycle via Clean Mama

Run dishwasher on a quick wash, hot, sanitize cycle.Β  This will ensure that your dishwasher is completely clean and that any mineral build-up is washed away.

When the dishwasher has completed its cycle wipe dry with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher via Clean Mama Infographic

Cleaning your dishwasher will take about 5 minutes of hands-on cleaning time and however long it takes to run the dishwasher cycle.Β  Try this quick and easy cleaning method today!


  1. your new design is so great! i love the simplified version πŸ™‚

  2. Jennifer Hoffman says:

    Is this task listed on the monthly calendar?

  3. What’s the best way to remove food blockages? My dishwasher reeks so I’m sure there’s something stuck in it, but I can’t find anything. I’ve run a commercial dishwasher cleaner in it using the cleaning mode, too.

    • If you can unscrew the bottom plate, try that. That’s probably where the food is….

      • Thanks, I’ll try that.

        • That smell is probably the same gelatinous crud I found after I removed the filter/screen in bottom of tub. Dig it out gently, then put the vinegar & baking soda to it. I mistakenly used a heavy duty bottle brush & some of it’s bristles broke off & clogged up the intake. That was a $65.00 mistake.

  4. I feel for ya Lynn! I ended up removing the strainer and another layer or so of the bottom of the dishwasher to remove ground up food gunk. Take pics as you take it apart so you can get it back together properly. That tip comes from working on cars. πŸ˜‰

  5. Is this okay to use for a stainless steel interior dishwasher too? Just double checking before I try it πŸ™‚

  6. It seems like my dishwasher “drains” any standing water before it starts. If I pour the vinegar in, wouldn’t it just drain that out before it begins? Seems like I have seen a post that suggests putting the vinegar in a bowl on the top shelf.

  7. When do you use the baking soda?

  8. Michelle O'Connell says:

    What’s the best way to get smoke stains off a white marble fire place?

  9. I use Tang orange drink powder mix in mine occasionally. It works also.

  10. Becky,
    I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am that I stumbled upon this tutorial today! My husband is in the military so we move into many houses that are, let’s say, well loved. I just did this in our home we’ve recently moved into and MY GOODNESS! The gunk, junk, and stink that came off was amazing! I will be doing this for the rest of my life and sharing with all of my fellow military spouses. Thank you so much and keep up the great work!

  11. Would the baking soda and vinegar work on an hg washer?

  12. you just saved me several hundred dollars. I’ve been hand washing my dishes because my dishwasher left gunk on my dishes. I was starting to look for a new machine when I saw your instructions on Pinterest. I decided to try cleaning it. I had to take the whole thing apart because of the cement like mineral deposits and dishwasher detergent. It took me all day, but the results were worth it. My machine works again! I am following your suggestion to use vinegar and soda each month to keep it in good shape. Thanks so much! #No more dishwater hands.

  13. Open the dishwasher door ….down at the bottom along the bottom of the door you will find a lot of gunk and junk buildup… i wear rubber gloves to get this off… keep scraping till it is all off……….it can be a mess for sure

  14. Ever since doing this in my dishwasher my dishes come out after the dry cycle with a white powdery coating dried on them. Plus it’s on the black spatulas and turns them white. You can see it on the silverware also. I ran it empty on rinse cycle several several times with no changes. Any suggestions?

    • Did you use the baking soda? If you did it sounds like that hasn’t rinsed out completely? Try running it empty through a complete cycle – not just a rinse cycle πŸ™‚

  15. I was just telling my husband we need to clean our dishwasher. He has a surprise look on his face >_<

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