When it comes to keeping our homes clean and tidy, we often forget to give our dishwasher the attention it deserves. However, with regular use, dishwashers can accumulate food debris, grease, and even mold, leading to foul odors and potential damage to the appliance. This article aims to provide you with the ultimate guide to keeping your dishwasher clean and fresh, including tips on inspecting, scraping, rinsing, and disinfecting your dishwasher regularly to ensure it lasts a long time.

10 Steps to Keep Your Dishwasher Clean and Fresh

Follow the steps below to keep your dishwasher clean and fresh for the long haul:

1. Inspect the dishwasher before use

Before turning on your dishwasher, make sure there are no loose food particles, utensils, or other debris in the appliance to avoid any damage to the dishwasher or your dishes.

2. Scrape food debris from dishes

Scrape off any chunks or leftover food particles from the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher to avoid any hard-to-remove debris or blockages.

3. Rinse dishes before loading

Rinsing dishes under hot water before loading them into the dishwasher ensures that the appliance is not overloaded with food debris, and helps prevent the growth of mold and unpleasant odors.

4. Use the right amount of detergent

Using too much or too little detergent can cause issues with your dishwasher, such as damage to the appliance’s seals and gaskets or build-up of residue.

5. Run hot water before starting the dishwasher

Running hot water before starting your dishwasher helps to ensure that the dishwasher gets the water temperatures it needs to sanitize dishes and prevents the growth of bacteria and mold.

6. Run a hot cycle with vinegar once a month

Running a hot water cycle with vinegar once a month helps to remove any mineral deposits, sanitize the dishwasher and clear build-up in the appliance’s pipes, spray arms, and filters.

7. Clean the dishwasher’s filter regularly

Cleaning the dishwasher’s filter regularly removes the unwanted food debris that can build up and impact the appliance’s performance. Check your owner’s manual to see how frequently you should clean your dishwasher’s filter.

8. Keep the dishwasher’s interior dry

Excess moisture inside the dishwasher can lead to mold and mildew, so make sure to keep the dishwasher’s interior dry. After each cycle, open the dishwasher’s door to let it air out and dry completely.

9. Check for leaks

Check the dishwasher for leaks regularly to prevent water damage, restore its integrity, and keep your home dry.

10. Disinfect the dishwasher with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant that can help sanitize your dishwasher. Add a cup to your dishwasher’s bottom, then run the dishwasher on its hottest cycle to eliminate germs and odors.

5 Natural Ways to Clean Your Dishwasher Without Harsh Chemicals

If you prefer using natural cleaning products over harsh chemicals, try one of these methods:

1. Use baking soda and vinegar

Mix baking soda and vinegar to create a powerful cleaner that can help scrub your dishwasher, clean out tough food stains, and remove unwanted odors.

2. Try using lemon juice and salt

Mix lemon juice and salt to create a paste and apply it to the dishwasher’s interior, then let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it clean with a brush or cloth.

3. Use tea tree oil and water

Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant, and when mixed with water can help sanitize your dishwasher and keep it smelling fresh. Add a few drops to the dishwasher’s bottom before running a hot cycle.

4. Try using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to create a cleansing paste that can help remove stains and odors while also disinfecting the dishwasher.

5. Use citrus peels and vinegar

Lemon or orange peels infused in vinegar can be a natural and powerful way to eliminate odors from the dishwasher. Fill a jar with the peels and white vinegar and let it sit for a few weeks, then use the vinegar to clean the dishwasher’s interior.

The Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Dishwasher

If your dishwasher could use a thorough cleaning, follow these steps:

1. Remove the racks and utensil holder

Remove the dishwasher’s racks and utensil holder, then clean them thoroughly with hot water and soap. Make sure they are dry before reinstalling.

2. Clean the interior with a brush and soapy water

Use a soft brush or sponge and clean the dishwasher’s interior with hot water and soap, making sure to reach every corner of the dishwasher. Be sure to clean the sidewalls and under the utensil holder.

3. Clean the spray arm and holes

The spray arms and holes distribute water throughout the dishwasher and can get clogged with buildup. Remove them and clean them with a brush or toothbrush to clear away any blockages or debris.

4. Clean the gasket and door

Clean the dishwasher’s gasket and door using hot water, soap, and a soft cloth. Be sure to get into the corners, and remove any mildew or mold that has accumulated.

5. Reinstall the racks and utensil holder

Reinstall the racks and utensil holder back to their original position.

6. Run a hot cycle with vinegar and baking soda

Run a hot cycle with vinegar and baking soda to remove any remaining buildup or stains, neutralize any odors, and leave the dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.

7 Common Mistakes You’re Making When Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Avoid these common mistakes to keep your dishwasher clean and in top working condition:

1. Not inspecting the dishwasher before use

Before starting your dishwasher, make sure there are no loose food particles or utensils that could cause harm to the appliance or your dishes.

2. Overloading the dishwasher

When you overload the dishwasher, dishes may not be cleaned properly, which means you will have to run the cycle again. Overloading may also prevent the dishwasher’s spray arm from rotating, which means not all the dirty dishes get cleaned.

3. Using too much detergent

Using too much detergent can lead to the buildup of residue, which can cause damage to the dishwasher’s seals and gaskets. Use the correct amount of detergent as instructed.

4. Not cleaning the dishwasher’s filter

Failure to clean the dishwasher’s filter can lead to a buildup of food debris, potentially blocking the drain and causing the dishwasher to malfunction.

5. Not drying the dishwasher’s interior

Excess moisture inside the dishwasher can lead to mold growth and mildew, so make sure to let your dishwasher dry between cycles by opening the door or wiping it dry.

6. Using the wrong cleaning products

Using the wrong cleaning products can damage the dishwasher, so be sure to use cleaning products approved for use in dishwashers and avoid harsh chemicals as much as possible.

7. Neglecting regular maintenance

Regularly maintaining your dishwasher can keep it functioning optimally for the long haul. Make sure to clean, disinfect, and inspect your dishwasher on a monthly basis to ensure it lasts a long time.

Why Regular Maintenance of Your Dishwasher is the Key to a Long-Lasting Appliance

Regular maintenance is the key to a long-lasting dishwasher. By regularly cleaning and inspecting your dishwasher, you can prevent major malfunctions and extend the life of your appliance. Not only will this save you money in costly repairs or replacements, but it can also help to improve the overall cleanliness and hygiene of your kitchen.

From Vinegar to Baking Soda: The Best Household Products for Effectively Cleaning Your Dishwasher

There are many household items you can use to clean your dishwasher effectively:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tea tree oil
  • Citrus peels

Each of these items has its pros and cons, so be sure to choose the cleaning product that works best for your dishwasher and your preferences.


Cleaning your dishwasher can be easy and straightforward, but it requires regular maintenance and proper cleaning techniques. By following the tips provided in this ultimate guide, you can keep your dishwasher clean and smelling fresh, prevent mold and odors, and extend the life of your appliance. So, roll up your sleeves, grab a sponge, and get ready to give your dishwasher the love it deserves.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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