Can You Put Bleach In Dishwasher? Is It Safe to Use?

Like other appliances, dishwashers also accumulate dirt and grime and thus need cleaning.

For cleaning, people mostly use white vinegar and baking soda. For sanitizing, most people are clueless about what to use.

The most sought-after material for sanitizing by domestic users is bleach. But Can You Put Bleach In Dishwasher?

Yes, you can wash your dishwasher with bleach, but not all dishwashers. Bleach is perfectly safe for dishwashers whose inner lining is made from plastic.

To check whether your dishwasher’s inner lining is plastic or not, check the care label or manufacturer’s guide of use.

You will most probably end up finding it. Sometimes manufacturers also label “Bleach Safe” on the dishwasher.

Can You Put Bleach In a Dishwasher

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However, plastic does not react with most household bleaches, and thus it is harmless to use bleach inside dishwashers. Even most household bleaches come in plastic packaging.

So, we would recommend you guys use a diluted solution of bleach. Add just around 1 tablespoon of bleach to a cup of water, and you are good to go.

Also, don’t let it settle for a long time. Just do the sanitizing, in case you are sanitizing dishwashers.

Undiluted bleach can react with plastic, especially those made with latex or neoprene.

Concluding it up, Yes, you can use bleach in plastic dishwashers, but remember the above precautionary measures while using it.

Dishwashers are also made of stainless steel or sometimes a mix of stainless steel and plastic.

Can You Clean a Stainless Steel Dishwasher with Bleach?

No, you cannot.

Bleach is hyper-effective when it comes to its oxidizing power. Bleach reacts with stainless steel and corrodes it.

The basic reason for bleach reacting with stainless steel is the presence of salt in bleach. Salt can very easily corrode stainless steel.

 Household bleach contains sodium hypochlorite and NaCl (commonly known as salt).

When bleach comes in contact with stainless steel, sodium hypochlorite degrades to form NaCl.

This salt, combined with the previous salt content, is the actual reason for corrosion.

The unknown thief, the chloride ion, gets into the porous layer of steel and erodes it over time.

How to Clean a Dishwasher with Bleach?

How to Clean a Dishwasher with Bleach

Bleach is a very powerful cleaning material. It is an excellent way to kick out all kinds of bacteria, viruses, germs, molds, insects, fungi, mildew, and any harmful microbial.

The basic pre-requisite to using bleach is that your dishwasher must be “Bleach Friendly,” as discussed earlier.

If you have passed the first step, proceed to the cleaning part.

Cleaning a dishwasher safely is very critical. Always first refer to the user guide. Half of your queries will be solved then and there.

Now, we will break down the entire step into 2 phases. The first one is the cleaning phase. The second one is the use of bleach, and this is the disinfecting phase.

We will take you to step by step on cleaning the dishwasher.

Steps of Cleaning a Dishwasher with Bleach:

  • Remove any remaining material such as dishes and racks from the inside of the dishwasher.
  • Do a quick cleaning of the dishwasher to remove big food particles hanging inside and any residue left behind. This step ensures the thorough cleaning and disinfection of your dishwasher.
  • Also, unclog the pores of the spraying arm and check whether it is jetting out the water properly or not.
  • Next, place a heat-resistant, safe bowl filled with vinegar in the dishwasher. Make sure to place it on the top rack.
  • Run a complete wash cycle after adjusting the dishwasher on a considerably hot setting.
  • Vinegar now will play its part in unclogging, disinfecting, and cleaning the inside of the dishwasher.
  • To remove the funky odor and for the sparkling finishing touch, sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Run a relatively short hot water cycle for baking soda to do its job.

Now, we are done with the cleaning part.

If, even after doing the process mentioned above, you can’t clean it. Repeat the process until the dishwasher is completely cleaned.

Steps of Disinfecting a Dishwasher with Bleach:

Bleach will now be added to disinfect and sanitize the dishwasher. This will make the dishwasher perfectly fit for use again.

Following are the steps involved in disinfecting. Bleach can be used in two ways. One is by hand adding bleach, and the other is by running a wash with bleach.

Follow it step-by-step for a thorough cleaning:

Hand Washing:

  1. Take a spray bottle and fill a quarter of it with warm water.
  2. Make this water lukewarm by addition of a little bit of tap water. Dip your finger in it to check the temperature of the water.
  3. Don’t mix warm water with bleach as it is very hazardous. The mixture releases a dangerous gas.
  4. Now carefully mix ¾ tablespoon of chlorine bleach into lukewarm water.
  5. Shake it gently to mix well.
  6. Spray the solution on the inside of the dishwasher to sanitize the interior.
  7. Don’t forget to clean the side and lip of your dishwasher as these two areas get dirty often.
  8. Thoroughly clean the dishwasher’s interior using a toothbrush or cotton swab, including the clogs and small pores.
  9. Spray the solution to the hidden areas to get the best results.
  10. Now the cleaning is done.
  11. Take a towel or damp sponge to soak off the wet areas of the interior.

Running Wash with Bleach:

  • Take a cup of liquid bleach (not more than a cup) and transfer it onto a bleach-safe bowl.
  • Place the bowl on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  • Close the dishwasher after following the above steps.
  • Adjust the dishwasher to the highest heat and run the washing cycle.
  • Bleach will spread throughout the interior of the dishwasher during the cycle.

This will remove all kinds of bacteria and germs from your dishwasher. Now your dishwasher is completely sanitized and perfectly fit for use again.

Precautions While Using Bleach in a Dishwasher:

While bleach is such a powerful cleaning agent, using it incorrectly might harm you and your dishwasher.

Following are some precautions and hazards to keep in mind while using bleach.

  • Don’t ever use it with dishwashers made of stainless steel or a hybrid dishwasher made of plastic and stainless steel.
  • When working with bleach, always use proper safety gear. The use of thick rubber gloves and a face mask is a must-do.
  • Bleach is very dangerous as it can harm your lungs. Make sure not to use it in a small space. Always use it in an open area and let the chemicals evaporate before you start cleaning.
  • Use bleach in the recommended quantity of 1 cup (recommended 1.64 ml). Over addition of bleach might damage your lungs and the dishwasher.
  • Always use the diluted bleach solution as the concentrated bleach can react even with the plastic.

So, here’s a wrap on cleaning dishwashers with bleach.

Final Verdict:

From time to time, dishwashers get dirty and stinky. Cleaning them is one integral part of maintaining the health and well-being of your family.

Unclean dishes and unpleasant stinky smells can ruin your health and lead to several problems.

Bleach is one of those powerful agents that can thoroughly clean your dishwashers. But make sure to completely follow all the steps mentioned above to get the best experience.

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Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

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