How To Clean A Dishwasher With Vinegar And Baking Soda

It may sound strange that a kitchen appliance that cleans items need cleaning itself.

After each cycle, grease, food residue, and detergent residue can accumulate within the dishwasher. This build-up can restrain the proper functioning of the dishwasher.

To get rid of mold, dirt, and odor inside the dishwasher, it is very imperative to clean it regularly.

But can you clean the dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda? Yes, however, there are a few exceptions that you should be aware of.

In this article, you can find the correct method to wash your dishwasher. Also, we will discuss other valuable tips that can be helpful for cleaning.

Let’s move to the detail without any further delay.

How To Clean A Dishwasher With Vinegar And Baking Soda

Can You Put Vinegar in Dishwasher?

Yes, you can put vinegar in the dishwasher, but you can ruin your expensive dishwasher if you don’t use it with care.

Vinegar has acidic properties and a high Ph of 2.0, which can damage the dishwasher’s surface.

The rubber that seals the dishwasher and does not let water and soap let out during the cycle can get damaged if came in contact with the white vinegar.

It can also damage hoses which can result in leakage. So, before soaking your entire dishwasher in the vinegar, read out the instructions carefully in the article for using the vinegar.

Vinegar can not only clean it but can also remove the bad odor if used in the right way.

White vinegar can also be used to clean a lot of things in your household, but you must know how to do it properly.

Can You Put Baking Soda in Dishwasher?

Yes, baking soda can be used to clean the dishwasher and is very effective for removing stains and odor.

You can pour baking soda into the dishwasher’s bottom and run a cycle with hot water mode.

This cleaning agent will help eliminate all stubborn stains because of its mild alkali properties. Let it air dry after the cleaning process.

Can You Put Vinegar and Baking Soda at the Same Time?

Vinegar and baking soda both have effective cleaning characteristics, but if you plan to combine them, hoping to get better results, you are mistaken.

Never mix vinegar and baking soda together because they can react and cancel the effect of others.

So, it is useless to mix the two together. Other than that, they will combine and react to make foam, and you will have a mess to clean.

How To Clean A Dishwasher With Vinegar And Baking Soda? 7 Steps

Deep cleaning does not mean only running a washing cycle without the dishes, and you are done. You need to go deeper to clean the dishwasher properly.

Food pieces can not only get stuck on the interior of the dishwasher but can also clog the hose and filters.

The best way to deep clean the dishwasher is by cleaning it with vinegar, baking soda, and a cleaning sponge.

Follow the detailed procedure mentioned below.

Step 1Check the Drain

Remove all the dishes and the bottom rack from the dishwasher, and you can easily access the drain there.

Check the drain for any food pieces and debris from previous wash cycles. A clogged drain can affect the wash cycle quality and reduce the life of the appliance.

Step 2Wash the Filter

Remove the filter from the drain and soak it in warm soapy water for a few minutes to remove all the food debris. Rinse it later with water and dry it.

Step 3Run Wash Cycle with Vinegar

The vinegar wash cycle will help to remove grease grime and eliminate a funky smell from the dishwasher.

Fill a Dishwasher safe cup with white vinegar and put this filled cup on the top rack, and run a hot water cycle. Never pour vinegar directly inside the dishwasher.

Step 4Run Wash Cycle with Baking Soda

If you are not satisfied with the vinegar cleaning, run another wash cycle with baking soda.

Run a hot wash cycle after adding a cup of baking soda to the bottom of the dishwasher.

All smells and stains will be gone at the end of this cycle, and you can see a clean, odorless dishwasher interior.

Step 5Clean Door Edges

Vinegar and baking soda have done the interior cleaning, but for the door edges and rubber, you need to clean manually.

Take a hot water-soaked damp cloth and clean the edges thoroughly. Clean outer door as well to remove fingerprints and stains.

Step 6Clean Spray Arms

Spray arms can be located at different positions in different models and brands. You can easily pop out the spray arms from the dishwasher.

Please remove them and clean them by using hot soapy water and a soft-bristle brush. Use a toothpick to open any clogged hole.

Step 7Let it Air Dry.

You are almost done with the cleaning.  Let your dishwasher air dry without using a dryer cycle.

How often should you clean the Dishwasher?

If you want your dishwasher to run smoothly and effortlessly for a long time, deep clean your dishwasher at least once a month.

A messy dishwasher can leave a foul odor in your washed dishes and is very unhygienic.

If you have a very small family and your dishwasher does not get much dirty, you can do it once every 3 to 6 months.

What to do if the Dishwasher is not cleaning properly?

Dishwasher not working properly is a common complaint that may be heard from users.

There can be specific reasons that can hinder the cleaning process. Some of them are:

  1. Clogged and dirty filter and spray arms
  2. Low water temperature
  3. More load than recommended
  4. Low-quality detergent
  5. Inlet valves
  6. The dirty dishwasher that needs cleaning
  7. No rinsing before washing

What is the White Residue on Dishes After Washing?

There may be white residue left on dishes after washing that can be a result of the salt and limescale duo.

If this white residue came off by hand, it could be due to salt. If it is not coming off, then it can be a result of limescale; use vinegar to clean it. It can also be due to detergent residues.

Is it necessary to rinse the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher?

Many dishwasher brands and manufacturers claim that it is unnecessary to pre-rinse the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. But we recommend rinsing them before loading.

Yes, it is very necessary because it will make cleaning more effective and good practice for your dishwasher.

If you do not adopt this practice, then the food debris and residues will get stuck in filters, spray arms, and drains and can affect the life of your precious appliance.

The dirty dishwashers may also not clean the dishes properly.

Do Dishwasher Cleaners work?

Yes, they can be pretty effective in giving your dishwasher a deep clean wash.

You can place a cup filled with dishwasher cleaner, put it on the top rack, and run the wash cycle with a minimum temperature of 60 degrees C.

But if you want a more affordable cleaning agent, go for vinegar and baking soda.

How long can we leave dishes in the dishwasher?

If dishes are pre-rinsed, you can leave them as long as you want. Because once you wash them at 60 degrees, they will get clean and bacterial-free.


So, this is how you can clean your dishwasher by using vinegar and baking soda.

This article will help you a lot with the overall appearance and efficiency of the dishwasher. Follow the right method and be careful while using the ingredients.

Cleaning the dishwasher is as vital as your dishes to get odorless and microbe-free dishes in each wash.

But you do not need to call cleaning services; you can do it at home with the affordable cleaning method we have described above.

Stay with us to read more articles on dishwasher cleaning on our blog.


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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