6 Basic Steps to Properly Clean Your Dishwasher

In many homes, the most prized appliance may be the dishwasher.  No one likes washing dishes and by hand, so these are a lifesaver!

However, much like when we talked about washing machines, the things we use to clean need to be cleaned themselves.  That is why you need to take some time to properly clean yoru dishwasher.

If you neglect this chore, your dishwasher simply will not work as well.  You will notice over time that dishes are not cleaning or that the dishwasher itself begins to smell.

Do not worry!  It is not difficult – it just takes some time and some things that you probably already have at home.

What You Will Need

These are the tools and cleaners that you will need to properly clean your dishwasher:

  • soap
  • scrub brush
  • toothbrush
  • baking soda
  • microfiber cloth
  • either a dishwasher cleaner or vinegar
  • stainless steel cleaner (if applicable)



1. Empty the dishwasher and remove what you can.

Make sure your dishes have been removed.

In most instances, you will be only able to remove the bottom rack.  That is okay.

Remove anything else that you can – each one will be different.  If you are not sure, you are always best to contact the manufacturer.

Make sure you take the utensil tray out.

That will also include removing the filter.  That’s a big one – if the filter is not clean, nothing else will be either.

2. Wash all the pieces with soap and water

Everything that you took out needs to be washed with soap and water.  Use a scrub brush to really make sure its clean.

For your utensil tray, you may need to use a toothbrush to make sure you got every nook and cranny.

For the racks that could not be removed, make sure you wipe them down with soap and water also.

3. Clean the filter

The filter screen will need to be cleaned.  Your best bet will be to use a soft toothbrush.

Use a paste made of baking soda and water and gently brush the filter screen.

4. Wipe down the inside

Using a damp microfibre cloth, wipe down the interior.

5. Do a cleaning cycle

Return all of the parts that you removed.  Now it is time for the cleaning cycle.

Here you have two choices: the commercial option or a DIY option.

There are products that you can purchase, like Finish’s Dishwasher Cleaner.  You simply need to take the cap off, put the product inside and run a cycle.

If you want to use a more natural option, you can use nature’s favourite cleaner: vinegar. It is really quite simple.

Add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and run on a low cycle.  Stop halfway through the cycle, let the vinegar stand for 20 minutes, and then complete the cycle.

6. Clean the outside of the dishwasher

Wipe the outside of your dishwasher with a damp, microfibre cloth.  If you have a stainless steel dishwasher, use a steel cleaner, like Weiman’s.


That is all there is to it!  With just a little bit of time and some products you probably already have, you can have a clean dishwasher that you can trust to keep your dishes clean.