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How to Clean Dishwasher with Baking Soda and Vinegar

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Dishwashers are lifesavers when it comes to dealing with dirty dishes, but did you know that they also need some tender loving care to keep them in tip-top shape? In this article, we will discuss how to clean your dishwasher using natural ingredients like baking soda and vinegar. By following these simple steps, you’ll keep your dishwasher running efficiently and effectively for years to come.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Improved Efficiency

A clean dishwasher can help reduce energy and water consumption. Over time, buildup from food particles, detergent, and hard water can obstruct the water jets and lower your dishwasher’s efficiency.

Extended Lifespan

Regular cleaning helps maintain the dishwasher’s components, preventing potential damage and extending the lifespan of the appliance.

Better Cleaning Performance

A well-maintained dishwasher can better remove food particles and stains from your dishes, ensuring they come out sparkling clean every time.

Odor Elimination

Eliminating leftover food particles and grime prevents unpleasant odors from developing inside the dishwasher, keeping your kitchen smelling fresh.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help remove stuck-on grime and food particles from your dishwasher’s interior.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner that can dissolve mineral deposits and sanitize your dishwasher, removing odors and bacteria.

Hot Water

Hot water helps loosen up dirt and debris, making it easier for the baking soda and vinegar to work their magic.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Preparing Your Dishwasher

Before you begin, make sure your dishwasher is empty and remove any visible debris from the bottom.

Step 2: Sprinkling Baking Soda

Sprinkle one cup of baking soda evenly across the bottom of your dishwasher. This will help scrub away any stuck-on food particles and grime.

Step 3: Running a Hot Water Cycle

Run a short, hot water cycle without detergent. This will allow the baking soda to work its way through the dishwasher and break up any buildup.

Step 4: Adding Vinegar

After the cycle has finished, place a dishwasher-safe bowl filled with two cups of white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher.

Step 5 Running a Second Hot Water Cycle

Run another short, hot water cycle. The vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits and sanitize the dishwasher.

Step 6: Wiping Down the Dishwasher

After the second cycle, use a damp cloth to wipe down the interior of the dishwasher, paying special attention to the edges, door seals, and spray arms.

Additional Tips and Tricks

  • Clean your dishwasher’s filter regularly to prevent clogging and maintain optimal performance.
  • Remove and clean the spray arms periodically to ensure water is distributed evenly during the cleaning cycle.
  • Consider using a dishwasher cleaner or descaler every few months to maintain efficiency and prevent limescale buildup.


Cleaning your dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar is an easy, eco-friendly way to keep your appliance running smoothly and efficiently. Regular maintenance not only extends the life of your dishwasher but also ensures your dishes come out clean and sparkling after each cycle. So give your dishwasher the care it deserves, and enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, fresher-smelling kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How often should I clean my dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar?

It’s a good idea to clean your dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar once a month to maintain optimal performance.

2. Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar to clean my dishwasher?

While you can use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar is typically more effective due to its higher acidity.

3. Is it safe to use baking soda and vinegar in a dishwasher with a stainless steel interior?

Yes, baking soda and vinegar are safe for use in dishwashers with stainless steel interiors.

4. Can I use this method to clean my dishwasher if it has a self-cleaning cycle?

While a self-cleaning cycle can help maintain your dishwasher, using baking soda and vinegar can provide a more thorough cleaning and address any lingering odors or mineral deposits.

5. Can I use lemon juice as an alternative to vinegar for cleaning my dishwasher?

Lemon juice can be used as an alternative due to its acidic nature; however, vinegar is usually more effective at dissolving mineral deposits and sanitizing the dishwasher.

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