Five Easy Ways to Clean Your Dishwasher

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byPenny
Five Easy Ways to Clean Your Dishwasher

We all know that dishwashers are supposed to make our lives easier, but sometimes we need to spend the time to make their lives easier too!

If your dishwasher has stopped washing so well, or it even has a funky odor, then the time has come to give it some attention!

Fortunately I have the perfect post for you today, because I have five of the most popular ways to clean your dishwasher using things you very probably already have at home. There’s no need to go and buy a special dishwasher cleaner at the store.

These also happen to be five of the easiest ways too.

Heads up: I sometimes use affiliate links. When you click these links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything but it helps me to run this site.

1. (Most popular) baking soda and vinegar

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This option is the most popular one you will find around the internet, and for good reason, because it works a treat.

All you need is baking soda and vinegar (distilled white vinegar is best).

Here is the method I use:

  1. Remove all dishes (you need to run on empty)
  2. Add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the top rack
  3. Run a normal cycle
  4. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom
  5. Run another short cycle.

Here’s more - how to unclog a dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar.

2. Lemons

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If you love the smell of lemons (I do), then you will love this one!

  1. Cut a lemon into quarters. Remove the seeds (as they could clog up your dishwasher filter).
  2. Place the lemon quarters in the utensil holder or directly on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  3. Run a hot water cycle on your dishwasher.

Here’s more on how to clean your dishwasher with a lemon.

3. Lemon Kool-Aid

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Who would have thought it, but Lemon Kool-Aid works great as a dishwasher cleaner!

So if you have some lying around, you now have a job for it! By the way, Tang works great as a dishwasher cleaner too.

It’s the citric acid in Lemon Kool-Aid and Tang that make them perfect for cleaning the dishwasher.

  1. Empty the dishwasher.
  2. Add a sachet of Kool-Aid or Tang to the soap dispenser.
  3. Run the dishwasher on a hot wash. Close the dishwasher and set it to run on the hottest wash cycle available.

Make sure you use unsweetened Kool-Aid. You don't want a sticky dishwasher!

Can't get motivated?
#10 works every time I use it!

4. Citric acid

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Both Lemon Kool-Aid and Tang contain citric acid, which is the ingredient that does the cleaning. If you don’t have that, citric acid on its own will also do a great job.

  1. Empty your dishwasher.
  2. Measure out approximately 2 tablespoons of citric acid powder, and pour it into the detergent cup of your dishwasher.
  3. Run your dishwasher on the hottest cycle possible.

Here’s more on how to clean your dishwasher with citric acid.

5. Borax

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Borax is a natural mineral that has been used as a cleaning agent since the 1800s.

One of the main benefits of using borax as a cleaner is that it is natural and non-toxic, making it a safe alternative to many chemical cleaners. Borax is also affordable and readily available at most stores.

  1. Empty the dishwasher.
  2. Fill the detergent dispenser with the appropriate amount of borax according to the instructions on the box. Typically, you’ll only need to use a few tablespoons of borax.
  3. Run a hot cycle.

I have lots more help for you in this post - how to clean your dishwasher with borax.

That’s it! For more help on your chosen method don’t forget to follow the links.

Happy cleaning!

Sparkling Penny

Penny | Sparkling Penny

Penny’s expert cleaning advice has been featured repeatedly by Homes and Gardens Magazine, and also at wikiHow, The Daily Express Newspaper, and Glam Magazine to name a few! SparklingPenny.com was founded in 2019 and has since helped millions of people achieve a cleaner living space.


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Here's how to clean your dishwasher with simple everyday items such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon and more! There is no need to buy expensive dishwasher cleaners. You probably have all these things at home already.