How to Clean a Dishwasher with CLR: A Step-by-Step Guide

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byPenny
How to Clean a Dishwasher with CLR: A Step-by-Step Guide

When it comes to cleaning our homes, the dishwasher is often one of the appliances that we overlook.

However, keeping your dishwasher clean is crucial for maintaining its performance and longevity.

That’s where CLR comes in.

This powerful cleaning solution is designed to effectively remove mineral buildup, hard water stains, and other tough grime from your dishwasher’s interior, leaving it sparkling clean and odor-free.

In this post, I’ll guide you through the process of cleaning your dishwasher with CLR, providing you with step-by-step instructions and useful tips for using this product effectively.

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What is CLR?

clr

CLR, or Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover, is a highly acidic cleaner that effectively removes calcium, lime, and rust deposits from various surfaces, including the interior of a dishwasher.

CLR works by breaking down mineral deposits and dissolving them. It is highly effective at removing hard water stains and buildup that can accumulate inside the dishwasher over time.

One of the most commonly used alternatives to CLR for cleaning dishwashers is vinegar. Vinegar is also an acidic solution that can be used to remove mineral buildup and hard water stains.

However, while vinegar is effective, it is not as strong as CLR and may not be able to remove heavy buildup as effectively.

Is CLR safe to use in a dishwasher?

CLR is a powerful cleaning solution that can effectively remove mineral buildup, hard water stains, and other tough grime from your dishwasher’s interior.

CLR is safe to use in a dishwasher when used properly.

When using CLR in your dishwasher, always use the correct amount and avoid using it on rubber seals, as this can cause damage to the seals.

Can you use CLR on a stainless-steel dishwasher?

stainless-steel dishwasher inside

If you own a dishwasher with a stainless steel interior, you may be wondering if it’s safe to use CLR on it.

The good news is that CLR can be used on stainless-steel dishwashers, as long as it is used properly and in the correct dosage. Read on to find out more on that.

Will CLR damage rubber seals?

Rubber seals can be found around the door and other areas of your dishwasher. These seals are essential for preventing leaks and spills.

If you use CLR on rubber seals, it can cause damage or discoloration, which can compromise the effectiveness of these seals.

How to clean a dishwasher with CLR

Cleaning your dishwasher with CLR is a simple and effective way to remove mineral buildup, hard water stains, and other tough grime from your dishwasher’s interior.

Here’s how to clean your dishwasher with CLR:

  1. Empty your dishwasher. Start by removing all dishes from your dishwasher. You can safely leave the racks in, so they get cleaned too.
  2. Add CLR. Add half a cup of CLR to the bottom of your dishwasher. Be careful not to spill any CLR on rubber seals or other sensitive areas.
  3. Run a full cycle. Run a full cycle with CLR to allow it to clean your dishwasher’s interior thoroughly.
  4. Scrub the interior. When the cycle finishes, gently scrub off any stubborn stains or buildup with a microfiber cloth.
  5. Clean the dishwasher’s exterior. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher. Be sure to clean any buttons or controls to remove any residue.
  6. Repeat if necessary. If there is still mineral buildup or stains after one cycle, repeat the process until the interior is clean and odor-free.
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Tips for using CLR effectively.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using CLR.
  • Always add the CLR to the bottom of the dishwasher rather than the soap dispenser to ensure that no CLR is left unused.
  • Avoid using CLR on rubber seals, as this can cause damage.
  • Use the correct amount. Half a cup of CLR is enough to clean a dishwasher.

Frequently asked questions

Is CLR stronger than vinegar?

Yes, CLR is stronger than vinegar and can effectively remove mineral buildup and hard water stains.

However, vinegar can also be effective for mild cleaning and deodorizing.

Can I use baking soda instead of CLR?

Baking soda can be an effective alternative to CLR for mild cleaning and deodorizing.

However, for tough stains and mineral buildup, CLR may be a more effective solution.

How often should I clean my dishwasher with CLR?

It’s recommended to clean your dishwasher with CLR every 1-3 months, depending on your dishwasher’s usage and the hardness of your water.

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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Learn how to clean your dishwasher with CLR, a powerful and acidic cleaning solution that effectively removes mineral buildup and hard water stains.