Your dishwasher is your right-hand man in the kitchen. It saves you infinite amounts of time cleaning dishes and saves your kitchen looking a complete state if they start to pile up after a busy week. In short, especially for a family, the dishwasher is essential.
All the more reason to look after it. Washing machines don’t always last longer with chemicals poured into them, but careful cleaning every now can really help. If your dishwasher is starting to smell or the dishes aren’t coming out as clean, it might be time for a dedicate wash. One of our recommendations for cleaning your dishwasher - is using vinegar.
Vinegar has lots of natural cleaning properties, one of the most important is that it dissolves soap scum and grime. Dishwashers are especially notorious for soap build-up as often excess chemicals are used to clean the dinner plates. Vinegar is the perfect solution. But it’s not quite a case of squirting it around and wiping it away so let’s start talking about the method on how to clean your dishwasher with vinegar.
Step 1 - Preparation
First things first, you need to grab the right supplies. Most you should already have lurking around your home. You’ll need distilled white vinegar (of course!), rubber gloves, a toothpick, a toothbrush, a microfibre cleaning cloth and some hot water.
Step 2 - Dismantle
Now, we don’t mean literally take apart your dishwasher, but it’s time to pull out the racks any other pieces that you can grab for quick cleaning. This will also make it far easier to get inside the dishwasher to clean it. Any racks that you pull out, you can clean as normal in your kitchen sink.
Step 3 - Let the cleaning commence
The first thing to wipe down with a little bit of vinegar is the sprayer arm. Be sure to wipe the underneath of it too. Anything that is clogging up the water spouts will decrease the efficiency of the machine so grab a toothbrush and really get in there when necessary. If you come across any stubborn gunk, just allow it to soak in the vinegar before trying to wipe it away.
Step 4 - Cleaning the filter
Next up is cleaning the filter. This will more than likely be a messy job so make sure you’re wearing your rubber gloves. You might need to unscrew the filter from its place, but there shouldn’t be the need for excessive force. If you’re unsure of how - refer to your users manual. Once it’s been removed, soak it in warm water for around 15 minutes. This will loosen anything that’s clinging onto it. After that, simply scrub away with your toothbrush. For any stubborn dirt caught in the filter, use the toothpick to dislodge it.
Step 5 - Reassemble
Once you’ve cleaned all the components of your dishwasher, you can put it all back together. Be sure to safely screw the filter back in place - if it isn’t the dishwasher may struggle to drain.
Step 6 - Time for more vinegar
Grab yourself a dishwasher safe cup and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Fill it with vinegar. Then start a long hot cycle. If your dishwasher has the functionality to do so, pause it halfway through and wait 20 minutes before restarting, allowing the steam of the vinegar to soak into the appliance. This will help to remove any odours that remain. Once the cycle is complete, remove the cup and wipe down the interior.
Step 7 - A final rinse
After you’ve wiped down any excess from the dishwasher, you can let it cool down and air out for a while before putting it through a final cooler rinse. This will remove any lasting residue and leave your favourite appliance squeaky clean.
Step 8 - Don’t ignore the outside
The beauty of using vinegar to clean your dishwasher is that you can use it on the inside and the outside. No more multiple cleaning products for just one appliance. You can get the entire job done with vinegar. Pop a small amount onto a cloth and gently wipe.
Now you’ve run a deep clean on your dishwasher it’s up to you whether you do a deep clean every few months, or run a vinegar wash more regularly. It can be quite a time-consuming process but if a lighter version (step 6 onwards) is completed more often, you can save some time in the long run.
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If you liked this article we have many more including cleaning with lemon, cleaning with white vinegar, zero waste cleaning, refill not landfill, how to go plastic free, how to clean dishwasher with vinegar or how to clean toilet with citric acid in our Cleaning Advice Hub.