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It sounds odd. Cleaning your dishwasher. After all, its job is to clean. However, dishwashers still get dirty. The dish cleaner you use gets built up, there’s a filter in there that can get dirty, food can get caught, etc.

It’s best to clean give your dishwasher a quick clean once a month. A deep clean is needed less often. Luckily, the quick clean is practically effortless.

Items needed:
Baking soda

Two simple ingredients to clean your dishwasher: vinegar and baking soda.

Two simple ingredients to clean your dishwasher: vinegar and baking soda.


I honestly didn’t think mine was dirty until I pulled out the food catch screen on the bottom. Since my dishwasher is two or three decades old (I live in military housing), the filter doesn’t actually come off. Instead, I wiped mine off carefully with a vinegar soaked washcloth.

1. Find and pull out the filter and food catcher (if your dishwasher has them). Most are easy to find and pull out. Soak them and the “spinner” in vinegar and hot water while you clean the actual dishwasher.
2. Pour two cups of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher. Run it on the hottest cycle possible.
3. Return any parts removed after rinsing them with hot water. Pour about 1/2 C. baking soda over the bottom of the dishwasher. Let it sit about 30 min. Then run your dishwasher on a normal cycle.

Uh…yes, that’s it. Doing this monthly (honestly, I only pull out the bottom part every couple of months) keeps your dishwasher fresh, prevents build-up, and results in cleaner dishes.

For deep clean, intensive instructions, check out “The Kitchn” (no, that’s not a misspelling) post “How to Clean a Dishwasher.”
She’s got step by step pictures, detailed instructions, and honestly has put much more effort into cleaning hers than I have mine.But then again, I’m using a 20-30 year old one that is in my temporary Navy housing. Maybe when I own my own (dreams, dreams, how many years do we have left?), I’ll be more dedicated!