How to Clean Dishwasher With Vinegar and Baking Soda

How to Clean Dishwasher With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Keeping the dishwasher clean will help to prolong its life and maintain its efficiency. Over the years, your dishwasher can collect soap scum and mineral deposits that can cause unpleasant odors. There are simple and effective ways to clean the dishwasher with common household items like baking soda and vinegar. This article will guide you on how to clean the dishwasher so it runs smoothly and cleans your dishes.

Importance of Regular Dishwasher Cleaning

Regularly cleaning your dishwasher is important for many reasons. It will remove any odors caused by trapped bacteria or food particles. This will also prevent mineral deposits, such as limescale, from accumulating. These can affect your dishwasher’s performance, leading to spots and films on your dishes. A well-maintained dishwashing machine is more efficient, lasts longer, and will save you money on repairs or buying new appliances. From dishes to washing hats in the dishwasher, it can be used for various tasks; and to maintain its effectiveness regular cleaning is essential.

Supplies Needed

Before we dive into the cleaning process, gather the following supplies:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Toothbrush
  • A small brush (e.g., an old toothbrush)
  • Microfiber cloth or towel

Step 1: Preparation

Start by removing any dishes or utensils from the dishwasher. Check the drain and remove any visible debris, like food particles or chunks, using a soft cloth or sponge. Inspect the spinning arms to ensure they’re clear of any obstructions. If you notice any clogs, use a toothbrush or a small brush to dislodge the debris.

Step 2: Vinegar Rinse

Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl or cup with distilled white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the empty dishwasher. Vinegar helps to remove grease, grime, and odors while disinfecting the interior. Close the dishwasher and select the hottest water setting. Run a complete cycle, including the rinse cycle, to allow the vinegar to work its magic. Cleaning a vinyl plank is also possible with vinegar.

Step 3: Baking Soda Scrub

After the vinegar rinse, you can now tackle any stubborn stains or residue. Sprinkle one cup baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher. Baking soda, a natural abrasive, helps remove stains and neutralize lingering smells. Close the dishwasher, and run a brief hot water cycle. The baking soda will be activated and scrub the dirt away.

Step 4: Final Rinse

Do a final rinse after the baking soda scrub to remove any residue. Use your normal dishwashing soap and run the hot water cycle. This will eliminate any baking soda or vinegar residue, leaving your dishwasher clean and fresh.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your dishwasher in top shape, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Scrape excess food off dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  2. Regularly clean the filter and trap to prevent clogs.
  3. Run hot water in your sink before starting the dishwasher for optimal cleaning results.
  4. Use dishwasher cleaner or descaler periodically to remove stubborn mineral deposits.
  5. Wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher with a damp cloth to remove any fingerprints or spills.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your dishwasher performs at its best and remains clean and odor-free.


Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda is a simple and effective method to maintain its cleanliness and efficiency. Regular cleaning not only eliminates odors and stains but also helps extend the lifespan of your dishwasher. By following the outlined steps and implementing proper maintenance practices, you can enjoy spotless dishes and a well-functioning dishwasher for years to come.


Q: Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?

A: Apple Cidar Vinegar is also an alternative of the white vinegar, in cleaning dishwashers. Although they are effective in cleaning, they may leave slight odor or residue compared to white vinegar.

Q: Can I use lemon juice instead of vinegar?

A: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for vinegar, as it has similar acidic properties. However, it may not be as effective in removing tough stains or mineral deposits.

Q: Is it safe to clean the dishwasher with bleach?

A: Bleach is not generally recommended for cleaning your dishwasher as it may damage rubber seals or plastic components. For a more environmentally friendly and safer cleaning solution, use vinegar and baking soda.

Q: Should I rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher?

A: It’s a good practice to scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. However, there’s no need to pre-rinse them, as modern dishwashers are designed to effectively clean even heavily soiled dishes.

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