Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Your Dishwasher Naturally

Published on Mar 27, 2019 | Updated - May 8, 2024

Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Your Dishwasher Naturally

We're all guilty of it. After dinner, you finish the plates, give them a light rinse, and throw them in the dishwasher, letting the appliance do the heavy lifting.

This method can make your dishwasher really dirty and, in combination with soap scum and grease, makes your machine a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. If you're a repeat offender (hubby, I'm looking at you), it can also affect the performance of your dishwasher!

We've got four easy steps you can follow to make your dishwasher look – and smell – like new.


How to Naturally Clean a Dishwasher

Effective and Efficient Methods for Cleaning Your Dishwasher

  1. Remove the bottom rack and ensure that no bigger food items or gunk are stuck in the drain.
  2. Fill a container with a cup of white vinegar and place it on the top rack of an empty dishwasher. Run a hot cycle. We recommend stopping it mid-cycle for 15 minutes or so to let the vinegar soak and break down residue and detergent build-up.
  3. Is the dishwasher still pongy after the cycle? Sprinkle some Bi-Carb Soda on the base and run another cycle.
  4. Give the inside and outside of the dishwasher a wipe down with a microfiber cloth and equal parts vinegar and water mix in a spray bottle.

What can I do to keep my dishwasher clean?

Tips and Tricks for Maintaining a Clean and Efficient Dishwasher

  • No-brainer, we know, but scrape big food particles off your crockery before putting it into the dishwasher.
  • Keep an eye on the kids, too. My niece hid her plate of mashed potatoes and half-eaten chicken nuggets in the back of the dishwasher after dinner for weeks, and my sister couldn't work out why the machine was running so poorly!
  • Try to leave the door open when you can. This will help air the machine out and prevent bacteria build-up, particularly during warmer weather.
  • Use high-quality dishwashing tablets/detergents. They're a touch more expensive but worth it as they won't leave residue behind, which can build up over time.
  • Give the dishwasher seals a wipe-down once a week or so. You'll be surprised how much grime hides in there.

dishwashing tablets

  • Clean the filter and dispenser once a month to ensure your dishwasher runs efficiently.
  • Here's a tip I know I already follow: Use your dishwasher regularly so any residue or deposits are easily flushed out.


Why is vinegar the best all-natural dishwasher cleaner?

Vinegar's anti-bacterial properties work wonders on your dishwasher and flush out the pipes during the rinse cycle. It targets nasty odours and is a non-toxic and cheap option. If needed, adding baking soda to the second cycle packs a powerful punch with its odour-busting qualities.

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