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How to Thoroughly Clean Dishwasher with Vinegar

Clean Dishwasher with Vinegar

Maintaining a clean dishwasher is an important part of keeping your kitchen hygienic and ensuring your dishes are as clean as possible. Over time, hard water minerals, soap residue, and food particles can build up in your dishwasher, reducing its cleaning effectiveness. For a safe, natural way to remove these undesirable build-ups, try cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar.

Vinegar is a highly effective disinfectant and degreaser that can dissolve away hard water stains and stuck-on messes in your dishwasher. White vinegar is non-toxic, and natural, and cuts through grease and grime with ease. Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar monthly or bi-monthly is recommended to prevent significant buildup.

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Vinegar is a degreasing agent that cuts through grime, grease, and limescale. It leaves your dishwasher sparkling clean without toxic chemicals.

White vinegar is affordable, and natural and kills mold, mildew, bacteria, and other microbes that can build up in dishwashers.

Vinegar descales by dissolving mineral buildup in dishwashers from hard water. This improves your dishwasher’s efficiency and cleaning performance.

Vinegar leaves no residue behind and only has a slight odor. Any smell disappears once you run a vinegar rinse cycle with water.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher with Vinegar?

Step 1:

Run an Empty Hot Wash Cycle. Run a hot wash cycle with no dishes to preheat your dishwasher. This helps the vinegar solution work better.

Step 2:

Mix Vinegar and Water. Combine equal parts white vinegar and water. For most dishwashers, 2 to 3 cups of each is enough. Pour the solution into a container that fits in your utensil basket.

Step 3:

Place Container in Utensil Basket. Put the vinegar and water solution in your utensil basket.

Step 4:

Run a Hot Wash Cycle. Run a hot wash cycle with the vinegar solution to clean and deodorize your dishwasher interior.

Step 5:

Repeat and Scrub if Necessary. For very dirty dishwashers, you may need to run multiple cycles with vinegar. You can also scrub away any stuck-on debris with a sponge or scrubber in between cycles.

Step 6:

Rinse with Water. Run 1-2 cycles with just water to rinse away any remaining vinegar residue before washing dishes.

Step 7:

Clean Dishwasher Seal and Door. Wipe down the rubber seal and door rim of your dishwasher with a vinegar-soaked sponge or cloth to remove any buildup.

Step 8:

Maintain Regular Cleanings. For the best performance, clean your dishwasher with vinegar once a month or every other month. Your dishes will come out cleaner and your dishwasher will work more efficiently.

Step 9:

For Stubborn Hard Water Stains. If you have a significant hard water scale in your dishwasher, scrub stains with an abrasive sponge after the vinegar cycles. Baking soda can also boost vinegar’s cleaning power. Make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and scrub stains with the paste using a sponge.

►How to Clean the Dishwasher with Vinegar in Deep Cleaning?

If your dishwasher requires deeper cleaning, you can use vinegar in combination with baking soda. Start by sprinkling a cup of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher. Then, pour a cup of vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl or cup on the top rack. Run a hot water cycle, and the combination of vinegar and baking soda will work together to remove stubborn stains and residue. This deep cleaning method is particularly useful for eliminating mineral deposits and hard water stains.

►Regular Maintenance:

To keep your dishwasher performing at its best, it is recommended to clean it with vinegar once a month. This regular maintenance will help to prevent clogs, reduce odors, and extend the lifespan of your dishwasher. Additionally, using vinegar as a natural cleaning agent is an eco-friendly choice, as it eliminates the need for harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.


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

A: Yes, it is safe to clean your dishwasher with vinegar. Vinegar is a natural and effective cleaning agent that can help remove mineral deposits, grease, and odors from your dishwasher.

Q: How often should I run vinegar through my dishwasher?

A: It is recommended to run vinegar through your dishwasher once every month or every two months, depending on the level of buildup and usage. Regular maintenance with vinegar can help keep your dishwasher clean and functioning optimally.

Q: How do I clean my dishwasher naturally?

A: To clean your dishwasher naturally, you can follow these steps:
1. Remove any food debris or large particles from the dishwasher.
2. Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher.
3. Run a hot water cycle without any dishes.
4. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run another hot water cycle.
5. Wipe down the interior of the dishwasher with a damp cloth.

Q: What vinegar is best for the dishwasher?

A: White distilled vinegar is the best type of vinegar to use for cleaning your dishwasher. It is mild, affordable, and readily available. Avoid using other types of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, as they may leave stains or residue.

Q: Is vinegar better than dishwasher cleaner?

A: Vinegar can be an effective and natural alternative to commercial dishwasher cleaners. It helps remove mineral deposits, grease, and odors. However, some dishwasher cleaners may have specific formulations that target certain issues, so it ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Q: How much vinegar can I put in my dishwasher?

A: For regular maintenance cleaning, you can pour one cup (240 ml) of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe container and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. This amount is generally sufficient to clean the dishwasher effectively.

Q: How long should I wait after cleaning with vinegar?

A: After cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar, it is recommended to wait for about 30 minutes before using the dishwasher again. This allows the vinegar to work on any remaining residue and ensures that it is rinsed away properly during the next cycle.


Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar is a simple and effective way to maintain its performance and prolong its lifespan. By using vinegar as a natural cleaning agent, you can eliminate odors, remove built-up grease and grime, and keep your dishwasher running smoothly. Remember to regularly clean your dishwasher with vinegar to prevent clogs and reduce the need for costly repairs. So, grab a bottle of vinegar and give your dishwasher the refresh it deserves!