5 Best Ways to Clean, Disinfect and Sanitize a Dishwasher

5 Best Ways to Clean, Disinfect and Sanitize a Dishwasher

Dishwashers help us in the kitchen to keep our dishes clean. They, however, do not clean themselves.  Dirt such as grease and food debris have been known to build up in the dishwasher, and unfortunately, this provides a breeding ground for germs. It also reduces the efficiency of the appliance. Failure to properly sanitize a dishwasher would lead to an unpleasant odour and look and will cause spots and film on your dishes. Plus, if you let the dirt build up, it can seriously damage the dishwasher’s filter and pump, which would eventually lead to expensive repairs.


Dishwashers are very important appliances in the kitchen and keeping them clean can be a bit of a hassle. Luckily for you, the best tricks to keep your dishwasher clean and odor-free will be explored in this article. You need not worry yourself too much. You would learn how to get rid of whatever bothers you about your dishwasher- odor, stains, dirt, etc.


To properly clean, sanitize and sterilize your dishwasher, you will need the following:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Measuring cup
  • Dishwasher-safe container
  • Powdered laundry bleach
  • Scrubbing sponge or paper towels
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Old toothbrush or small cleaning brush



  • Below is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a dishwasher the right way:

  • The first thing you have to do is clean any food remnant like beans, rice, etc. It would also be very helpful if you do this after each dishwashing cycle. Remove the bottom to look for any food that may have fallen down and wipe it with a towel. Also look out for soap scum. This will prevent odors and future dirt.
  • Wipe down the inside of your dishwasher with a sponge and soapy water. You can use baking soda as an abrasive powder if you need more scouring action.
  • You should also wipe away spots on the dishwasher controls, door edges, handles, etc. Make sure you clean every corner of the dishwasher. Feel free to replace the bottom dish rack.
  • Fill your kitchen sink with hot, soapy water. Make sure you take out components that are removable (for example, the utensil basket or cup holder). Wash and rinse these items, then replace them. (If you dont know where your machine’s filter is located, check the manual).
  • Clean the exterior of your dishwasher by using a rag and a shiner. This will get rid of fingerprints and other stains.

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Now that you know how to clean a dishwasher, the next thing to learn is how to disinfect your dishwasher.

To disinfect your dishwasher, you should do the following:

  • Use vinegar as a mild antibacterial disinfectant. Pour  one cup of  white vinegar into a dishwasher and place it on the upper rack. Run your dishwasher through a regular cycle on the hottest temperature setting.
  • Chlorine bleach is a very strong germ-killing disinfectant and it is very effective on dishwashers. Fill the detergent compartment in your dishwasher with regular powdered laundry bleach. Once you have done this, run the appliance through an entire normal cycle on the hottest water setting possible.
  • To rinse, you can make use of baking soda. Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher, then run a short hot water cycle. The dishwasher will be look and smell fresh.


Whether you opt for a dishwasher cleaning agent or the DIY white vinegar mixture, it’s important that you get down and dirty to remove any trapped particles in order to clean, sanitize and disinfect your dishwasher.


  • How often should I clean and disinfect my dishwasher?

You should clean your dishwasher filter and drain at least once a month. This will prevent germs or bacteria from breeding in your appliance.

  • Can I mix bleach and vinegar while cleaning and disinfecting my dishwasher?

You should never try mixing bleach and vinegar. A combination of both substances would only lead to the formation of poisonous gases in your dishwasher.

  • Can I use bleach to clean any type of dishwasher?

If your dishwasher has a stainless-steel interior, then you should avoid using bleach products. The chlorine in the bleach will cause the stainless-steel to wear out.

  • How can I clean the stainless-steel exterior of my dishwasher?

Stainless-steel cleaners do excellent jobs in shining up stainless steel dishwasher doors. Not only will they give your dishwasher a brand-new look, but they contain ingredients that help fight against future dirt. They also help to get rid of fingerprints. Remember to stay away from abrasive cleaners or pads that can scratch and mar your dishwasher’s exterior.


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