Diving into a surprisingly simple yet incredibly efficient method to keep one of your hardest-working appliances in top shape: clean your dishwasher with baking soda. It’s a household staple that goes beyond baking and deodorizing your fridge. This humble kitchen ingredient is a powerhouse when it comes to cleaning, and your dishwasher is no exception. Over time, dishwashers can accumulate all sorts of grime, food particles, and odors. Regular cleaning not only ensures better performance but also extends the life of your appliance. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of using baking soda to clean, deodorize, and maintain your dishwasher. From the basics of starting with an empty dishwasher to monthly maintenance tips, you’ll learn how to make your dishwasher sparkle and function more efficiently, all with the help of this versatile, eco-friendly cleaner.
How do you deep clean a dishwasher?
Deep cleaning a dishwasher is an important task to ensure it runs efficiently and produces clean dishes. To start, remove the racks and utensil holders from the dishwasher and check for any debris or food particles that may be clogging the drain. Use a toothbrush or pipe cleaner to gently scrub away any buildup.
Next, run a cycle with a dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove mineral deposits and grease. You can also place a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle to help eliminate odors. Finally, wipe down the interior of the dishwasher with a damp cloth and replace the racks and utensil holders once they are dry.
Regular deep cleaning will not only improve the performance of your dishwasher but also extend its lifespan, ensuring your dishes come out sparkling clean every time.
What is the best thing to clean the inside of a dishwasher?
The best thing to clean the inside of a dishwasher is a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. Start by placing a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack of the empty dishwasher. Then, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a hot water cycle. This combination helps remove any built-up residue, grease, and odors from the interior of the dishwasher.
Additionally, using a dishwasher cleaner or descaler specifically designed for dishwashers can also be effective in removing mineral deposits and limescale buildup. Regularly cleaning the filter, spray arms, and door gasket with warm soapy water can help maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of your dishwasher. Remember to refer to your dishwasher’s manual for specific cleaning instructions tailored to your model.
Benefits of How To Clean A Dishwasher With Baking Soda
Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic
Baking soda is a natural, biodegradable substance that poses no harm to the environment. Unlike harsh chemicals found in some cleaning agents, it’s safe for your household and the planet. This makes it an ideal solution for those who are environmentally conscious or have sensitivities to strong chemical cleaners.
Baking soda is known for its ability to neutralize odors. When used in your dishwasher, it helps remove unpleasant smells that can arise from food residue and stagnant water. This leaves your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean after every use.
Gentle Yet Powerful Cleaning
Baking soda’s abrasive nature makes it effective at removing stuck-on food and grease, but it’s gentle enough not to damage the interior of your dishwasher. This balance ensures thorough cleaning without scratching or harming sensitive surfaces.
Affordable and Accessible
Baking soda is a cost-effective cleaning solution. It’s widely available in stores and is often less expensive than specialized cleaning products. Its affordability and accessibility make it a practical choice for regular use.
Versatile Maintenance Tool
Apart from cleaning, baking soda is great for regular maintenance of your dishwasher. It helps in preventing the buildup of grease and limescale, ensuring your dishwasher runs efficiently. This versatile nature makes it an all-in-one solution for cleaning and maintaining your appliance.
Here’s How To Clean A Dishwasher With Baking Soda
Start with an Empty Dishwasher
Before embarking on your cleaning adventure, ensure your dishwasher is completely empty. This step is crucial as it gives you full access to all areas of the dishwasher, allowing for a thorough cleaning. Starting with an empty dishwasher means you can easily spot any residue or food particles that might be lurking in corners or under the filter. This is also the perfect time to inspect the dishwasher for any parts that might need extra attention or repair. Remember, a clean dishwasher not only functions better but also extends the lifespan of your appliance.
Sprinkle Baking Soda
Once your dishwasher is empty, grab your trusty box of baking soda. Baking soda is a wonderful cleaning agent because it’s abrasive enough to scrub away light stains and residue, yet gentle enough not to damage the dishwasher’s interior. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. This layer of baking soda acts as a powerful agent to tackle grime and neutralize odors. Baking soda’s natural properties make it an ideal choice for those seeking an eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning solution.
Run a Short Cycle
Now that your dishwasher is prepped with baking soda, it’s time to run a short cycle. Choose the hottest water setting available as hot water enhances the cleaning power of baking soda. This step is key in ensuring that the baking soda is effectively distributed throughout the dishwasher, reaching all the nooks and crannies. The combination of hot water and baking soda works together to break down grease and food residues, leaving your dishwasher sparkling clean. This process is not only simple but also energy-efficient, as it requires just a short cycle to achieve impressive results.
Add Vinegar for Tough Stains
For those pesky, tough stains, white vinegar is your best friend. Before adding baking soda, fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Then, run a full cycle at the hottest temperature. The vinegar will work in tandem with the baking soda, enhancing its cleaning power. This duo is particularly effective at tackling hard water stains and mineral buildup, often found in dishwashers. Vinegar’s acidic nature breaks down even the toughest of stains, ensuring your dishwasher is not only clean but also hygienic.
Focus on the Door
The dishwasher door is often overlooked but it’s crucial to pay special attention to this area. The edges and underside of the door can accumulate grime and residue over time. Make a paste using baking soda and a bit of water and apply it to the door with a soft cloth or sponge. Gently scrub the surfaces, paying special attention to the rubber seals and any crevices where food particles can get trapped. This step ensures a comprehensive clean, leaving no part of your dishwasher neglected. Plus, focusing on the door helps maintain the seal and functionality of your dishwasher.
Clean the Filter
A crucial step in dishwasher maintenance is cleaning the filter. Located at the bottom of the machine, the filter can accumulate significant debris and food particles, which can impede the dishwasher’s performance. Start by removing the filter according to your dishwasher’s instructions – this usually involves a simple twist and lift motion. Once removed, use a soft brush and a paste made from baking soda and water to gently scrub the filter. This natural cleaning solution is effective in dislodging and removing trapped food particles and grease, without the harshness of chemicals. Thoroughly rinse the filter under running water before placing it back. This step is vital for maintaining a hygienic, odor-free, and efficient dishwasher.
Deodorize with a Baking Soda Rinse
After cleaning, it’s time to deodorize your dishwasher. Baking soda is not only a great cleaning agent but also an excellent deodorizer. For this step, simply sprinkle a small amount of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Then, run a short rinse cycle using warm water. This process helps to eliminate any lingering odors, leaving your dishwasher smelling fresh. The baking soda neutralizes odors rather than just masking them, ensuring your machine stays fresh and ready for its next load.
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your dishwasher in top condition. Aim to clean your dishwasher with baking soda at least once a month. This routine maintenance helps to prevent the build-up of grease and limescale, which can affect your dishwasher’s performance over time. It also ensures that your dishwasher remains hygienic and free from any unpleasant odors. This monthly check is also a good opportunity to inspect and clean other components of your dishwasher, such as the spinning arms and door gasket.
Spot Clean with a Toothbrush
For those hard-to-reach areas, a toothbrush can be an invaluable tool. Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a thick paste. Dip an old toothbrush into this paste and use it to gently scrub the corners and crevices within your dishwasher. This is particularly useful for cleaning around the edges of the door, the utensil basket, and the water spray arms. The toothbrush’s small size and bristles make it perfect for dislodging grime that sponges or cloths might miss, ensuring a comprehensive clean.
Freshen Up Between Washes
To keep your dishwasher fresh between deep cleans, try a simple baking soda trick. After unloading a clean load of dishes, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda at the bottom of the dishwasher. This will absorb any lingering odors and prevent the growth of bacteria between uses. It’s a quick and easy step that helps maintain a fresh, clean smell in your dishwasher, even when it’s not in use. Plus, it’s a natural and eco-friendly way to keep your appliance in great condition.
The Final Thought
Using baking soda to clean your dishwasher is a simple and effective way to remove odors and buildup. The natural abrasive properties of baking soda can scrub away grime and residue without causing any damage to the interior of the dishwasher. Regular maintenance with baking soda can help prolong the lifespan of your appliance and ensure that your dishes come out sparkling clean. By incorporating this affordable and eco-friendly cleaning method into your routine, you can maintain a hygienic kitchen environment and save money on expensive commercial cleaning products.