Cleaning & Organization

3 Super Simple Steps To Get Your Dishwasher Clean

How often do you clean your dishwasher?

You may not think you need to clean your dishwasher. After all, it’s a cleaning appliance and therefore should always be clean. However, even your dishwasher needs a little love and attention once in a while.

The bottom filter can get gunked up with food and can cause some funky smells, and the sides and top can build up residue on them. Plus, once you clean it, it will look sparkling new on the inside.

One Good Thing by Jillee provided a super-easy three-step process to clean your dishwasher. Check out the video below:

“I know it seems kind of counterintuitive, like why would you clean your dishwasher?” Jillee says in the video. “It seems like it’s running 24 hours a day as it is. But it does get dirty and needs cleaning.”

It turns out that soap scum, food and grease that builds up in the corners of your dishwasher can decrease its efficiency and just cause it to plain old stink.


OK, now that you’ve covered the “why” behind cleaning your dishwasher, let’s get to work. Here are the steps you should do every six months to keep your appliance in tip-top shape.


1. Check Filter For Debris 

Jillee says your first priority should be taking out the bottom rack to clean out the filter area. This is where gunk and debris like to hang out, both of which can cause your dishwasher’s performance to take a nosedive.

2. Use Vinegar To Nix Germs and Grime

Distilled white vinegar is an everyday household item that packs a powerful cleaning punch — minus the nasty chemicals. Jillee recommends using it to clean your beloved appliance by adding a cup of white vinegar to a dishwasher-safe container before placing it on the top rack. Then, run your otherwise empty dishwasher on the hottest setting.

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Pool and beach towels go through a lot during the summertime, and they can start to smell a little funky after a while. If your beach towels could use some freshening up, never fear! There’s a simple process that will strip that smell out and get them smelling good as new again: 1️⃣ Put the offending towels in your washing machine and fill with HOT water! Add one cup of vinegar to the load and run through an entire wash cycle. 2️⃣ Leave the towels in the washer after the vinegar wash cycle is done. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the washer, and run through another wash cycle with HOT water. 3️⃣ Finally, make sure to dry your towels THOROUGHLY in the dryer or outside on the clothesline.

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3. Finish Up With A Touch Of Baking Soda

Another item to keep on hand for everyday household cleaning? Baking soda. After the vinegar cycle is complete, sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom area and run a short hot cycle again for an extra cleaning boost.

baking soda photo
Flickr | aqua.mech

The bottom line? Don’t slack on nurturing your dishwasher every now and then, and it will keep taking care of the task that made you fall in love with it in the first place.

RELATED: Did you know you can use cream of tartar to clean around the house?! Here are 9 ways to use it:

How To Get Cleaner Dishes

Once you’ve got your dishwasher sparkling clean, you’ll want to make sure your dishes come out just as shiny. Follows these dishwasher dos and don’ts for squeaky-clean dishes every time.


Do you put all of the spoons, forks and knives in a messy jumble in the dishwasher baskets? If so, try grouping them by utensil type for better results. Put knives in with the sharp side down, and be sure to put some spoons in upside down, so they don’t all stick together.


Another no no? Skipping the rinse aid. It might seem optional, but rinse aid actually helps get dishes clean — especially if you have hard water.