How To Clean A Dishwasher With Baking Soda

Miele Dishwasher
Credit: Miele

Miele Dishwasher
Credit: Miele

Would you like to know how to clean a dishwasher with baking soda? It may never have crossed your mind that a machine for cleaning may need cleaning itself, but it's true. Soap residue, food residue and other grime can build up over time, leaving your once pristine cleaning machine rather less clean, and much less effective as a hygienic way to clean your dishes.

Luckily, it's actually almost effortless to clean your dishwasher, and by using baking soda, you are using a completely safe product. Not only will it leave your dishwasher sparkling clean, it will also smell much fresher. What's not to love?

How To Clean A Dishwasher With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a safe, slightly alkaline substance, and a great way of removing grease, dirt and residue from your dishwasher. And it is really simple to use it for cleaning. Here's what you need to do:

With an empty dishwasher, sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda into the bottom of your machine. Run it through a short cycle on the highest temperature setting. You can repeat the process if you have any particularly stubborn stains.

And that's it! Really simple to do, and surprisingly effective.

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Can Baking Soda Damage Your Dishwasher?

Baking Soda by itself is unlikely to do any harm to your dishwasher. But there are some experts who suggest that using baking soda in combination with vinegar in a single cycle, could potentially do damage to your machine.

Mixing the two together creates an extremely potent mixture of alkaline and acid, which will react with one another. So while it's fine to use one after the other, it is not recommended to use them together.

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Using White Vinegar

If you want to go all out on cleaning your dishwasher, a lot of experts recommend that you use baking soda in combination with white vinegar, as a one-two punch.

Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with white vinegar, and put it in the top rack of your dishwasher. Then run the empty dishwasher on the hottest setting. The vinegar will destroy grime and remove bad smells. The acid will work well to break up any soap scum as well.

Once that cycle is complete, you can use the baking soda method we outlined above, to get your dishwasher as clean and shiny as possible. It isn't advisable to use them together on a single cycle. As well as the risk of damage, this can result in a lot of foam being generated, which will then need cleaning up.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?

A clean dishwasher will not only look and smell better, but it will probably run more effectively as well, keeping all your dishes even cleaner than before. But how often do you need to deep clean your dishwasher?

The answer will vary a little depending on how often you use your machine. One simple indication that you might want to give it a clean is if you start to notice your dishes coming out of the dishwasher are not entirely clean.

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Beyond that, doing this every three to six months or so is probably a good guideline to follow. If you want to be really thorough, then that would be a good time to clean the dishwasher racks, the utensil holders, and the dishwasher seals as well.

One other part of your dishwasher to pay attention to is the filter. The drain filter will catch a lot of food and other gunk, so it's important to check this much more regularly - probably weekly. That will prevent horrible stuff from gathering and causing a bad smell.

Cleaning your dishwasher doesn't need to be a major operation. But it's a great way to prolong the life and performance of your appliance.

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