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Dishwashers, just like any other frequently used kitchen appliance, need some TLC to keep them running smoothly and efficiently. One of the most eco-friendly and wallet-friendly ways to maintain your dishwasher is using simple household items: vinegar and baking soda.

Why Use Vinegar and Baking Soda for Dishwasher Cleaning?

Vinegar and baking soda have long been household favourites for multiple cleaning tasks, and for a good reason:

  1. Vinegar's Power: This versatile liquid boasts anti-microbial properties, making it excellent for eliminating germs and bacteria. Its acidic nature is also a de-scaler, perfect for those hard water stains.
  1. Baking Soda's Magic: Its gentle, abrasive nature helps remove tough grime, and it acts as a deodorizer, neutralizing any foul odours.

Combining these two ensures a thorough, eco-friendly cleanse devoid of harsh chemicals often found in commercial cleaners.

Signs Your Dishwasher Needs Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's crucial to identify when your dishwasher needs a cleanse. Watch out for:

  • Persistent, unpleasant odours.
  • Visible food particles or residues.
  • Spots or films on your glassware.
  • Slow performance or drainage issues, indicating possible blockages.

Materials You'll Need

Gather the following to start your cleaning journey:

  • White vinegar (about 2 cups).
  • Baking soda (1 cup).
  • A soft cloth or sponge.
  • Optional: A toothbrush for tight spots.

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Step-by-Step Cleaning Instructions

Step 1: Preliminary Cleaning

Before introducing vinegar and baking soda, ensure your dishwasher is empty. Manually remove any large debris from the bottom. Remember, a clear path allows for a more effective deep cleanse.

Step 2: The Vinegar Cycle

Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with two cups of white vinegar. Place this on the bottom rack. Now, run a full cycle using the hottest water setting available on your appliance. The vinegar will work its magic, dispersing throughout, eliminating bacteria, and tackling tough stains.

Step 3: Introducing Baking Soda

Once the vinegar cycle completes, sprinkle a cup of baking soda evenly across the dishwasher's bottom. Run a short cycle, again with hot water. This will further clean and deodorize, leaving your dishwasher smelling fresh.

Step 4: Details Matter

For areas harder to clean, dip a toothbrush in some white vinegar and scrub. This includes around the door seal and any nooks or crannies. Wipe down the edges and seal with a vinegar-dampened cloth.

Step 5: Final Flushing

For a final touch, run an empty cycle with hot water. This ensures all residues from the cleaning agents are washed away, leaving your dishwasher pristine.

Consistent Care is Key

To maintain a high-functioning dishwasher:

  • Aim to clean it once a month using the above method.
  • Always scrape off large food particles before loading dishes.
  • Ensure you're using the right detergent and rinse aid for your machine.

FAQs about Dishwasher Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda

How often should I clean my dishwasher?

At least once a month for optimal performance.

Can I mix vinegar and baking soda?

While both are great cleaning agents, using them simultaneously can counteract their benefits. It's best to use them in separate cycles, as described above.

Is there any difference between cleaning vinegar and regular white vinegar?

Yes, cleaning vinegar typically has a higher acidity, making it more potent for cleaning but unsuitable for consumption.

Written by Speedy Appliance Repair

Speedy Appliance Repair is your trusted partner for appliance maintenance and repair. With 20+ years of experience, we are experts in diagnosing and fixing a wide range of appliance issues, from refrigerators and dishwashers to washers and dryers.