How to Clean the Dishwasher

Since my house is clean, instead of doing regular housekeeping tasks this week, I’ve been tackling some of the projects that need attention … like cleaning the dishwasher.  Have you ever wondered how to clean the dishwasher?  I’ve got easy step by step instructions for you!

how to clean the dishwasher

Do you clean the inside of your dishwasher regularly?  I’ll be honest … I’ve never cleaned the inside of the dishwasher in my life.  The idea seemed almost counter-intuitive since soap and hot water are running through that thing at least once a day.

And then I noticed some nasty gunk building up.  And that definitely seemed counter-intuitive to having clean dishes.  Yikes!

how to clean the dishwasher

To clean the dishwasher, remove the bottom rack, lift out the spinning thing {that might not be the technical term}, and lift out the filter {check your owner’s manual to find out how to remove the filter on your particular model}.

Under the filter, you’ll likely find a collection of the nastiest gunk around.  All the bits of food that washed off the dishes will collect in there … and it’s nasty.  Clean it out and then rinse it well.  I also rinsed mine with cleaning vinegar but before you do that, be sure the vinegar won’t harm the interior of the dishwasher.

how to clean the dishwasher

Wipe down the inside of the door {I used cleaning vinegar for that as well} and then run a rinse cycle.

how to clean the dishwasher

I’ll be cleaning my dishwasher every few months now that I know how simple it is to do!

Do you clean your dishwasher regularly?


  1. says

    I clean the filter regularly in my dishwasher, but I should get to cleaning the insides with vinegar. My dishwasher is new, and I don’t want it to get gunked up! I, too, have been doing cleaning tasks that I don’t normally do recently. Yesterday, I ran the self-cleaning function of my oven for only the second time in the 10 years we’ve lived in our home! (I mostly cook on the stove or in our toaster oven.)

  2. says

    Okay, I just went and looked and can’t figure out where the filter is. I also couldn’t find my manual. I will be asking my husband tonight though. :)

  3. says

    Ok. I like in an apartment and my dishwasher is probably at least 30 years old and never been cleaned. That makes me super nervous to even think about doing this. Although it has been making a lot of squealing noise lately. I’m crossing my fingers that it dies and we get a new one :)

  4. maland says

    Just gave it a try- been looking for a way to clean the dishwasher – i feel winter time is the best time to do some deep cleaning since your stuck in the house anyways and then free up spring time for outside planting.

  5. Michelle Moore says

    I tried taking mine apart and cleaning it but can’t get it back together. Also had some problems with water leaking out of it. Like it’s not draining. Any ideas?

    • Randi Dukes says

      It should all just pop back together. Maybe it’s got a finicky angle. I have no idea about the water leaking and the drainage … the leaking could be a torn gasket but the drainage issue is out of my league. Sounds like you may need to call a repairman.

  6. Crystal milliner says

    I found this post and am so happy I did. My dishwasher NEEDED it. Thank you do much b!

    • Randi Dukes says

      It’s just an extra strength vinegar. Not all stores carry it but it can usually be found either in the cleaning aisle or in with the vinegar. Walmart is the place I usually find it. You could substitute regular vinegar.