How to Naturally Clean Your Dishwasher


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We cook at home so much, it seems like every time I go in the kitchen, the sink is piled to the rim with dirty dishes. Therefore I am extremely thankful to have a dishwasher, especially since I’ve been the dishwasher my entire life. I still do dishes by hand sometimes, but I’ve been running the dishwasher nearly every night. However, once a month or so I notice that the dishes aren’t as clean as they should be, even though I pre-rinsed and scrubbed the leftover food off the dishes before running the cycle. This indicates that the actual dishwasher itself is dirty and needs cleaning. How does one clean a dishwasher, in the least-toxic way possible? There are products on the market designed to tackle dishwasher cleaning jobs, but there’s also a super simple way to clean your dishwasher with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your cabinets. 

Here’s how to naturally clean your dishwasher: 

You’ll Need

1 small dishwasher safe bowl

½ cup of household vinegar

½ cup of tap water

5-10 drops of lemon or grapefruit essential oil or juice

A few drops of dishwashing liquid


Fill a small dishwasher safe bowl with ½ cup of clean water, household vinegar, and a few drops each of dishwashing liquid and lemon or grapefruit essential oil. Put the bowl in the middle of the dishwasher rack, close and lock it, and start the dishwasher cycle as you normally would, without a dishwasher pod or liquid. While it’s running, wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher with a household cleaner. 


When the cycle is complete the bowl will be filled with water, which you can just pour out into the sink. If you want to go above and beyond, wipe down the interior of the dishwasher with a household cleaner. I usually don’t bother with trying to clean the filter, but if you choose to do so, follow your manufacturers’ instructions for removing and replacing the dishwasher filter.

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