How to clean the dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher is an important job that’s often overlooked. Here’s how I clean our dishwasher and keep it like new!

Dishwashers are truly remarkable inventions! I am so grateful to have one. They take care of the dirty dishes, saving you valuable time and sparing you from the chore of standing over a kitchen sink, especially after preparing a big meal with an abundance of dishes, glasses, and utensils. However, over time, the dishwasher itself can accumulate soap scum, grease, and food debris, which might affect its performance. That’s why it is crucial to regularly clean and maintain your dishwasher to ensure optimal functionality and achieve spotlessly clean dishes every time.

My Book The Clean Home is available at


steps to clean THE DISHWASHER

All these step and DIY recipes can be found in my book, The Clean Home.


  • Clean door seals. To keep your doors looking pristine, start by giving door seals, rim buttons, and handles a thorough cleaning. Simply spray them with a cleaning spray and wipe away any dirt or grime using a cloth or wipes. For stubborn stains, use a mini brush to help remove them effectively. Once the surfaces are clean, give them an extra shine by polishing them with Kat’s Sparkle Spray or a stainless-steel cleaner. This will not only remove fingerprints but also leave your doors looking sparkling clean.
  • Clean filter. Start by filling up your kitchen sink with warm, soapy water. Next, remove the filter and give it a thorough rinse under hot water to remove any built-up gunk. Place it in the sink, use a mini brush to gently remove any trapped particles from both the mesh screen and plastic frame. Rinse the filter once again to ensure all debris is removed. Finally, securely place the clean filter back into the dishwasher, making sure it is locked in place.
  • Remove any food caught in the cutlery basket/tray.


This simple routine will leave your dishwasher clean and smelling fresh.

  • Clean the dishwasher following the previous steps.
  • To effectively clean your dishwasher and eliminate grease and limescale buildup, place a jug filled with 1 cup of vinegar on the top rack. This will allow the vinegar to work its magic on both the machine and the pipes.
  • To freshen up the dishwasher’s smell, sprinkle 1 cup of bicarbonate soda on the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Set your dishwasher to the economy setting with the hottest temperature and run a complete cycle.
  • Once the cycle is finished, use a cloth to wipe away any remaining gunk from the interior.
  • Wipe down the outside of your dishwasher and any surrounding cupboards or walls that may have splatters from dirty dishes.
  • For stainless steel dishwashers, you can easily polish the surface by using a paper towel with a small amount of olive oil. Simply wipe in the direction of the grain, adding more oil to the towel as needed. This will help to restore the shine and remove any fingerprints or smudges, leaving your dishwasher looking sleek and clean.
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Kat’s Tip:

To ensure the effectiveness of using vinegar in your dishwasher, I recommended not to pour it directly into the bottom. This is because many dishwashers run their drain pump at the beginning of each cycle to clear any leftover waste water from the previous load. As a result, pouring vinegar into the bottom would cause it to be drained away before it can properly clean and remove buildup.

I put my bicarb in a stainless steel shaker, it’s so much easier to use removing all the lumps to prevent waste. 

Alternatively, if you don’t love the idea of using bicarb and vinegar, you could use this readymade Vamoosh dishwasher cleaner. 

How often?

Daily – remove bits of food.
Weekly – quick clean
Monthly – deep clean

Maintaining and cleaning your dishwasher regularly is of utmost importance for its performance and to ensure sparkling clean dishes. Following my steps, you can easily tackle grease and food debris that may accumulate over time. Not only does a clean dishwasher enhance hygiene, but it also prolongs the appliance’s lifespan, saving you from costly repairs or replacements. 

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My mission is to inspire and empower others to achieve a sense of order and balance in their homes, enabling them to easily tackle daily tasks so then the rest of the day is filled with activities that bring them joy.

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As a popular blogger, influencer, and author, I draw from my expertise in home organization, cleaning, and meal planning to offer practical tips and heartfelt encouragement to my audience.