How to Clean the Plastic Interior of a Dishwasher

By Kathryn Hatter

Often people assume that because a dishwasher cleans the household dishes, the interior of the dishwasher will stay clean. Unfortunately, because of the food particles that run through a dishwasher as it cleans your dishes, the interior of a dishwasher can accumulate stuck food debris over time. Clean the plastic interior of your dishwasher every few months to make sure it is clean enough to clean your dishes.

Clean the plastic interior of a dishwasher to ensure clean dishes.

Step 1

Empty the dishwasher.

Step 2

Wipe out the plastic interior with damp paper towels to remove every bit of food debris you may see. Clean the inside of the dishwasher door and every inside surface of the tub of the dishwasher by wiping them thoroughly with damp paper towels.

Step 3

Clean the nooks and crannies of the dishwasher with the toothbrush. Clean away stuck debris from around the gasket by brushing with the toothbrush to dislodge the debris. Brush away any food debris you find in the area at the bottom of the dishwasher door. Often food settles in this spot and water will not reach this area to rinse away settled food. Wipe away the food you dislodge with a damp cloth.

Step 4

Check the bottom of the dishwasher where water drains out. Usually you will find a grate above the drain and food often accumulates in this area. Wipe away any food debris you find with a damp cloth.

Step 5

Inspect the spray arms for food debris. Often the holes in the spray arms will accumulate food and other waste and this debris can clog the holes. Use a toothpick to carefully dislodge debris and clear the holes.

Step 6

Fill the dishwasher-safe bowl with 2 cups of white vinegar. Place the full bowl of vinegar onto the bottom dishwasher rack and close the dishwasher door. Run the dishwasher through a standard cycle without heat and without dishwasher detergent.

Step 7

Open the dishwasher when the cycle finishes and remove the container. Wipe the interior of the dishwasher again with a damp cloth to remove any remaining debris.

Step 8

Fill the soap dispenser with dishwasher detergent and run the dishwasher again through another standard cycle to finish cleaning the dishwasher.