How to Use a Dishwasher Without Detergent

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Use the rinse cycle and white vinegar to clean dishes in your dishwasher.

A dishwasher does not have to be used with detergent. There is a wash cycle and a rinse cycle on dishwashers, and depending on which model you own, only the rinse cycle needs to be used. An entire dish washing cycle consumes twice as much water as hand-washing dishes in a dishpan. But if the rinse cycle is being used exclusively, you can still clean dishes safely without using a detergent.


Step 1

Wash your soiled dishes in a sink or basin.

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Step 2

Load the washed dishes into the dishwasher. To maximize rinsing, stack larger dishes on the ends and place bowls and cups upside down on the racks. Separate silverware into the baskets made for them.

Step 3

Add white vinegar to the detergent cup, and a good rinsing aid in the rinsing cup. The acid in the white vinegar disinfects the dishes, and the rinsing aid makes them come out spotless.

Step 4

Set your dishwasher on the rinse cycle, and close the door. It will rinse and disinfect the dishes.

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