Don't have the time to wash a giant stack of dirty dishes at the end of a busy day? Dishwashers are a convenient way to take a load of housework off your hands while you rest or tend to other matters around the home. Like any other home appliance, however, dishwashers do the best job when they're clean, and they do require semi-regular cleaning to stay in good working function. One easy and affordable way to clean a dishwasher is by using the natural powers of apple cider vinegar.
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Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar not only makes a great base for salad dressings and hot, fall-inspired drinks, but it has also been celebrated for its health benefits. Naturally antifungal and antibacterial, apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient in many DIY home remedies created to target issues ranging from athlete's foot to yeast infections to acne and so much more. Apple cider vinegar is also used around the home to disinfect surfaces that may harbor bacteria, such as toilets, kitchen sinks, countertops and dishwashers. If you're looking for an apple cider vinegar dishwasher cleanser, you can make one in minutes with just a few household ingredients.
Best Way to Clean a Dishwasher
What's the best way to clean a dishwasher without resorting to harsh chemicals? Vinegar. For an easy clean, simply add about a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to your empty dishwasher. If you don't have apple cider vinegar on hand, you can use distilled white vinegar to bust grime or soap spots and give your dishwasher a good cleaning – it's recommended that you run this rinse without any dishes or additional soap inside the machine.
Deep Cleaning Your Dishwasher
For a deeper clean, you can combine the power of apple cider vinegar with a couple of additional house cleaning heavy hitters. Adding baking soda and bleach to your dishwasher cleaning routine can help lift food stains, eliminate odors and deeply disinfect so your appliance is running and looking like new. Before you get started, make sure you remove any large food particles from the dishwasher and the drain, and then remove and rinse the filter by letting it soak in soapy water for about five to 10 minutes. Next, run a wash cycle with apple cider vinegar as you would for a routine cleaning.
Once your dishwasher has been treated with apple cider vinegar, coat the bottom of your dishwasher with a generous sprinkling of baking soda. Run the dishwasher once again, with no soap or vinegar, using the highest heat setting. You can hit any stubborn stains or grimy spots with a toothbrush after the cycle has run and while the washer is still wet.
Mold or mildew in your dishwasher can be treated with a final rinse of bleach as long as your appliance doesn't have a stainless steel interior (if it does, simply repeat the vinegar and baking soda process.) To clean a dishwasher with bleach, pour one cup of bleach into a bowl, set it on the bottom of the dishwasher and run it one more time. If you're looking to clean your dishwasher without the help of apple cider vinegar, you can create a DIY dishwasher cleaner without vinegar by using only baking soda or bleach in your machine, as described above.