How to Clean a Dishwasher With Citric Acid

Citric acid is an organic acid derived mostly from citrus fruits. Usually found in crystal form, citric acid has a sour taste and can be used for cleaning and descaling. Minerals from hard water can build up in your dishwasher, reducing its performance and effectiveness. Citric acid breaks down the minerals, resulting in a cleaner and more efficient dishwasher. Find citric acid crystals (sometimes called "sour salt") or liquid in the canning or spice section of your grocery store or drugstore and clean your dishwasher periodically to keep it performing its best.

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Dishwashers can accumulate calcium and iron deposits from hard water.

Step 1

Empty the dishwasher of dishes.

Step 2

Fill the detergent dispenser with 3 or 4 oz. of citric acid crystals or liquid.

Step 3

Close the door and set the dishwasher to run a normal wash cycle.

Step 4

Open the dishwasher door when the cycle completes and fill the detergent dispenser with dishwasher detergent.

Step 5

Close the dishwasher door and set the dishwasher to run a normal wash cycle.