"$uper" frugal living. "$aving" money...one idea at a time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How To: Clean and Deodorize Your Dishwasher

Does your dishwasher look like this?
(or some other nasty variation of it?)
Do you find little food particles stuck to your "clean" dishes?
Do your dishes smell "fishy", even after they have been washed?

Mine did.  And it was grossing me out.  Big time.   

So I did a little research (here and here) and set about fixing the problem. 

All it takes is a little vinegar.  Really!   

$uper easy....$uper cheap! (Commercial products can be expensive...and are not necessary.)

Step 1  Fill a cup or bowl with 1 cup vinegar (distilled white is best).  
Step 2  Place cup/bowl on top rack of EMPTY dishwasher.
Step 3  Run dishwasher through a REGULAR wash cycle, hot of water as possible (heat dry not necessary)

Not brand new...but a VAST improvement.
I even stuck my head in there and "took a big whiff".
Ahhh....fresh.  No more "fishy" smell.

For more extensive cleaning/deodorizing try these tips:
1.  Remove utensil holder and lower rack
2.  Use an old toothbrush or dish scrubber to clean around inside of dishwasher door (paying close attention to crevices and rubber seal) with HOT soapy water.
3.  Use a sponge or clean cloth to wipe down the entire interior of the dishwasher, including the bottom (pay close attention to the drain where food particles collect).
4.  Replace utensil holder and lower rack. 
5.  Repeat steps 1,2 and 3 from above, only pour an additional cup of vinegar over the bottom of the dishwasher as well.


  1. You're so good at it you can come and do mine next!!

    1. Oooh! Can I sign up for that too? haha! Does this cover the dirty dishes piling up in both of my sinks as well:-)

  2. Thanks for all your handy information! Love the blog.

  3. Vinegar strikes again, eh? That should be the nametag on your Superfrugalhero, almost! I find vinegar seems to be the cleaning answer half the time...or more. Well-timed, we recently moved into a home with a dishwasher (we're in NZ, yes, lots of homes *don't* have them), and I was wondering how I could clean it cheaply (suspected vinegar might be involved), you saved me a search, since I stumbled on your VIA MMB or J. or something. CHEERS!


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