How Do You Run a Clean Cycle on a Dishwasher?

It’s important to run a clean cycle in your dishwasher every now and then. This will help to clean away any dirt, grime and food scraps that may have attached themselves to certain internal parts and can be a precursor to bacterial growth.

A clean cycle also helps to refresh your dishwasher and helps to remove any offensive odors that may be present. So, if your dishes are not coming out as sparkling clean as they should be, it’s time to run a clean cycle to effectively clean and freshen up your dishwasher.

Running A Clean Cycle On Your Dishwasher

Put simply, a clean cycle is just running your dishwasher while it’s empty and can include using cleaning products such as vinegar, baking soda or a commercially available dishwasher cleaner.

Here’s the complete guide to giving your dishwasher a deep clean.

Remove The Racks, The Filter And The Utensil Holders

To ensure that every interior nook and cranny inside your dishwasher gets effectively cleaned, you should first remove all the interior bits such as the racks, the filter and the utensil holders.

Give the filter a good clean by running it under hot water and using a soft brush to remove any residual food scraps and other debris.

Fill the sink with warm water and add one cup of white vinegar. Place the racks, the filter and utensil holders into this and let them soak for around 30 minutes before rinsing them and leaving them to drain.

Wipe Out Your Dishwasher

The next step in your deep clean is to wipe out the dishwasher with a damp microfiber cloth. Make sure you get into the corners. You should also check the spray arms to ensure that the holes are not filled with food waste.

These can easily be cleaned with an old toothbrush or you might even need to use a toothpick to dislodge any stuck food particles.

Run A Deep Clean Cycle With Vinegar

Grab a bowl or cup and put one cup of white vinegar into it. Place this upright into the bottom of your dishwasher. Select a hot water cycle on your dishwasher settings but turn off the drying function.

Run the dishwasher through this entire cycle. You’ll find that the vinegar will help to sanitize the dishwasher and will also help to breakdown any bits of food waste that are still lingering.

In addition, the vinegar will get into the spots that you can’t see like the hoses and pipes. This will help to flush out any grease as well as any deposits of limescale.

Run A Short Cycle With Baking Soda

After the deep clean cycle is complete, open the dishwasher and remove the bowl with the vinegar in it. Grab one cup of baking soda and sprinkle this all over the base of the dishwasher.

Set the dishwasher to run on a short cycle at the hottest temperature but turn off the drying function. Run the dishwasher through its short cycle.

The baking soda will not only freshen up your dishwasher but it will also help to remove any stains that may have appeared over time.

When the cycle is complete, open up the dishwasher and let it completely air dry.

How Often Should You Run A Clean Cycle On Your Dishwasher?

How often you run a clean cycle on your dishwasher will depend on how you use it and how often you would normally run it. For example, if you run your dishwasher on a daily basis, many experts recommend that you run a clean cycle once a month.

However, if you only run the dishwasher every couple of days and you always rinse your dishes before putting them in, you can lengthen the time in between clean cycles and only run one once every three months.

Using A Commercial Dishwasher Cleaner For A Clean Cycle

There are plenty of commercially available dishwasher cleaners that will help to clean your dishwasher if you don’t want to use vinegar or baking soda. Many of these will also incorporate a descaler which is ideal for removing any limescale from inside your dishwasher.

These cleaners are particularly useful for hard to reach places such as the spray arms and the heating element. After many uses, these parts can have a layer of limescale deposits that will reduce the effectiveness of your dishwasher.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you put detergent in for a clean cycle?

No, it’s not necessary to put detergent into your dishwasher for a clean cycle. If you have a dishwasher that has a self clean cycle, this should also be run without detergent and while the machine is empty.

Should you leave the dishwasher door open?

It’s recommended that you leave the dishwasher door open after you run a clean cycle so that the interior can air dry.

Can you put vinegar and baking soda in the dishwasher at the same time?

You should never combine vinegar and baking soda in the same dishwasher clean cycle. This is because the two agents will react with each other and cause foaming. This will leave you with a huge mess to clean up.

Final Thoughts

Running a clean cycle on your dishwasher is fairly simple and straightforward. All you have to do is remove the racks, the filter and the utensil holder and then put in a cup of vinegar in an upright bowl or cup. Then, it’s just a case of running the dishwasher on the hottest cycle.

For an extra deep clean, you can run another short cycle with just a cup of baking soda sprinkled in the base. It’s important to remember never to place both vinegar and baking soda into your dishwasher at the same time if you don’t want a huge mess to clean up.

If all else fails, you can buy a commercially available dishwasher cleaner and descaler and put this into your dishwasher before you select the hottest cycle and run the dishwasher.

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