“Run Dishwasher with Vinegar” refers to the process of using distilled white vinegar to clean and refresh your dishwasher. By adding vinegar to an empty dishwasher and running a hot cycle, you can effectively remove odors, residue, and mineral deposits that may have built up over time.

This simple and cost-effective method helps improve the performance of your dishwasher, ensuring that your dishes come out cleaner and your appliance remains in optimal condition. Provide information on how to effectively use vinegar to clean a dishwasher

Step 1: Prepare for Cleaning

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Before you begin the cleaning process, make sure to clear your dishwasher of any clean dishes. Here’s what you need to do next:

  • Place a measuring cup in the top rack of your dishwasher.
  • Pour two cups of white distilled vinegar into the measuring cup. It’s worth noting that some manufacturers recommend using only one cup of vinegar, but consult your dishwasher’s manual for precise instructions.
  • Position the cup near the top of the dishwasher to ensure the vinegar remains in the dishwasher longer.

Step 2: Start the Cleaning Cycle

Running the dishwasher with vinegar involves a simple process that requires minimal effort. Follow these steps:

  • Start a hot water cycle on your dishwasher, allowing the vinegar to mix with the water.
  • Let the dishwasher run for about an hour to let the vinegar work its magic. The acidity of the vinegar helps break down residue and grime inside the dishwasher.

Step 3: Cleaning the Filters

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Regularly cleaning the filters in your dishwasher is crucial for maintaining optimal performance. Here’s how to clean the filters:

  • Remove the bottom rack of your dishwasher to access the filters.
  • Turn the top filter counterclockwise and lift it out. This filter might have mildew or food residue, especially if your dishes aren’t pre-rinsed.
  • Wipe away any mildew with a paper towel. The vinegar used in the previous cycle helps dissolve stubborn residue.
  • Pop up the lower filter, which you might not have been aware of. It’s common to find a buildup of gunk and grime in this filter.
  • Use an old toothbrush to remove debris from the filters. The grated surface of the filter might hold onto gunk, so thorough cleaning is essential.
  • Wipe the filters with a paper towel to remove remaining residue.

Step 4: Rinse the Filters

Rinsing the filters helps ensure they’re free from any leftover vinegar or residue. Here’s how to complete this step:

  • Rinse the filters with hot water, especially the lower filter, to remove any fatty or soapy residue.
  • For the upper filter, you can let it soak in hot water for a brief period. This loosens mildew and gunk, making it easier to clean.

Step 5: Reassemble and Test

After cleaning and rinsing the filters, reassemble them and run a test cycle to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Place the filters back in their respective positions.
  • Spin the bottom part of the dishwasher to confirm that it’s rotating freely and not hitting the filters.

Additional Tips:

  • Consult your dishwasher’s manual for specific recommendations and guidelines.
  • Ensure the vinegar is added to a cup rather than directly in the bottom to prevent premature drainage.
  • Running this vinegar cycle every month will help maintain your dishwasher’s cleanliness and efficiency.

Using Vinegar to Clean Dishwasher Benefits


  1. Effective Limescale Removal: Vinegar is acidic, which makes it excellent for breaking down mineral deposits and limescale that can build up in your dishwasher over time. This can improve the dishwasher’s efficiency and extend its lifespan.
  2. Odor Removal: Vinegar is a natural deodorizer, and it can help eliminate any unpleasant odors that may develop in your dishwasher. This is especially useful if your dishwasher has a lingering smell.
  3. Sanitization: Vinegar has some mild antibacterial properties, so using it to clean your dishwasher can help kill off some of the germs and bacteria that may accumulate in the machine.
  4. Cost-Effective: Vinegar is an inexpensive household item, making it a cost-effective option for cleaning your dishwasher compared to specialized cleaning products.
  5. Eco-Friendly: Vinegar is a natural, biodegradable cleaning agent, which makes it an environmentally friendly choice compared to some chemical cleaners.
  6. Safe for Dishware: Unlike some harsh chemical cleaners, vinegar is safe for your dishes and the interior of your dishwasher. It won’t leave behind harmful residues that could potentially come into contact with your food.

Frequently Asked Question

Why should I use vinegar to clean my dishwasher?

Vinegar’s acidity helps break down residue, eliminate odors, and maintain the dishwasher’s efficiency.

How often should I clean the filters in my dishwasher?

It’s recommended to clean the filters once a month or more frequently if you use the dishwasher heavily.

Can I use any type of vinegar?

Distilled white vinegar is recommended for its effectiveness and minimal scent.

Why is my dishwasher not draining properly?

If you notice water remaining after cycles, it might indicate a clogged line or a filter issue that needs attention.

Is pre-rinsing dishes necessary before loading them into the dishwasher?

While pre-rinsing is helpful, a well-maintained dishwasher and clean filters can effectively remove most food residues.


Running your dishwasher with vinegar is an effective way to eliminate odors and enhance cleaning performance. By following these simple steps, you’ll keep your dishwasher running smoothly and your dishes sparkling clean. Enjoy the convenience of a well-maintained dishwasher that takes care of the dirty work for you!

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