We can spend so much time loading and unloading our appliances that clean for us that we forget about cleaning them out too. Dishwashers are a good example. We see all the water and cleaning fluid running through them and don’t consider the importance of a good cleaning cycle. A frequently recommended option here is cleaning a dishwasher with vinegar. It is meant to be more beneficial, but how does it work? Let’s learn more about how to clean the dishwasher with vinegar.
Why should we use vinegar when cleaning at home?
Vinegar is one of those ingredients that sounds like an odd choice as a natural cleaning product. The smell can be overpowering, and we know that it is highly acidic. We like our cleaning products to have more of a floral or lemon scent – which is why so many people also turn to clean a kitchen with lemon juice. But, the properties of this liquid are advantageous for a good clean. We can use it around the home, which works wonders in a dishwasher.
One of the most significant benefits is cutting through grime and grease. There is no guarantee that the waste and dirt lifted from your plates and cookware will wash down the drain. Some may linger in the machine and become a bit of a problem. There is also the risk that food particles and the ongoing cycles of dirty water will leave a bit of a bad smell in your machine. Vinegar has some excellent properties for absorbing odor.
There is also the fact that this is a purely natural ingredient, which has to be better than running harsh chemicals through the machine. No synthetic fragrances or other particles could linger in the machine and cause a reaction later on. The accessibility of white vinegar also means that you can set this up whenever you need to and not worry about the cost. Some high-end dishwasher cleaners are surprisingly pricey.
Are there any downsides to using vinegar in your dishwasher?
While the benefits are substantial, there are some warnings to take note of. First, don’t add vinegar with items still in your machine. There is a chance of a reaction, especially if salts are present, which could cause discoloration. then there is the risk of the acid in the vinegar breaking down rubber components if used too frequently. Occasional use of small amounts is acceptable. You don’t want to be running cups full of the stuff through the machine each week.
So how does the process work?
All you need to do is run the dishwasher while empty with some of this vinegar as the cleaning solution. Most find that half a cup of white vinegar is more than enough on one cycle. It should dilute nicely with the water, so it is still effective but won’t cause the damage mentioned above. Some put this bowl of vinegar on the bottom of the machine to be sure it mixes with the water from the start. Others prefer to put the bowl on the top rack. Find which works best for your machine. Also, run this on the hottest setting for a better clean.
What about using baking soda with vinegar?
Some users also add baking soda on a second cycle to enhance this odor-eating property and neutralize the acidity of the vinegar. Baking soda is a brilliant and safe cleaning agent that works well as a deodorizer around the home. Again, it is a natural and affordable product to use elsewhere in the kitchen. It is abrasive in a relatively gentle way and should pose any risk when regularly used in your kitchen.
Is learning to clean a dishwasher with vinegar the right choice for you?
This method and the potential benefits of cleaning a dishwasher with vinegar are pretty convincing if you have never tried it before. There is so little to do and the potential for such good results that it has to be worth a try. Just make sure not to do it too frequently, and don’t forget about adding that baking soda for the best results.