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How to clean a dishwasher

It may seem strange having to clean a dishwasher, given that it cleans everything inside every time that you use it, but regular maintenance and cleaning will help keep it in tip-top condition.

Here’s everything that you need to know about cleaning a dishwasher, both with the regular jobs and less-frequent options.

What we used

These tips will work with all dishwashers, integrated and freestanding. You don’t need anything particularly special, but a dishwasher cleaner can be a useful tool.

The short version

  • Wipe down the sides and controls
  • Use limescale remover on tough stains
  • Clean out the filter
  • Use a dishwasher cleaner
  • Make sure you’re using salt and rinse aid
  1. Step

    Wipe down the sides and controls

    Use a soft cloth (microfibre is good) to regularly wipe down the edges of the door and the control panel. Stay away from harsh cleaning chemicals and anything abrasive, as you don’t want to damage the controls or any LCD screens that your dishwasher may have. You should ideally do this daily, when the dishwasher has finished a cleaning cycle.

    Make sure to remove any food debris that you can see: look around the bottom of the door where it can accumulate. Close up view of control section/panel of AEG dishwasher

  2. Step

    Use limescale remover on tough stains

    If you’ve got a dishwasher that’s suffering from limescale build-up around the door, you can use a limescale spray to remove it. Follow the instructions on the bottle for how long to leave the spray, then wipe clean at the end. Repeat to remove any stubborn build-ups. The more you follow step one, the less often you’ll need to do this step.Clean a dishwasher limescale

  3. Step

    Clean out the filter

    Dishwashers all have a filter at the bottom, which is there to capture debris and stop the waste hose from getting clogged. Weekly, you should remove the filter, empty out any bits of debris and wash the filter under running water. Your dishwasher’s manual will tell you how to remove this. Picture of a Samsung Galaxy A90 held in hand facing back, back panel view

  4. Step

    Use a dishwasher cleaner

    Dishwasher cleaner helps deep clean the inside of your dishwasher. The one used here needs the cap removed and then for the bottle to be placed into a cutlery rack or, if you have a shelf, stood upright. You can get cleaners that come in tablet form, instead. Make sure that you follow the instructions carefully: dishwasher cleaner should be used with the machine empty and on a higher heat than you may normally use. You should do this job monthly.Use dishwasher cleaner

  5. Step

    Make sure you’re using salt and rinse aid

    Keep the inside of your dishwasher in peak condition by using salt and rinse aid, both set to the right level. You can read the guide on how to use a dishwasher for more information on this.Close up picture of holders in trays of a Bosch Perfect Dry dishwasher


What does dishwasher cleaner do?

Dishwasher cleaner removes grease and limescale from your dishwasher. This helps the inside stay clean and fresh, and ensures that spray arms work optimally.

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