Cleaning a Dishwasher

How can I clean the inside of my dishwasher? I have hard water build-up and soap scum on the inside of dishwasher and the dishes do not get properly cleaned.




White Vinegar

I had a real build-up in my dishwasher and white scum on my dishes. I changed detergents but that didn't help much. I thought I might need a new dishwasher. I got something at Wal-Mart to clean it. It did a good job taking the stuff off the inside of the dishwasher but the dishes were still cloudy. Now I put a "glug" of white vinegar in the rinse water when I use the dishwasher and the dishes come out great. I am so delighted, no more scum but nice shiny dishes and the dishwasher is staying nice and clean also. (03/19/2003)

By Grandma D.


You might try running the dishwasher with CLR in it, I have never read anything about not using it in dishwashers, I know it does wonders for hard water spots and lime deposits on shower-heads. (03/20/2003)


By Jackie11065

Clean Gunk Off Inside Dishwasher

Put 1 cup of baking soda in dishwasher, run rinse cycle. Cleans gunk off the inside dishwasher. (11/05/2004)

By Gladys Hill


This works the BEST! Pour in 2-3 packages of unsweetened Kool-Aid Lemonade in the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a cycle. If the buildup is really bad it may take another try! (11/08/2004)

By Banker Sandy

Citric Acid Crystals or Powder

You can get "Citric Acid Crystals or Powder" from your local pharmacy. You only need to use 1/2 tablespoon in the detergent cup and run through a cycle. Also, use 1 tsp. in water in your coffee maker and it will clean it up perfectly. Vinegar also works well, if you don't want to use the Citric Acid. I've used it for years and have no problems of any kind of buildup on my appliances and I have hard water from a well. (11/13/2004)


By Dee K.

Hot Water

Also, I forgot to mention in my previous feedback, You definitely have to have very hot water coming into the dishwasher for it to work properly. Check in your owner's manual what the temperature should be and adjust your water heater accordingly. I've had my same dishwasher for 20 years and no problems with dingy dishes or soap scum, no matter what detergent I've used. (11/13/2004)

By Dee K.

Lemon Shine

Lemon Shine works better than anything else out there. A lot of Wal-Mart stores carry it. (11/19/2004)

By Cheryl

Lemon or Orange Powdered Drinks

Buy lemon or orange powdered drink mix. The inexpensive brand will do.
Fill the soap dispensers with the powdered mix and run through normal wash cycle. This will leave the inside dishwasher very clean! (11/20/2004)

By Gladys Hill


Use orange flavoured TANG. It really works (04/08/2006)

By Pat


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In This Article
Dishwasher full of dishes.
Cleaning a Dishwasher
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September 5, 2006
Interior of a full dishwasher.
Removing Hard Water Stains Inside Dishwasher
Replacing a Dishwasher
Replacing a Dishwasher
An open dishwasher full of clean dishes.
Fixing a Leaking Dishwasher
New Open Dishwasher
Saving Money on a Dishwasher
Halloween Ideas!
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