Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Clean Dishwasher?

We all know that dishwashers need to be cleaned regularly to avoid the growth of mold and bacteria. But clean dishwasher can be daunting, especially if you have to clean the entire dishwasher by hand.

And if you’re like me, you probably hate cleaning the dishwasher. Taking everything apart and scrubbing it clean by hand is always a hassle.
Luckily, there is an easy way to clean your dishwasher – apple cider vinegar!

In this article, I will share the step-by-step process of cleaning a dishwasher with apple cider vinegar. So, whether your dishwasher is dirty or not, read on for tips on how to get it squeaky clean!

Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Clean Dishwasher

Will Vinegar Damage Your Dishwasher?

The short answer is no. Vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent and can actually help clean your dishwasher. You should use vinegar with caution, as it is an acidic substance. When using vinegar to clean your dishwasher, be sure to:

Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Avoid using other types of vinegar, as they may damage your dishwasher.
Do not use too much vinegar. Using too much vinegar can damage your dishwasher and leave behind a pungent smell. A small amount of vinegar will do the trick.
Be sure to rinse away any residue after cleaning with vinegar. It will help prevent damage to your dishwasher and keep it looking its best.

Now that you know how to safely use vinegar to clean your dishwasher let’s get into the step-by-step process. [1]

How to Clean Dishwasher with Apple Cider Vinegar (Step-by-Step)

Cleaning the dishwasher with apple cider vinegar is very easy and effective. You just need to follow the steps below to get the desired result. So, let’s get into the steps without any further ado!

Step-1: Clean Leftover Foods

The first and foremost step is removing all the plates and dishes from the dishwasher. Check out for coffee cups and wine glasses too. Then pull the bottom rack and clean all the leftover food particles. Most of the time, the dishwasher drain gets clogged due to food debris.

So, clean them properly. Don’t forget to wash the filter. You can do this by either manually cleaning the dishwasher or running it on a cycle with hot water. I recommend doing it manually for the best result.

Step-2: Run the Washer with Vinegar

Now, it’s time to use the vinegar to disinfect and deep clean the washer. For this, take a dishwasher-safe cup and fill it with apple vinegar. Then place the cup on the upper rack of the dishwasher.

Some people also use a cup of baking soda in the bottom basin of the washer. Baking soda helps to absorb unpleasant smells. And gives your washer a fresh smell.

After that, run the dishwasher on a hot water washing cycle. Hot water cycle and apple cider vinegar rinse the dishwasher more effectively. Let it complete the full wash cycle.

Step-3: Wipe Inside the Washer

After completing the dishwasher wash cycle, open the dishwasher and check if there is any vinegar residue left or not. If there is any, then wipe it off with a clean, dry cloth. That’s it! You are done cleaning inside the dishwasher with apple cider vinegar.

Step-4: Work on the Exterior

Cleaning the outside of the washer is equally essential as the inside. Door seals and other areas are prone to dirty as they get in contact with water and other liquids.

So, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the dishwasher’s exterior. You can also soak the cloth with apple vinegar for this purpose. But make sure to dilute it with water first. Otherwise, it may damage the finish of your dishwasher.

Now your dishwasher is sparkling clean, both from inside and outside!


Do not wash the dishwasher with vinegar if you have a washer with a stainless steel interior. The vinegar will leave behind streaks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Dissolve Limescale?

Yes, apple cider vinegar is an acidic liquid that can help to dissolve limescale. That’s why experts suggest using it for cleaning washing machines too. Two cups of only vinegar will be fine for removing limescale buildup.

Always run the cycle by making it empty whether it’s for the dishwasher or washing machine. Otherwise, apple vinegar can stain the clothes or dishes.

Q: Can You Use White Vinegar to Clean the Dishwasher?

Yes, you can use white vinegar to clean your dishwasher. White vinegar is also an acidic liquid that can help to remove dirt and grime from the dishwasher. But it’s more acidic than apple cider vinegar, so be careful when using it.

You can use a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar to clean your dishwasher. But if you use too much vinegar, it can damage the dishwasher.

Cleaning the dishwasher with distilled white vinegar is safe if you follow the instructions carefully. Some dishwasher warns you cannot use vinegar inside as it can harm the stainless steel parts. So, before using any cleaning agent, read the dishwasher manual carefully.

Q: Can You Leave the Vinegar in the Dishwasher Overnight?

Vinegar is excellent for cleaning dishwashers, but you should not leave it in the dishwasher overnight. Vinegar is an acidic liquid; if you leave it in the dishwasher for too long, it can damage the dishwasher.

So, it’s best to use vinegar to clean the dishwasher and rinse it out with water.

Q: How Often Should You Use Apple Vinegar to Clean the Dishwasher?

Apple cider vinegar is a great cleaning agent, and you can use it to safely clean your dishwasher effectively. But I found a question very common how often you can use apple vinegar to clean the washer.

You can use apple cider vinegar to keep the washer clean once a month. It will be enough to keep the dishwasher clean and free from dirt and grime.

Q: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work in Faucets?

Yes, apple cider vinegar can help to clean faucets. Apple cider vinegar is an acidic liquid that can help to remove dirt and grime from the faucet. But there are different types of faucets in the market, and you should not use vinegar on all faucets.

Some faucets are made of brass and copper, and vinegar can damage these materials. So, before using vinegar, check the type of your faucet and then decide whether to use it or not.

Wrap Up

If your dishwasher looks dingy and you can’t seem to get rid of the spots no matter how much you scrub, it’s time to clean it with apple cider vinegar.

This natural cleaning agent is great for removing built-up grease and grime. Plus, it’s affordable and easy to find at your local grocery store. So, follow the steps mentioned above and clean your dishwasher effectively.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. 

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Melia Karneva

This is Melia Karneva, a mother of two young gentlemen. A stay-at-home mom, she loves nothing more than cleaning and cooking for her family. Her true passion, is writing, which she pursues with great zeal. She loves putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in her spare time. Karneva thinks of herself as a Renaissance woman - she can do many things but doesn't like to brag about them.

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