Dishwashers are a great convenience for washing dishes, but it's important to keep your dishwasher clean too. You can clean your dishwasher naturally both manually and also by running some products through a cycle. Whether you use dishwasher tablets or powder, it's not enough to clean the dishwasher too.

The consequences of a dirty dishwasher can be as simple as having smeary glasses and bits of food stuck to your plates. However, if you use your dishwasher to sterilise glass jars for pickling etc, you can risk bacteria growing in your food and giving people food poisoning.

While there are many choices for natural dishwashing powders and gels available, it wasn't until recently that we found a commercial natural dishwasher cleaner. The Earthwise Plant & Mineral Based Dishwasher Cleaner is formulated specifically to remove grease & lime scale build up not only from the parts of the dishwasher that you CAN see, but also the parts you can't, including the spray arms and pipes.

Washing your dishwasher should always be done while empty. Flip the cap open, sit it upside down in the bottom rack and run on a heavy duty cycle.

We also did some googling for some DIY methods of cleaning your dishwasher. We haven't tried these yet, so we can't compare them to the Earthwise dishwasher cleaner, but please feel free to experiment and let us know how you go.

clean your dishwasher naturally

Manually clean your dishwasher naturally

You can clean your dishwasher naturally for very little money. After each load, before you put the next lot of dirty dishes in, remove any visible bits of food from inside the filter and the bottom of the dishwasher. Each week, wipe down the door edges and seals to get rid of any debris, to prevent mould growing and empty and clean the filter. Monthly, deep clean the interior with its own cleaning cycle. If you don't use a pre-formulated product, here's two ways you can DIY.

DIY Internal Dishwasher Cleaning Method 1

The cheapest way to do an internal clean in your dishwasher when you clean your dishwasher naturally is with one of the most versatile and cost effective products at your disposal in any cleaning DIY set up, white vinegar. Place a mug or small bowl of cheap white vinegar on the top rack and also the bottom rack of the dishwasher and run a heavy duty cycle. This is best run on an empty cycle to be the most efficient. You can be generous with the vinegar.

DIY Internal Dishwasher Cleaning Method 2

Add approx. 2 tablespoons of bi carb soda and a teaspoon of a cooling / cleaning essential oil like Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Essential Oil to the soap dispenser. Don't pick a premium brand of essential oils to do this, something cheap will be just as good as something you'd diffuse in your home. Fill the rinse aid dispenser with white vinegar and run the dishwasher on a heavy duty / hot cycle.

We found Method 2 at Stay At Home Mum

Vinegar as rinse aid?

We read two conflicting stories about using vinegar as rinse aid (either as a cleaning method or on a regular basis). Some people say you can substitute a store bought rinse aid with white vinegar. Others say you can damage the rinse aid compartment by doing it. Natural rinse aid isn't that expensive for the volume you use, so we would err on the side of caution and not use it. If using either of the DIY methods, please be advised we are unaware of what they could potentially do to your dishwasher. I would be more inclined to try method 1, and if it doesn't work, purchase the Earthwise dishwasher cleaner to get your machine clean and then run a vinegar wash once every 2-3 weeks for maintenance.