01 July 2018


We're almost home, but the kids are still in charge of cleaning the dishwasher for this month. 

It's a simple household chore, that only takes a few minutes, to keep your dishwasher running properly, and that could potentially save you hundreds in repair and service costs, if not a new dishwasher before needed.

How to clean your dishwasher:

Step 1.  Place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. The vinegar will help to wash away the loose, greasy grime, sanitizes, and helps remove the musty odour.

Step 2. Sprinkle a cup of bicarbonate soda around the bottom of the dishwasher. The bicarbonate soda will help freshen the smell of the dishwasher as well as brighten up the look of the inside of your appliance by removing stains.

Step 3.  Using the hottest water available, run the dishwasher through a cycle – except for the cup of vinegar, the dishwasher needs to be empty.

Now that the dishwasher is clean and running right here are a few tips to keep it that way until the next cleaning.

Run a bit of hot water in your sink before running the dishwasher. You will get cleaner dishes if the water starts hot. You can collect the water you run and use it to fill the kettle or for watering plants or other purposes. Run the water until what comes out of the tap feels hot.

Make sure your water starts hot enough. Set the thermostat on your hot water service to 50 degrees Celsius. Water that is cooler than this won’t be hot enough to clean properly and water that is any hotter could scald.

A routine dishwasher cleaning is a good habit to get into. Mark it on the calendar to do regularly each month, the same day you do the drains and the washing machine.


  1. I don’t understand why you run hot water in the sink. My dishwasher starts with cold (to loosen dirt) then heats the water up. It is not connected to the hot water.

    1. Hello Winny,

      The water needs to be as hot as possible, which is why I also say to make sure it is on the hottest setting (on my dishwasher 70 degrees and it heats the water to that temperature). Most dishwashers are connected straight to the hot water, so by running a little water in the sink you avoid having the hot water diluted by the cold water first off. I catch the water in a bowl to use for something else, it doesn't go down the drain (usually into the kettle).

  2. Hi, I'm also wondering about the hot water - hot water burns all the proteins to surfaces of dishes and this means glasses will turn grey and plates, pans etc. don't come out as clean as they might be. So all dishwasher manuals I have read have told to connect it to cold water - and to my experience that is the case, most people I know who had had dishwashers installed to hot water have later regretted and re-installed it to cold water. So this way you don't have to rinse dishes before putting them to washer, because washed does rinsing. Dishwashers are also very efficient of heating water, so you don't have to waste water or power (they heat only the amount of water they need, not the whole boiler - that is if you have a boiler).
    Maybe this is case because we have very soft water here (we don't have to use salt in dishwasher at all)? Soft water is in all accounts cheaper - you need much less deteergents, too) but it depends where you live.

    1. Interesting, my 18 month old dishwasher must be connected to the hot water, as were the three I've had before it. To clean the dishwasher - the interior, the filters and the hoses hot water is needed to do the job efficiently.

      I use Coles brand dishwasher powder, 3 level teaspoons per load (I keep the teaspoon in the detergent container). One box (1kg) lasts around 3 months and the dishes are always clean and sparkling, but I make sure they are propely scrapbed before being put in the machine.

  3. I agree with Ul mor. Things like egg yolk will get glued to the plate. But I had a quick look on the net and one Post said plumbers are divided 50/50 on whether to connect to hot or cold water. It’s definitely worth checking the manual first. Also, I’ve found No name or Coles brand dishwasher powder scratches glasses. Some people say if you have an electric HWS then it’s cheaper to run your dishwasher on cold & let it heat up the relatively little bit of water it uses. They said if you’re on gas it’s cheaper to use that hot water.


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