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Using a Dishwasher

Dishwasher Cleaning Products: Things to Know

In this comprehensive guide, we will dig deeper into the importance of cleaning a dishwasher and the significance of choosing the right dishwasher cleaning products.

The dishwasher, a cherished appliance in modern kitchens, has undoubtedly simplified our lives by taking the hassle out of cleaning dirty dishes. However, regular maintenance is essential to ensure it continues to function efficiently and yield spotlessly clean dishes. Cleaning your dishwasher is a crucial aspect of this maintenance routine. It helps extend the life of your appliance and ensures that your dishes come out sparkling clean and odor-free.

In this comprehensive guide, we will dig deeper into the importance of cleaning a dishwasher and the significance of choosing the right dishwasher cleaning products.

Importance of Cleaning a Dishwasher

Your dishwasher may seem like a self-cleaning machine. But it can accumulate food particles, soap scum, and mineral deposits from hard water over time. These build-ups diminish the dishwasher's performance and lead to unpleasant odors and potential bacterial growth. Cleaning the dishwasher regularly removes these residues, prevents clogs, and enhances efficiency, ultimately saving you energy and water.

Neglecting to clean your dishwasher can have several consequences. Firstly, it can lead to the proliferation of bacteria and mold, which poses health risks to your family and compromises the hygiene of your dishes. Secondly, mineral deposits and food residues can cause the dishwasher's spray arms and nozzles to clog, resulting in uneven water distribution and reduced cleaning power. Moreover, the heating element may also suffer, leading to longer and less effective drying cycles.

By dedicating a little time and using appropriate cleaning products, you can maintain the performance of your dishwasher, prolong its lifespan, and ensure your dishes emerge from each cycle impeccably clean and sanitized.

Dishwasher Cleaning Products

In addition to DIY solutions, a range of commercial dishwasher cleaning products is available to take care of specific issues and deliver thorough cleaning. Let's explore some of these products:

Dishwasher Cleaning Pods

Dishwasher cleaning pods or tablets are pre-measured units of detergent combined with cleaning agents to tackle built-up grease, limescale, and food residues. They are designed to be used without dishes in the dishwasher. Simply place the cleaning pod in the detergent compartment and run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle.

These products often come with instructions on how frequently they should be used. If you're looking for high-quality cleaners, Finish's In Wash Dishwasher Cleaning Tablets are an excellent choice. These pods can be added to the dishwasher along with your detergent, so that the machine gets cleaned while running the wash cycle.

Rinse Aids

A rinse aid, like the one by Finish, is a liquid product that assists in drying dishes more effectively and prevents water spots and streaks. It reduces the surface tension of water, allowing it to slide off dishes and glassware more easily. Using a rinse aid regularly can improve the overall performance of your dishwasher and ensure your dishes come out spot-free and shiny.

Dishwasher Cleaner

Dishwasher cleaners are specifically formulated to remove mineral deposits, grease, and limescale that can accumulate in the dishwasher's interior, heating element, and spray arms over time. Regular use of a dishwasher cleaners, such as Finish's Dishwasher Cleaner, can help maintain the efficiency of your appliance and prevent clogs, ensuring that your dishes are thoroughly cleaned. Remember to use it in the machine’s empty cycle only.

Dishwasher Freshener

Dishwasher fresheners are designed to combat unpleasant odors that may arise from leftover food particles and residues. They are available in various forms, such as gels, clips, or pods, and release a pleasant scent during the wash cycle, leaving your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh.

For instance, Finish's Dishwasher Freshener uses a unique Scent Control technology that keeps your appliance smelling clean and fresh after every use. All you must do is hang it from the dishwasher's upper rack, taking care not to block the spray arms.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher's Exterior

Cleaning the exterior of your dishwasher is an essential part of its maintenance, as it not only keeps your appliance looking clean and presentable but also ensures the removal of dirt, grime, and fingerprints that can accumulate over time. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean a dishwasher's exterior effectively:

Step 1: Unplug the Dishwasher (if applicable)

If your dishwasher is a portable or built-in unit, make sure to turn off the power source or unplug it from the electrical outlet to ensure safety during the cleaning process.

Step 2: Wipe Down the Exterior Surface

Using a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge, dampen it with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or all-purpose cleaner. Gently wipe down the entire exterior surface of the dishwasher, including the front, sides, and top. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they can damage the dishwasher's finish.

Step 3: Clean the Control Panel

Pay special attention to the control panel, as it is one of the area’s most prone to fingerprints and grime. Use the damp cloth or sponge to clean the buttons and display screen. Be cautious not to let excess water seep into the control panel, as it may cause damage.

Step 4: Address Stubborn Stains (if necessary)

For stubborn stains or dried-on residue, mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Dampen a cloth with the vinegar solution and gently rub the affected areas. The acidic properties of vinegar can help dissolve tough stains without damaging the dishwasher's finish.

Step 5: Clean the Edges and Corners

Pay attention to the edges and corners of the dishwasher, as these areas can accumulate dust and dirt over time. Use a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush dipped in the soapy water to clean these hard-to-reach spots effectively.

Step 6: Rinse and Wipe Dry

Once you have cleaned the entire exterior surface, rinse the cloth or sponge thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Wipe down the dishwasher again, this time using clean water to remove any remaining soap or vinegar. Make sure to wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth to prevent water spots and streaks.

Step 7: Polish (Optional)

For extra shine and to remove any remaining fingerprints, you can use a stainless-steel cleaner or a specialized dishwasher cleaner/polish. Apply the product as per the manufacturer's instructions, usually by spraying or wiping it onto the surface, and then buff it with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 8: Reconnect the Power (if applicable)

If you unplugged the dishwasher, make sure to reconnect it to the power source after the exterior cleaning is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions on Dishwasher Cleaning Products

In this section, we'll discuss a few common questions about keeping your dishwasher clean.

Dishwasher Cleaning Solutions Expert Finish suggest that dishwasher should be cleaned at once every three months with a powerful dishwash cleaner.  However, if you notice any  signs of build-up or foul odors, you may need to clean it more frequently. It is also a good idea to remove food particles and other debris after every use (or at least once a week).

The best products for cleaning a dishwasher include dishwasher cleaning pods, rinse aid, dishwasher cleaners, and dishwasher fresheners. While pods/tablets work in the machine’s wash cycle, a dishwasher cleaner needs you to run an empty cycle. A Rinse Aid, on the other hand, works as an additive to other cleaning products. Choose products from reputable brands like Finish known for their effectiveness and quality.

Some modern dishwashers come with a self-cleaning cycle that helps remove residues and build-ups. However, this cycle might not be sufficient for heavy cleaning, and occasional manual cleaning or the use of cleaning products is still recommended.

Yes, dishwashers need regular cleaning to maintain their efficiency, prevent odor and bacterial growth. Regular cleaning also helps extend the lifespan of the appliance.


Cleaning your dishwasher is a vital task to ensure its optimal performance and longevity. From at-home solutions to commercial dishwasher cleaning products, there are various options available to keep your dishwasher running smoothly. Regular cleaning using appropriate products can help remove grease, limescale, and food residues, leaving your dishes spotlessly clean and your dishwasher smelling fresh.

By incorporating dishwasher maintenance into your routine, you can enjoy the convenience of this appliance for years to come. Remember, a well-maintained dishwasher not only ensures sparkling clean dishes but also promotes a healthier and more hygienic kitchen environment.