How to remove limescale in the dishwasher

How to clean a dishwasher at home: the best mechanical and chemical ways

In order to ensure that the dishwasher properly coped with its duties, you need not only to follow the rules of operation, but also regularly take care of the technique. Otherwise, you can encounter such troubles as a musty smell, grease buildup, mold. And in the most neglected cases. with the breakdown of the equipment itself.

To learn all about how to clean your dishwasher at home and prolong its life, you can read the following article. We have described in detail the care methods and steps for your dishwasher, and listed the tried-and-tested products. Keeping our tips in mind, you can make sure your dishwasher doesn’t get in trouble.

Dishwasher contamination

Like any other appliance, the dishwasher is subject to dirt, and the producers recommend cleaning it at least once a month. Depending on how often you use it, you can do it less often.

The extent and speed of dishwasher soiling depends on several factors:

  • The machine runs once a day or more;
  • The door remains closed after washing. In this case, there is a risk of mold inside the appliance;
  • Hard water without dishwasher softening salt;
  • Very dirty dishes: with food scraps, burnt parts and frozen grease;
  • Washing at a low water temperature;
  • Washing plastic or wooden dishes not designed for the machine.

There are also a few signs that signal the dishwasher needs cleaning:

  • Unpleasant odor inside;
  • Residual dirt or white streaks on the dishes after washing them in the machine;
  • Food residue inside the chamber;
  • Plaque on the filter;
  • Water starts to drain more slowly than usual.

If at least one of these signs is present, you should think that it is time to wash the machine. Despite its purpose, the dishwasher (even such well-known brands as Bosch, Indesit) is not capable of cleaning itself, it must be done by a person.

Descaling, cleaning and disinfecting with chemicals

Sooner or later the parts of the washer-dryer will get scale. the salt cannot neutralize completely the water hardness. Detergents are not able to remove these deposits, lime scale can only be removed by chemical action. For this purpose, you can use both special agents for cleaning dishwashers and other means, including folk.

Scale formed on the bottom of the cavity of the washing machine

Using folk remedies

Many people know about universal remedies, which are in the arsenal of almost every housewife. These include:

These remedies can be successfully applied for dishwasher care. For example, cleaning the dishwasher with citric acid.

Vinegar, soda, citric acid, borax. irreplaceable helpers in the household

Below you will find several recipes that will help to clean the limescale and disinfect the dishwasher:

  • Remove dishes and baskets from the cabinet. Sprinkle about 200 grams of citric acid powder over the bottom. Select the standard wash program, without a pre-soak. Run it, wait until it is half done and pause for 20-30 minutes, then end the program. Citric acid gives the best cleaning results, but is harmful to elastic gaskets, so use it only as a last resort.
  • Pour two cups of vinegar in the bottom of the cavity. Take a sponge, moisten it with the same liquid and wipe the entire interior surface. Afterwards select the program with the double rinse mode. Wait until the washing machine is halfway through the program, and then pause for 30 minutes. Finish the job. Run the express washer to empty all parts of the machine from vinegar residue. By the way, it is also not the best contact with the rubber gaskets.
  • Add 3-4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to 400 g of baking soda. Roll 2-3 balls from the resulting mass and place them in the bottom of the chamber. Select a long program and run it. When finished, remove and rinse out the filter. Finish the process by re-running the long wash.

Vinegar and baking soda wash the machine well

We want to give a good advice: do not abuse the use of folk remedies, as they are detrimental to the materials in the dishwasher. It is better to spend a little money and buy household chemicals, specifically designed for cleaning the automatic dishwasher from limescale and dirt.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Industrial household chemicals for dishwasher cleaning

There are quite a few such preparations available. The principle of their action is similar to the above described products: the composition is placed in the machine, after which a long cycle at high water temperature is started. At the end of the cycle, rinse the machine again to remove all dirt and cleaning agent residue.

Finish Calgonit. one of the best detergents for washing machines

Besides Finish, such preparations are widespread and popular: “Antiscale”, tablets Frau Schmidt, express cleaners Top House, Clean Home and other effective means.

Give your dishwasher a comprehensive cleaning at least once a month, and it will serve you well for many years, without causing you too much trouble.

How to descale the dishwasher

The dishwasher is descaled no more frequently than once in 3 months. Disassemble the device is not necessary. you can break the tightness of connections and short-circuit the wiring. The heaters are cleaned with acids and washed. Work in high temperature mode and additionally rinse out the means.


The appliance runs as usual with the product always in use. After stopping the machine:

  • The tray is pulled out;
  • Pour 400-450 ml of vinegar (9% is best) into the bottom;
  • The machine is placed on the heat;
  • When the temperature rises, wait 40 minutes to 8 hours.

Dishwasher switches off at the end of the program.

You will need sodium borate, which can be purchased at the drugstore:

  • Powder product is diluted in water, and then all working surfaces are wiped with it;
  • Sodium borate is diluted with water 1:5;
  • The solution is poured into the container for the detergent.

The technique works in standard mode until a full stop.

Citric acid

The product is used to combat limescale, grease, mold:

  • For minimal to medium amount of scale, 200-300 g of limonka will be needed;
  • In the case of heavy soiling, 300-400 g of lemon powder is used;
  • The remedy is poured into the cleaner compartment;
  • The intensive mode is started until complete.

After the end of the program a second rinse with water is carried out.


The chemical can be purchased in a hardware store. The composition has a gel form, so it is very economical. Use the descaler strictly according to the instructions. If the dishwasher is equipped with a water hardness adjustment feature, turn it on in the background.

Important! If the water is not draining properly, you need to remove the detached plaque from the hose.

Dishwasher Tips for good use

Tips for using the dishwasher correctly

When a dishwasher is clogged, not every user knows how to clean it. To ensure that this need arises as infrequently as possible, take professional advice:

How to get your dishwasher ready for cleaning

Before you start eliminating unwanted deposits inside the unit, you’ll need to completely disassemble the dishwasher. Proceed as instructed:

  • Unplug the appliance from the mains.
  • Pull out the baskets, shelves and racks by unlatching or pulling them toward you until they are completely out of their guides.
  • Find where the strainer is located. It is usually at the bottom of the dishwasher drip tray. Carefully loosen the screws and remove it.
  • Remove the paddles that feed the water. Don’t forget the grate in the liquid drain area.

Soak all removed components in plenty of warm water, adding a little dishwashing liquid or a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. Leave to soak for an hour.

Reasons for thorough cleaning of the automatic dishwasher

Dishwasher manufacturers recommend maintenance procedures once a month.

Housewives don’t always keep to a schedule and clean the equipment when it’s needed. Such an approach is justified, because to a large extent the degree of contamination depends on the peculiarities of use and compliance with the rules of dishwashing.

The absolute proof that the dishwasher urgently needs to be cleaned and disinfected is the appearance of a persistent and heavy odor in the tank. This means that pathogenic bacteria can breed in the dirt layer. They should be destroyed immediately

The frequency of cleaning can be affected by factors such as:

  • Dishwasher mode. Some housewives run the machine daily. Others wash dishes by hand, and only when the amount becomes too great do they use the technique.
  • Dirty cutlery. Grease, leftover dough, burnt food are much harder to clean than rinsing plates after vegetable salads. Under the rubbers and in hard-to-reach places accumulate different amounts of dirt.
  • Washing temperature. The machine can run in different cycles. If its owner often uses low-temperature modes, the technique clogs faster.
  • Detergent composition. The more aggressive the chemistry, the less dirt accumulates on the internal parts of the machine. On the other hand, such preparations are potentially dangerous for health. Ecological compounds often do not dissolve grease very well, which contributes to quick pollution of the machine. We reviewed the most effective remedies here.

You should be guided by the quality of the equipment. If the dishes shine and squeak after washing, all is well. But when on the surfaces of plates and glasses there are streaks from dried water, traces of dirt, it is time to think about the care of the machine.

To ensure that the dishwasher will serve for many years without repair and replacement of parts, it is cleaned once every 1 to 3 months. It’s first done manually with a brush, a soft sponge, and then start the automatic cleaning mode

The procedure begins with manual cleaning of filters, impeller, space under the rubber seals. Be sure to check for mold on the dish basket, the walls of the chamber, under the rubber. If necessary, immediately rinse with detergent.

After that, you can run the automatic cleaning with a special chemical. tips on how to clean the dishwasher yourself we have listed in this material.

Dishwasher care rules

Prevention is one of the first things you can do to prevent heavy soiling.

It is necessary to fight with the leftovers of food even before the dishwasher is clogged with them, therefore it is prohibited to put dishes with pieces of dinner or lunch left on them into the appliance.

remove, limescale, dishwasher

Before you clean your dishwasher, let’s remind you of the basic rules of operation:

  • It is best to leave the machine with the door open at the end of the cycle. This will help get rid of excess moisture.
  • After each use, wipe the basket with a dry, clean kitchen towel.
  • All removable parts should be dried before putting them back.
  • Use special tablets and dishwasher liquids. Violation of this item, filling the machine with detergents not intended for this purpose may cause a machine breakage.

Important! Fae Platinum dishwashing capsules have proven effective. They contain salt and rinse aid, prevent the accumulation of grease on the parts of the machine, remove unpleasant odors.

Clean this way: Learning how to properly clean your dishwasher

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Admit it, you rarely do that boring task of cleaning the dishwasher. And, it would seem, why would you want to wash the inside of an appliance that rinses its own dishes (and itself as well)? However, if you recall the existence of a dishwasher manual, it will probably say: dishwasher cleaning is indicated every four to six weeks. Regular dishwashing reduces limescale deposits, removes soap scum and food particles (which reduce machine efficiency and clog the nozzles that supply water to wash the dishes). Bottom line: a clean dishwasher means clean dishes.

The water must be hotTo wash and sanitize the dishes inside the dishwasher better, select approximately 50°C. How to clean a dishwasher if your machine doesn’t have a separate knob for selecting temperature, but only preset modes?

remove, limescale, dishwasher

Clyde Yankey, who has been repairing appliances for 25 years at Clyde the Appliance Guy, advises in this case the “thumb rule” for testing water temperature: “If you can keep your finger there for longer than two seconds, you need to increase the temperature.”.

Clean the filterConsumer demands over the years have pushed manufacturers to create quieter dishwashers.

EASIEST WAY to descale and clean a DISHWASHER

In the past, dishwashers had a part called a shredder. it recycled food and acted as a trash container (but made about as much noise). Food would fall into the chopper and be recycled, and then be flushed out with the dirty water.

New models use a removable cylindrical strainer on the bottom of the machine instead of the chopper. When food is washed off dishes, large particles collect in the filter to avoid clogging the drain, and it’s a quieter process.

The problem is that large particles stay inside until the filter is cleaned. Abandoned filters can get clogged with large pieces of waste and can even start to smell. If the dishwasher smells bad, that could be it.

How to find the filterIn many dishwashers, removing the filter requires more effort than just turning it counterclockwise. Sometimes it is not at all obvious where, in principle, it is located. Because there are so many models, it’s best to get the manufacturer’s manual. paper or online.

Once you’ve figured out where to look and what to do, make sure you remove the open-circle shaped plate from inside the filter, and rinse it under the tap. Then put the filter back in place. If it is not properly secured in its place, food particles can leak out and clog the pipes.

Lucinda Ottush of the Whirlpool Institute of Home Science recommends checking the plate once a month if you tend to leave food on plates. If you rinse your dishes before you load the dishwasher, cleaning once every three months will suffice. “If you notice that your dishes aren’t rinsing completely with the usual activities, pieces of food are left on them, or they’re greasy to the touch, then it’s time to check the filter,” she says.

Clyde recommends cleaning the filter every week if the appliance is used daily. “The cleaner and free of excess debris you keep your machine, the longer it will last,” he says If you let it get clogged with dirt, it will break.”.

Check the insideSince you’ll have to remove the bottom basket and appliance bin to get to the filter, this is a great time to explore the bowels of the dishwasher. Once the garbage can is removed, check the bottom of the machine, especially the area near the drain where debris can accumulate.

Don’t use dishwashing liquidLucinda says you can wipe the inside of the machine with a rag or sponge, but make sure they don’t have regular hand soap or dishwashing liquid on them. Even a small amount of soap left on a sponge can provoke foam inside the dishwasher. Foam can loosen seals inside the filter and other components and cause leaks.

Make a paste of dry dishwasher powder instead, or use dishwasher liquid.

Fighting calcium streaksYou’ve noticed white streaks inside the dishwasher? These are hard water buildup, also known as lime scale. they look like white sludge. Over time, such buildup can clog the holes in the dishwasher jets and filter components. White vinegar can help remove plaque (see point 10 for more information).

Use quality detergentsHigh-quality detergents keep dishes and the dishwasher clean. Lucinda says three-in-one products work better. These are the tablets you put in the machine. Look for packages with different liquids and colors. They release different components at different times during the wash cycle, adding enzymes and auxiliary rinses.

“I’m not a fan of powder,” Clyde says I prefer gels or prepackaged tablets. Cheaper detergents take longer to break down and dissolve in water. They run the risk of accumulating inside car parts and in the motor.

Watch what goes in the dishwasherDish dishes are advised to be cleaned and even rinsed before being sent to the dishwasher. At a minimum, check plates for toothpicks, bones, olive and fruit bones, paper labels glued to jars, or sticky price tags left on purchased plates. “Paper combined with water creates a papier-mâché inside the filters and clogs them,” Lucinda says.

If you find broken glassware in the machine, collect all the shards and pieces that ended up in the dishwasher. If the glass is shallow enough, it can get into the system.

We often hear from customers that they’ve only mastered one universal cycle and that they don’t use all the various options and cycles,” says Lucinda. But manufacturers have not tried for nothing and have developed a separate option for pots and pans, for example. It is specially configured to remove large impurities. Or don’t complain later that the dishwasher didn’t wash the pan properly on the universal mode. Special cycles and options work better than a ‘general cycle'”.

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