How to Clean Dishwasher Soap Scum


One of the biggest disappointments in house cleaning is when you open your dishwasher and find a white film over all the dishes you just cleaned. This frustrating film is caused by dishwasher soap buildup. While you can add a rinse agent to your dishwasher soap to prevent this scum from forming, but if your dishwasher is not properly cleaned, the additive will not be enough to make your dishes sparkle. Learn how to properly clean your dishwasher to avoid this annoying problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-scratch scrubber
  • Bleach
  • White vinegar
  • Clean out the dishwasher's drain trap. All kinds of food debris and clumps of undissolved dishwasher soap accumulate there. Your dishwasher's owner's manual will explain how to do this for your particular machine. If you have lost the manual, search the web for your dishwasher's manufacturer's website. You may be able to find a copy of the owner's manual there.

  • Scrub and wipe away clumps of dishwasher soap that may have accumulated in the corners of the dishwasher and in the soap dispenser cups. If the racks of your dishwasher are removable, take them out and clean them thoroughly, tops and bottoms.

  • Fill a large bowl with 1 part beach and 3 parts water. Place the bowl in the bottom of your dishwasher and run the dishwasher on the shortest cycle. Wipe away any visible debris after the cycle finishes.

  • Rinse out the bleach water bowl and refill it with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Again, place the bowl in the bottom of the dishwasher and run the dishwasher through the shortest cycle. There's no need to run the machine through a rinse cycle before cleaning your next load of dishes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always follow instructions regarding how much dishwasher soap to use and proper placement of the soap in order to avoid accumulation in the first place.
  • Never mix bleach and ammonia. This will result in harmful, even deadly, fumes.

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  • Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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