Cleaning a Dishwasher With Bleach

Cleaning a Dishwasher With Bleach – Everything You Need to Know

Bleach is a strong cleaning product that is great at removing tough stains, taking out mildew and eliminating bacteria.

However, it’s not necessarily safe to use bleach in a dishwasher.

Everything you need to know about cleaning a dishwasher with bleach will be revealed below.

Should You Use Bleach in Your Dishwasher?

First and foremost, you need to establish whether you can or cannot use bleach in your dishwasher.

A dishwasher that is made from stainless steel, or has a stainless-steel interior, should not be cleaned with bleach.

Bleach will erode and damage the appliance.

If you wish to clean your stainless-steel dishwasher you should use products like white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, or a specialised dishwasher cleaning product.

These dishwasher cleaners are more than capable of cleaning your dishwasher to a decent standard.

Dishwashers that are made from plastic, and have plastic interiors, can be cleaned using bleach. But, remember, bleach can cause discolouration.

Using Bleach to Clean a Dishwasher


Points to Consider Before Cleaning a Dishwasher with Bleach

Consider these points before you begin cleaning your dishwasher with bleach:

  • Bleach is strong and nasty, so take care when using this product.
  • Wear gloves, a mask and goggles when you work with this item.
  • Bleach can weaken the seals in a dishwasher over a period of time.
  • Bleach can discolour stainless steel dishwashers.
  • Bleach should always be diluted in water.
  • You must be 100% sure that you don’t have any stainless-steel parts inside your dishwasher before you use bleach.
  • Always run an additional hot wash to clean out excess bleach from the dishwasher when you’re done cleaning.
  • Bleach will be good at removing mildew and mould.
  • Don’t mix bleach with any other household goods – can cause fumes.
  • Never mix vinegar and bleach together – will cause a chemical reaction.
  • Try to avoid using bleach-based cleaners in your dishwasher.
  • If you’re unsure, always refer to your user manual for guidance and helpful tips.
  • When creating a bleach solution only use warm water – boiling water can cause a reaction.

Now it’s time to clean your dishwasher using bleach.


Using Bleach to Clean a Dishwasher

If you are happy to use bleach in your dishwasher, and you know that your appliance is not made from stainless steel, then this is how you clean your dishwasher with bleach.

There are 2 methods you can try, it’s up to you to decide which one you’d prefer to use.

Method 1: Spray bottle bleach

If you go with this method, you’ll basically create a sprayable bleach/water mix that comes in a bottle. All you do is spray the inside of your dishwasher with the mix and wipe it down. You can, in theory, clean where and as much as you like when using the spray bottle method.

It’s a little more work than Method 2 because you have to put the work in, but it’s effective nonetheless.

What you need:

  • Safety clothing
  • Spray bottle
  • Liquid bleach
  • Warm water
  • Cloth
  • Teaspoon

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pop your eyewear, mask and gloves on.
  2. Find a safe space to work in.
  3. Make sure kids and animals are out of the way when working with bleach.
  4. Open a window for ventilation.
  5. Grab your spray bottle.
  6. Pop ¾ of a teaspoon of liquid bleach into the spray bottle.
  7. Fill the bottle up with warm water – lukewarm water is perfect, boiling water is not.
  8. Shake the bottle – the bleach will now be diluted.
  9. You can spray this mix in your dishwasher to clean it out.
  10. Use a cloth to wipe the dishwasher down.
  11. Run a cycle to clear out any excess bleach from the dishwasher.


Method 2: ½ a Cup of Bleach

This is when you add bleach into the dishwasher, and the product will slosh around inside the appliance when you start a long cycle. It’s a more intense cleaning method and the machine does the work for you.

What you need:

  • Protective gear
  • Dishwasher safe bowl
  • ½ a cup of liquid bleach

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pop your protective gear on.
  2. Open a window for air.
  3. Make sure your kids and pets are out of the room.
  4. Grab a dishwasher safe bowl.
  5. Pop ½ a cup of liquid bleach into the bowl.
  6. Put the bowl in the bottom rack of your dishwasher.
  7. Run a long cycle.
  8. Run an additional cycle to clear out excess bleach.



Working with bleach can be quite dangerous, so before you dive into your cleaning session, ask yourself if using this product is essential. There are lots of ways you can clean a dishwasher, and most of these alternative ways will be fairly harmless to you and your family.

If you think that using bleach is vital, think about the points outlined above, and always be careful when using the product.