Cleaning Dishwasher With Citric Acid | Tips and Techniques

cleaning dishwasher with citric acid

Knowing how to keep your dishwasher clean is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring your dishes come out sparkling every time. While there are various methods available, using citric acid in cleaning is a popular and effective option. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the benefits of cleaning your dishwasher with citric acid and provide you with tips and techniques to achieve optimal results.

citric acid for home cleaning

Benefits of Citric Acid for Dishwasher Cleaning

Citric acid, a natural compound found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, boasts powerful cleaning properties. When used in dishwashers, citric acid effectively removes limescale, mineral deposits, grease, and soap scum buildup. Additionally, it helps eliminate odors and leaves your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, citric acid is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and safe to use on dishwasher interiors and components.

Preparing Your Dishwasher for Cleaning

Before starting the cleaning process, it’s essential to prepare your dishwasher properly:

  1. Begin by removing any dishes, racks, and utensil holders from the dishwasher.
  2. Check the drain and filter for debris and remove any visible food particles or residue.
  3. Wipe down the interior walls and door gasket with a damp cloth to remove any loose grime or residue.

Safety Measures When Using Citric Acid

While citric acid is generally safe to use for cleaning, it’s essential to take proper safety precautions to protect yourself and others. Here are some important safety measures to keep in mind:

  1. When handling citric acid in powder form or when using concentrated solutions, it’s advisable to wear protective gear such as gloves and safety goggles. This helps prevent skin and eye irritation, especially for individuals with sensitive skin or allergies.
  2. Citric acid is safe for cleaning purposes, but it should never be ingested. Keep citric acid products out of reach of children and pets, and store them in a secure location. In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical attention immediately and provide the container or label of the product for reference.
  3. Ensure adequate ventilation when using citric acid to clean appliances or surfaces. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and prevent the buildup of fumes. If working in a confined space, use a fan or wear a mask to avoid inhaling concentrated fumes.
  4. When preparing citric acid solutions for cleaning, follow recommended dilution ratios provided by the manufacturer. Avoid using undiluted citric acid solutions, as they can be too acidic and may cause damage to surfaces or skin upon contact.
  5. Before using citric acid on a large or visible area, it’s advisable to test it in a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility and avoid damage.
  6. After using citric acid for cleaning, rinse the treated surfaces or appliances thoroughly with water to remove any residue. This helps neutralize the acidity and prevents potential skin irritation or damage to surfaces over time.

Step-by-Step Guide on Cleaning Dishwasher with Citric Acid

Follow these steps on cleaning dishwasher with citric acid:

  1. Start by measuring out the appropriate amount of citric acid powder or granules for your dishwasher size. Typically, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of citric acid is sufficient for a standard-sized dishwasher.
  2. If your dishwasher has a detergent dispenser, pour the measured citric acid directly into the dispenser compartment. Alternatively, you can place the citric acid in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  3. Run a hot water cycle in your dishwasher without any dishes or detergent. Select the hottest water setting available to ensure optimal cleaning performance. The hot water will dissolve the citric acid and distribute it throughout the dishwasher, effectively cleaning and descaling the interior surfaces.
  4. Once the hot water cycle is complete, allow the citric acid solution to sit in the dishwasher for about 30 minutes to an hour. This extended contact time allows the citric acid to penetrate stubborn stains and deposits for thorough cleaning.
  5. After the soaking period, run a complete wash cycle with detergent to rinse away any remaining citric acid residue and ensure the dishwasher is clean and ready for use.

Other Uses of Citric Acid in Home Cleaning

Citric acid is not only effective for cleaning dishwashers but also has various other uses in home cleaning. Here are some additional ways you can harness the cleaning power of citric acid around your home:

1. Descaling Coffee Makers and Kettles

To descale your coffee maker or kettle, mix a solution of water and citric acid and run it through the appliance’s brewing or boiling cycle. The citric acid will dissolve mineral buildup, leaving your coffee maker or kettle clean and ready for use.

2. Removing Hard Water Stains

Hard water stains can be tough to remove from faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures. Citric acid’s acidic properties make it effective for breaking down and removing these stubborn stains. Create a paste by mixing citric acid with water and apply it to the affected areas. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a brush or sponge. Rinse thoroughly to reveal clean, sparkling surfaces.

3. Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

Citric acid’s mild acidic properties make it an excellent ingredient for homemade all-purpose cleaners. Mix citric acid with water and a few drops of essential oils for a natural and effective cleaning solution. Use it to clean countertops, sinks, tile grout, and other surfaces around your home. Citric acid not only cleans but also helps inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

4. Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances can develop streaks and water spots over time. Citric acid can help restore their shine and luster. Mix citric acid with water to create a cleaning solution and use it to wipe down stainless steel surfaces. Buff with a soft cloth to remove stains and restore the natural shine of your appliances.

Common Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

While cleaning your dishwasher with citric acid and utilizing it for other home cleaning tasks can be effective, it’s essential to avoid common cleaning mistakes that can hinder your efforts. Here are some pitfalls to steer clear of:

  1. Overusing citric acid can potentially damage surfaces, especially those that are sensitive to acids. Always follow recommended dilution ratios and use citric acid sparingly to avoid unintended damage.
  2. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to the buildup of grime, stains, and odors over time. Establishing a regular cleaning schedule and sticking to it ensures that your home remains clean and well-maintained consistently.
  3. Failure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully can result in ineffective cleaning or damage to appliances and surfaces.
  4. Improper cleaning techniques, such as scrubbing too aggressively or using abrasive tools on delicate surfaces, can cause scratches, discoloration, or other damage.
  5. Combining different cleaning products, especially those containing ammonia or bleach, can produce toxic fumes and pose serious health risks.
  6. Failing to ventilate properly while cleaning with citric acid or other cleaning solutions can lead to the buildup of fumes and indoor air pollution. Open windows and doors or use exhaust fans to ensure adequate ventilation during the cleaning process.
  7. Rushing through cleaning tasks can lead to incomplete cleaning, missed spots, and subpar outcomes. Take your time and thoroughly clean each surface to ensure a pristine finish.

dishwasher at home

Additional Tips for Effective Dishwasher Cleaning

  1. For heavily soiled dishwashers or stubborn stains, consider repeating the citric acid cleaning process.
  2. Regularly clean the dishwasher filter and spray arms to maintain optimal performance.
  3. To prevent future buildup, consider using citric acid cleaning tablets or adding a small amount of citric acid to your regular dishwasher detergent.

Cleaning your dishwasher with citric acid is a simple yet highly effective method for removing limescale, mineral deposits, and grease buildup. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your dishwasher remains clean, odor-free, and in optimal working condition. Incorporate citric acid cleaning into your dishwasher maintenance routine to enjoy consistently sparkling dishes and enhanced dishwasher performance.

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Hellamaid is a top-rated cleaning company in Canada that’s changing the cleaning industry. Led by two engineers, Ahmed and Abdul,  Hellamaid is on a mission to make cleaning services a better experience for both ends of the market: homeowners and cleaners. We offer value to homeowners through easy online booking and impeccable customer service, while offering a flexible and well paid opportunity to our cleaning partners. Learn more about us here!

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