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Are Dishwasher Cleaners Necessary? Here’s The Truth!

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Because a dishwasher’s job is to clean your dishes, it may seem counterproductive to question whether the dishwasher itself needs a cleaning every now and then. If it regularly has hot water and soap running through it, you may not think it needs to be washed. Do not be too quick to make that assumption, however. Let’s explore: are dishwasher cleaners necessary?

Cleaning a dishwasher is necessary, and dishwasher cleaners are a great way to do so. There are other methods, but products made specifically for cleaning a dishwasher are best. Over time, dishwashers can take in pieces of food from dishes that will build up in the drain and clog the dishwasher.

Continue reading to learn more about why dishwasher cleaners are necessary. Just because the dishwasher keeps your dishes clean does not mean it can keep itself in tip-top shape. It is wise to make sure your dishwasher stays clean so that it can remain highly functional for as long as possible.

Do You Need To Clean Your Dishwasher?

You are highly encouraged to clean your dishwasher regularly. Without doing so, in the long run, your dishwasher can become damaged or stop working properly. 

When bits and pieces of food are left in or on your dishes, they may be too big to fit down the dishwasher’s drain. If this happens, all of that residue will clog the drain and prevent proper drainage and cleaning from your dishwasher.

In addition, even small pieces of food can get stuck in the dishwasher’s spray arms. These are the things that rotate and spray water at high speeds to do most of the cleaning of your dishes. If these spray arms get clogged, your dishwasher will not be able to clean the dishes. The spray arms are essential to a deep clean, so it is just as important to make sure they are in good condition.

So, yes. You do need to clean your dishwasher. If you do not, the dirty dishes you put in the dishwasher will come out just as dirty as before. This is not only a nuisance to deal with, but it can also pose health risks. Make sure you clean your dishwasher.

Of course, realizing you need to clean your dishwasher might raise several other questions:

Below is more information regarding the specifics around cleaning your dishwasher.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher?

The best way to ensure that your dishwasher is working effectively is by cleaning it once a month. You might be surprised to notice how quickly food and other residues can clog your drain. 

Speaking of which, food is not the only thing that can make your dishwasher dirty. Any type of grease is bound to coat your dishwasher, especially if you do not clean it regularly. Plus, even soap particles from your dishwasher detergent can aid in clogging your drain.

By staying on top of things and cleaning your dishwasher every month, you can rest easy knowing your dishes will always be clean when they run through a cycle. As you will see later in this article, cleaning your dishwasher is an extremely easy process. 

A convenient way to get the job done is by adding a dishwasher cleaner to your cleaning list if you regularly clean the rest of your house.

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How Often Do I Need To Clean My Dishwasher?

You do not have to clean your dishwasher monthly; this is just one source of advice. If you run dishes through it more often than most people, you might consider cleaning your dishwasher more. On the other hand, whether you live alone or you and other residents tend to use paper plates, bowls, utensils, and more, you may not need to clean your dishwasher as often.

The easiest way to gauge whether you should clean your dishwasher or not is by monitoring how it looks after every cleaning cycle. Once you begin to see a bit of buildup, it is probably time to clean your dishwasher. 

Keep in mind, however, that ignoring the buildup and waiting for it to get out of hand is not the way to approach this situation. Doing so can result in a damaged, dysfunctional dishwasher.

Read our step-by-step guide to cleaning your dishwasher here.

What Happens If You Do Not Clean Your Dishwasher?

The repercussions of failing to clean your dishwasher have been briefly discussed, but if you are still not convinced, here are a few risks in play that you should know about if you do not clean your dishwasher:

  • Food buildup on the drain
  • Clogged spray arms
  • Circulation of dirty water from a covered drain
  • Raunchy smell
  • Threat of salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria
  • Damage to pipes and the dishwasher as a whole

If you completely ignore the need to clean your dishwasher, you face many more problems than just a clogged drain. 

In refusing to clean a dishwasher, you: 

  • Invite serious bacteria into your kitchen
  • Allow unfiltered water to run over your dishes
  • Face the chance of having damaged pipes that can be extremely costly

It is best to make sure you clean your dishwasher regularly to avoid any of these problems. Rather than a small inconvenience, you could be dealing with major property damage without cleaning your dishwasher.

Do You REALLY Need To Rinse Dishes Before Dishwasher?

Should You Only Use Dishwasher Cleaner?

So, how should you clean your dishwasher? Some people claim to have perfectly good DIY ways of doing so, but your best bet is to go with a dishwasher cleaner specifically made to wipe away food and grime from your dishwasher. 

Though at-home renditions of dishwasher cleaners can be somewhat effective, the best way to make sure you are getting the job done is by choosing a professional product. 

There are several high-quality dishwasher cleaners on the market, and getting your hands on one of these products is quite advantageous. Some are made to remove and/or clean certain things, while others are great for an overall dishwasher cleaning. 

There are also different ways to place products in your dishwasher. Some might need to be put in the detergent slot, while other full bottles are simply placed upside down in the utensil tray. In any case, you should opt for an industrial-grade dishwasher cleaner.


Cleaning your dishwasher is entirely necessary, and doing so with a professionally made dishwasher cleaner is the best way to do so. If you refuse to clean your dishwasher, you can face many more problems than a clogged drain. It is essential to clean your dishwasher regularly with a high-quality dishwasher cleaner.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to cleaning your dishwasher. You can also learn more about eco-friendly dishwasher tablets here.

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