Can You Put Bleach in a Dishwasher?

A dishwasher is an electronic appliance that cleans dirty dishes automatically. It makes it easier for you and saves you from the physical effort of scrubbing the dirty cookware gathered after your cooking process.

Have you ever thought that your dishwasher, which cleans your dirty dishes and gives you completely clean and shining dishes by removing the residues on them, needs cleaning too?

The debris of the soiled dishes gets collected at the bottom filter, which passes through the drainage. If you do not remove and clean that dirt, it may cost you your dishwasher.

That collected debris may clog the drainage hose as well, resulting in improper functioning of your dishwasher.


Is It Safe To Put Bleach In Dishwater

Many people may not feel that it is necessary to clean their dishwasher as cleaning is what it does.

While cleaning the dishes, the dishwasher goes through the process of hot water and detergent. This is considered enough to clean the dishwasher too, but it’s not.

You have to treat and maintain your dishwasher separately.

The food residues, grease, and gunk accumulated need to be cleaned from the dishwasher for efficiency.

There are sometimes people who clean their dishwasher but always ask a question- can you put bleach in your dishwasher?

With all the regular dishwasher cleaning processes, they always stop at putting bleach in their dishwasher to disinfect it.

To release you from overthinking about the bleach, the answer to your question is yes; you can put bleach in your dishwasher.

If you do not know the right way to put bleach to clean your dishwasher, this article will give you the solution.

Keep reading on to know every small steps to be taken to clean your dirty dishwasher and get it sparkling clean and properly functioning.

Types of Dishwasher Safe for Bleaching

The dishwasher is considered safe for putting bleach in it but with an exception.

All those dishwashers with an interior of plastic finish are considered safe. Also, those which do not come with any warning from the manufacturing company.

But the ones with an exception are those with an interior of stainless steel and also with a combination of plastic and stainless steel are not considered safe for bleaching, and it is strictly prohibited.

The commonly available bleach is harmful to stainless steel interior dishwashers.

Its application causes an aggressive reaction with stainless steel and results in corrosion.

The reason for this corrosion is that the bleach which is used to clean the dishwasher has a compound, namely sodium chloride.

This is a commonly known salt, which infuses in the stainless steel and slowly starts to corrode it. Leaving it harmful and useless at the same time.

The bleach used in a plastic tub dishwasher goes well together with each other and does not react with each other leaving it unharmed and completely clean and disinfectant.


The Work of Bleach in a Dishwasher

Most people must think that the purpose of putting bleach in a dishwasher is to clean the gunk, grease, and filthy interior, but it is not so.

The actual work of bleach in a dishwasher is to disinfect it.

This also helps in releasing the stuck dirt and grime inside the surface of the dishwasher and making it easier to clean.

The mineral deposits due to the regular use of hard water may also get released to get cleaned easily.

The bad smell, which results over some time from the deposit of food residue in the filter after washing the dishes, will also be removed with the help of bleach.

The antibacterial property is present in bleach, and it works wonders in removing bacteria from not only a dishwasher but from whatever it is used in to disinfect it.


Steps to Clean and Disinfect it with Bleach

If you notice that your dishwasher is not doing its job properly and find your dishes come out dirty with food residues on them and there is some unbearable smell coming from inside the dishwasher, it is a sign that your dishwasher needs cleaning.

So, let’s now directly get to the steps to be followed to completely clean and sanitize your dishwasher.

1. If you have just completed a cycle to clean the dishes, you have to empty the dishwasher rack and basket by removing the utensils from it.

After it’s done, detach and remove the racks, trays, and basket.

2. Remove all the food particles and chunks deposited at the bottom filter and from the sides of the inside walls of the dishwasher.

Do not forget to check the drain area to remove the dirt.

3. Clean out the dirt inside the holes of the spraying arm with the help of a toothpick or anything pointed.

Make sure that the water is sprinkling well from it.

4. Now, you have to take a heat-resistant utensil, preferably a bowl, and pour one cup of white vinegar.

Place the bowl inside the dishwasher and start a cycle with the highest temperature and skip the drying cycle.

After the completion of this cycle, let the dishwasher dry itself for a while by opening its door.

5. The next step is sprinkling the baking soda.

You have to take one cup of baking soda and spread it evenly inside the bottom of the dishwasher. Then start a small cycle, of course, with hot water.

It should be noted that vinegar and baking soda should not be used together in the dishwasher while cleaning. They should be used in different steps.

6. After the cleaning is completed, it is time to disinfect it with bleach.

This will help in removing the mold and mildew growth or any tough stains and make it free from any smell.

You have to take one cup of bleach in a bowl and place it inside the dishwasher. After that, run a full hot water cycle.

Or you can also try another method which is to pour one cup of bleach inside the bottom of the dishwasher and start the full cycle at the highest temperature.

The drying cycle should be skipped, and it should be air-dried with the door opened.

7. Clean the other parts of the dishwasher, like the door and gasket, with an old toothbrush.

The filter should be hand washed with warm and soapy water.

Gently scrub it with a soft sponge or soft-bristled brush to remove the dirt so that the filter may not get damaged. Avoid using any hard scrubber.

8. The exterior is as important as the interior of the dishwasher.

Gently wipe it with a soft and clean cloth soaked in soapy water.

After removing the stains, wipe them with a clean, dry cloth to dry it.

Do not use an abrasive cleaner like steel wool or hard scrubber, as it may scratch the surface and ruin its finish.

If you follow the above-mentioned steps, you will get a dishwasher shining like a new one.

It is recommended to wash your dishwasher every month if you use it regularly.

The most important thing not to forget is that you should avoid the bleach step if you have a dishwasher with stainless steel interior.

However, you can repeat the vinegar and baking soda steps if the dishwasher is not cleaned properly until you get your desired result.


Importance of Cleaning the Dishwasher

The dishwasher cleaning is as important as you want your dishes to be cleaned. If you purposely put the cleaning of the dishwasher out of your schedule, it will be your loss.

The dishwasher will pile up with grease, grime, and hard water scale.

This will be difficult to clean by yourself if you leave it for a longer period.

It will not work effectively to give you the best results. The dishes will remain dirty, which will be unhygienic and can be harmful to your health.

Not to forget the bad smell of rotten food residues on the filter. So, it really very important to clean it regularly, preferably once a month.



To summarize, bleach is considered safe to use in a dishwasher with a plastic interior.

Its usage in stainless steel can damage it, which will result in replacing it with a new dishwasher. It will cost you money, and your warranty will be of no use.

So, keep a few things in your mind to maintain and take care of your dishwasher.

It will also save you money and prevent you from getting any professional help.

By putting in small effort and time, you will become an expert yourself. You can keep your dishwasher like new for a long time.

There are different dishwashers available, from built-in dishwashers to portable ones.

Learning the correct method to clean them will give you completely clean and hygienic utensils but also an appliance to stay with you for a long time.

Find the right cleaning method suitable for your dishwasher and add it to the schedule.

The cleaner also needs to get cleaned to work with durability and efficiency and give you the best outcomes.