A Bosch dishwasher is designed to provide spotless clean dishes with each wash. However, over time, grease, hard water stains, soap scum and food particles can build up inside the dishwasher, reducing cleaning performance. Regular cleaning is essential to keep your Bosch dishwasher running at peak efficiency. Fortunately, you can clean your Bosch dishwasher using natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
Why Clean Your Bosch Dishwasher
Cleaning your dishwasher regularly has several benefits:
- Removes grease, limescale, soap scum and food residue that can build up over time. These can lead to poor wash performance if left unchecked.
- Prevents odors from developing inside the dishwasher. Food particles left behind can rot and cause foul smells.
- Extends the life of your dishwasher by keeping the interior clean. Buildup of deposits can damage components over time.
- Improves drying by removing film buildup. Dishes will dry faster and more completely.
- Saves energy by allowing your dishwasher to run more efficiently. Buildup prevents proper operation.
Cleaning your Bosch dishwasher with household ingredients is simple and only requires a few supplies:
- White vinegar – cleans limescale and deodorizes
- Baking soda – removes grease and odors
- Old toothbrush or dish brush – for scrubbing
- Microfiber cloths – for wiping down surfaces
- Bucket or large bowl – for mixing cleaning solutions
Make sure the dishwasher is completely empty before cleaning. It’s also a good idea to remove the filter and clean it separately before starting.
Cleaning the Door and Interior
Start by giving the visible parts of your dishwasher a thorough cleaning by hand:
Step 1: Wipe Down Surfaces
Use a microfiber cloth dampened with warm water to wipe down the door, door gasket, tub walls, racks and any other interior surfaces. This will remove any loose food particles or debris.
Step 2: Scrub With Brush
Use an old toothbrush, dish brush or other small scrub brush to clean in crevices and hard to reach areas. Focus on the door hinge, rack attachments and the inner rim of the tub. This will remove stubborn buildup.
Step 3: Rinse
Wipe down all surfaces with a clean damp microfiber cloth to rinse away any loosened soil. Let air dry completely before replacing racks and running a wash cycle.
Step 4: Clean Filter
Remove the filter and rinse under warm running water. Use a toothbrush or other soft brush to gently clean the mesh screen until all residue is gone.
Cleaning With Vinegar
Vinegar is a mild acid that helps dissolve lime and hard water scale. It’s safe for cleaning the interior of your dishwasher.
Step 1: Add Vinegar
Pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar into the bottom of your empty dishwasher tub. For heavy buildup, fill the detergent dispenser cup with vinegar and run that through an empty cycle.
Step 2: Run Hot Cycle
Run your dishwasher through a hot wash cycle with the dishwasher empty. This will circulate the vinegar throughout to dissolve any grease and limescale.
Step 3: Repeat if Needed
If you don’t see improvement after one vinegar cycle, repeat the process. Extreme buildup may require multiple vinegar cycles to fully remove.
Step 4: Rinse Cycle
After the vinegar cycle(s), run an empty dishwasher cycle on the hottest setting to rinse away any remaining vinegar.
Step 5: Dry Inside
Prop open the dishwasher after the final rinse cycle and allow the interior to completely dry. This prevents any vinegar smell from remaining.
Cleaning with Baking Soda
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can scrub away grease and neutralize odors inside your dishwasher.
Step 1: Sprinkle Baking Soda
Sprinkle 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda onto the bottom of your empty dishwasher tub. Make sure to coat the interior walls and rack attachments.
Step 2: Run Hot Cycle
Run your dishwasher through a hot wash cycle with the dishwasher empty. This will circulate the baking soda to scour and deodorize the interior.
Step 3: Scrub With Brush
After the baking soda cycle, scrub any problem areas with a brush. The damp baking soda will form an abrasive paste.
Step 4: Rinse Cycle
Run an empty dishwasher cycle on the hottest setting to rinse away any remaining baking soda. Make sure all soda is rinsed away.
Step 5: Dry Inside
Prop open the dishwasher after the final rinse cycle and allow the interior to completely dry before replacing dirty dishes.
To keep your Bosch dishwasher clean long-term, repeat a vinegar or baking soda cycle monthly. Remove and clean the filter regularly. Avoid letting dishes sit dirty for long periods. Scrape off food bits before loading. Use a dishwasher cleaner product every 3-6 months for a deeper clean.
When to Call a Professional
If you notice a persistent bad odor, cloudiness in the rinse, water pooling in the bottom or other performance issues, there may be a clogged part that requires a professional repair. Hard water areas may require a service call to descale the interior.
Getting in the habit of regular DIY cleaning using vinegar and baking soda will save you the hassle and expense of a repair visit. Following these natural cleaning methods, your Bosch dishwasher will stay fresh and provide spotless dishes for years to come. The small time investment is well worth it for optimized cleaning results.
Cleaning a Bosch Dishwasher with Vinegar and Baking Soda
When it comes to Bosch models, vinegar and baking soda are your new best friends for getting grime and buildup out of there. Let me walk you through how I like to use these simple ingredients for cleaning.
Vinegar – An All-Purpose Cleaner
Vinegar is amazing for breaking down hard water deposits, soap scum, and greasy gunk inside a dishwasher. The acidic vinegar dissolves all that built-up crud that can clog wash arms and jets.
I’m a huge fan of using straight white vinegar. Just pour 1-2 cups of it into the bottom of your empty Bosch dishwasher and run a hot cycle. The vinegar will disinfect and deodorize as it cleans. If you’ve got really stubborn hard water stains, fill the detergent cup with vinegar so it gets sprayed directly during the cycle.
Baking Soda – A Gentle Abrasive
Where vinegar shines at dissolving buildup, baking soda excels at scrubbing away oils and odors. Its mildly abrasive texture scrubs caked-on food and grease stains. Baking soda also absorbs funky smells that can get trapped inside the dishwasher interior.
Sprinkle about 1 cup of baking soda all over the inside of your empty dishwasher. Run a hot wash cycle to let it scour and neutralize odors. I like to take a brush to it after the cycle to really work into tough gunk.
Comparing the Two Cleaners
|Great dissolving power, disinfects, removes odors
|Can leave slight vinegar smell if not rinsed well
|Abrasive for scrubbing, deodorizes
|Need to rinse thoroughly, less effective on hard water buildup
As you can see, they both have strengths in keeping a Bosch dishwasher squeaky clean. I recommend alternating between the two for a complete cleaning.
Here’s my simple routine for staying on top of my Bosch dishwasher cleaning:
- Monthly vinegar wash – keeps limescale and soap scum at bay
- Monthly baking soda scrub – gets rid of grease and smells
- Clean filter monthly – prevents clogs
- Avoid long dirty holds – scrape dishes before loading
- Use dishwasher cleaner every 3-4 months – deep cleans
Follow this schedule and you’ll avoid most problems with Bosch dishwasher performance and maintenance. They really are reliable machines when cared for properly.
Proper Use of Vinegar in Your Bosch Dishwasher
Vinegar is commonly used to clean dishwashers, including Bosch models, because of its ability to cut through grease, dissolve hard water deposits, and disinfect. However, vinegar is an acid, so you need to use it properly to avoid potential damage to your dishwasher. Here are some tips:
- Only use white distilled vinegar, not apple cider or other types. Distilled white vinegar has the right acidity level for cleaning the dishwasher interior.
- Check rubber door seals and hoses to make sure they are still pliable before using vinegar. Prolonged exposure to vinegar can cause degradation. Limit any vinegar contact with these parts.
- Never use vinegar with stainless steel dishwasher tubs. The vinegar can corrode and pit the stainless steel over time. Use a stainless steel cleaner instead.
- Limit vinegar to once a month for cleaning. More frequent use is too abrasive and could eventually damage interior parts.
- Always run an extra rinse cycle after using vinegar to flush it out completely. Remaining vinegar residue will affect future washes.
- Leave the dishwasher door open after finishing so the interior can air dry fully after using vinegar. Moisture helps vinegar smell linger.
Follow these precautions, only use distilled white vinegar, and your Bosch dishwasher can safely benefit from vinegar’s cleaning power.
Using Baking Soda for Ideal Results
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a mildly abrasive yet gentle cleaner that works well in Bosch dishwashers. For best results, use baking soda as follows:
- Sprinkle approximately 1 cup of baking soda across the bottom of the empty dishwasher tub. Make sure to coat the sides, back panel, racks, and door.
- For heavier buildup, make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply the paste with a damp sponge to problem areas.
- Run the hottest, longest cycle with the dishwasher empty to allow the baking soda to fully circulate and scrub the interior.
- Always do a second rinse cycle to remove all baking soda residue. Remaining powder will affect future wash performance.
- If needed, take a brush to tough stains after the cycle while the interior is still damp with baking soda.
- Wipe down all interior surfaces after cleaning to remove any lingering debris loosened by the baking soda.
- Allow the dishwasher to dry fully before running another wash cycle with dishes. Moisture activates baking soda.
Used properly, baking soda is a safe, effective way to keep your Bosch dishwasher clean and odor-free.
Sanitizing Your Bosch Dishwasher
In addition to grease and limescale removal, sanitizing your Bosch dishwasher is important to eliminate bacteria that can lead to odors or make dishes dirty. Here are 3 methods to sanitize:
Bleach – Adding 1/2 cup bleach and running an empty hot cycle will sanitize the interior. Rinse twice after to remove bleach residue. Only use bleach monthly since it can damage parts with prolonged use.
Vinegar – The acid in vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant. Letting vinegar sit for 5 minutes before running the cycle boosts sanitizing power. Use vinegar for sanitizing more regularly than bleach.
Steam cycle – High heat steam cycles kill 99.9% of bacteria in Bosch dishwashers. Run a steam cycle monthly to sanitize the tub, door, seals and internal parts. Use a heated dry cycle after.
Other tips for a sanitized dishwasher:
- Clean and replace dishwasher filters monthly
- Frequently wash dishcloths and scrub brushes in hot, soapy water
- Only use rinse aid in the dispenser cup – don’t add to the bottom
- Immediately run a wash cycle with dirty dishes – don’t let them sit
A clean, sanitized dishwasher means cleaner, more hygienic dishes.
Troubleshooting Standing Water
Finding standing water at the bottom of your Bosch dishwasher after the cycle finishes can be frustrating. Try these troubleshooting tips:
- Check for obstructions in the drain hose that prevent water from emptying. Kinks, food blockages or too high of a drain loop can cause water to back up.
- Clean out debris from the drain filter and pump assembly. Built up food and particles can clog the drain valve mechanism.
- Confirm the drain hose is installed at the right height. Too low can siphon dirty water back in, too high prevents proper draining.
- Make sure dishes aren’t blocking the detergent dispenser, preventing it from opening to release rinse aid which aids drying.
- Try reducing the amount of rinse aid dispensed. Too much rinse aid prevents water from draining out properly.
- Run vinegar or dishwasher cleaner to remove any grease or soap buildup causing poor drainage.
- Level the dishwasher if it is unbalanced or tilted too far forward, preventing water from draining out the back.
- Adjust or tighten door springs and latches if the door isn’t closing fully, causing leaks.
- Replace the drain valve if it is damaged and no longer functioning properly.
Identify and fix the specific cause of drainage issues to get your Bosch dishwasher draining completely again.
The Bottom Line
Vinegar and baking soda offer an inexpensive, non-toxic way to clean a Bosch dishwasher thoroughly. I’m a believer in their cleaning power when used properly and consistently. Give them a try yourself next time your Bosch needs freshening up. Your dishes will come out sparkling clean!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How often should I clean my Bosch dishwasher with vinegar?
A: Aim to clean with vinegar once a month for preventative maintenance. For heavy buildup, you may need to run vinegar cycles more frequently at first.
Q: Is white vinegar safe for dishwasher hoses?
A: Yes, white vinegar is safe for rubber and plastic dishwasher hoses and seals. It will not corrode or degrade these materials.
Q: Should I scrub with baking soda by hand or run a cycle?
A: For thorough cleaning, do both. Sprinkle baking soda and run a cycle first to let it circulate. Then take a damp brush to scrub problem areas.
Q: Where should I apply vinegar in the dishwasher?
A: Pour it in the bottom of the tub and/or fill the detergent cup. Both areas will distribute the vinegar well during the cycle.
Q: How do I know if I got all the vinegar smell out?
A: Run an extra rinse cycle with no vinegar after cleaning. Leave the door open to air out afterward. If any smell remains, repeat the rinse.