It’s the end of summer and your dishwasher is starting to put out a strange smell. You’ve run it twice with dishwasher detergent and still, something isn’t right. Before you call maintenance or assume the worst, try disinfecting your dishwasher in 4 easy steps.

Dishwashers should be disinfected regularly, and most experts agree that once a month is an ideal frequency to keep your dishwasher running efficiently and smelling clean. If your dishwasher hasn’t been disinfected in a long time (or ever), then the likely cause of strange smells or inefficient washing is a clogged drain and food particles/debris lingering in the unit.

This simple, 4 steps process is easy to follow and requires zero tools. Give your dishwasher the extra clean love it deserves and disinfect it today with these easy tips.

Clean the Drain
You’ll need to remove the bottom dish rack to begin. Inspect the drain and clear out any debris or leftover food particles. Make sure to remove even the smallest bits of food. Wipe down the bottom rack after and return it to its original position.

Vinegar Wash
You’ll want to begin with an empty dishwasher, and place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher safe container on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on the hot cycle. Dishwashers that have become extra grimey or neglected may need two runs of vinegar through the hot cycle.

Baking Soda Rinse
Sprinkle baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher rack and run a short and hot cycle. The dishwasher should be shiny and scent-free after.

Wipe Down
To finish, wipe down the inside of the door, the outside of the door and the handle with a mix of 1:1 white vinegar and water or your favorite disinfectant cleaner. Your dishwasher will be sparkling and clean!