How to Clean a Bosch Dishwasher In 4 Steps

Bosch dishwashers are among some of the best, especially if you want a reliable, quiet machine. However, like dishes, the actual dishwasher needs to be cleaned on occasion. After all, it’s constantly exposed to dirty food remnants and who knows what else! Luckily, cleaning a Bosch dishwasher is pretty straightforward.

You can clean a Bosch dishwasher in 4 easy-to-follow steps:

  • Remove both dishracks and the utensil basket
  • Rinse the filter assembly
  • Remove food particles from the spray arms
  • Use a cleaning solution to wash the tub

Of course, there’s a lot more to these steps than you may imagine. Today, I’ll share how to clean a Bosch dishwasher in greater detail and how often you need to clean your dishwasher.

How to Clean a Bosch Dishwasher

Bosch dishwashers will remain in top form if you take care of them. Thankfully, maintaining a dishwasher is pretty simple as long as you have the proper supplies on hand. What are those supplies, you ask?

  • Rubber gloves
  • Affresh or distilled white vinegar
  • Toothpick or bamboo skewer
  • 1-gallon bucket or basin
  • 1-cup bowl or glass
  • Scrub brush

You should have most of the listed items in your home right now, which is great news if you want to clean your dishwasher right away. Speaking of which, you can follow these steps to get rid of leftover food particles and odors from your dishwasher.

1. Remove both dishracks and the utensil basket

The first thing we need to do is to remove as many obstacles from inside the dishwasher as possible. This means taking out the dishracks and the utensil basket (if the rack doesn’t have an integrated utensil compartment).

To do this, unload all of your dishes, cutlery, and cookware from both dishracks. Now, carefully tug on the racks until they’re as extended outward as possible. Lift the back side of the dishracks to separate the wheels from the rails before lifting them up and out.

After removing the dishracks, you should have unobstructed access to all sides of the dishwasher tub.

2. Rinse the filter assembly

All dishwashers come with a set of filters that are designed to trap solid particles. Over time, the filters can become clogged, preventing water from flowing down the drain. You’ll usually notice leaks or a buildup of foul odors when the filter assembly is clogged, but you should clean it long before this ever happens!

To rinse the filter assembly, look for a cylindrical or square-like panel on the floor of the tub. Carefully lift the panel or screw it counterclockwise (lefty loosey) to remove the filter from the panel.

Carefully transfer the filter to your kitchen sink and disconnect all of the parts from each other. The smaller filter is the fine filter that traps the largest debris, while the larger filter is the ultra-fine screen that captures the tiny food remnants. Dunk both of these parts into the basin filled with soapy water.

Let the filter assembly sit for about 5 minutes before using the scrub brush to carefully brush away all of the clinging material. Rinse the filter components and install them in reverse order back inside the dishwasher.

This link will direct you to a more comprehensive guide on cleaning dishwasher filter assemblies.

3. Remove food particles from the spray arms

Another thing most dishwasher owners tend to forget is to clean the spray arms. The spray arms have tiny holes where high-pressure water is shot out of. If the holes become clogged, it can reduce how much water goes into your dishwasher, thereby reducing cleaning effectiveness.

First, remove the spray arms by simply lifting them up and out of the machine. Now, inspect the spray arm and look for clogs in the holes. Use the toothpick or bamboo skewer to carefully poke the clogs into the arm.

When the holes are cleared, dunk the spray arms into the basin of soapy water and orientate them so that the water flows out. Rinse the arms and reinstall them inside the dishwasher.

4. Use a cleaning solution to wash the tub

One thing many people tend to forget when cleaning a dishwasher is that the tub can be absolutely filthy. If the filter assembly is clogged with old food remnants, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find a thin layer of grime clinging to the tub’s walls, roof, and floor.

There are two ways you can clean the tub: using a commercial cleaner or creating a vinegar solution.

Using a commercial cleaner

There are all sorts of dishwasher cleaners out there, but I highly recommend using Affresh. The tablets are easy to use, they’re incredibly effective, and you don’t have to unload your dishwasher before popping one of these tablets inside the machine.

Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s packaging to figure out how to use it in your dishwasher. Another great thing about Affresh tablets is that they can go in the detergent dispenser or on the bottom of your dishwasher tub.

However, if you have an aversion to using chemical cleaners in a dishwasher, you can go the more natural route, which is…

Creating a vinegar solution

Vinegar is an excellent odor neutralizer, and it can work as a disinfectant to take out certain bacteria and mold. However, straight-up vinegar can be too harsh on the stainless-steel lining of the dishwasher tub, so you’ll have to dilute it with water. Luckily, your dishwasher will provide the water needed to reduce the harshness of the liquid.

Fill the bowl or glass with 1 cup of vinegar and set it on the center of the dishwasher tub’s floor. The spraying arms will introduce water into the bowl, causing the vinegar to splash around your tub and disinfect all of the sides and corners.

Run the dishwasher per the cleaner’s instructions, or if you’re using vinegar, run a regular wash cycle. Allow the wash cycle to complete before running an additional rinse cycle to remove the trace amounts of chemicals or vinegar clinging to the walls.

Additional Tips When Cleaning a Dishwasher

Additional Tips When Cleaning a Dishwasher

Now that the inside of the dishwasher is sparkly clean, it’s not time to focus on the other parts. For this, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Clean rags
  • Dish soap
  • Soft brush
  • Straightened wire hanger or a power drill with a plumbing snake attachment

Wipe down the door gasket

The gasket is the silicone or plastic lining on the perimeter of the door. Water and solid debris can get lodged in the folds of the gasket, which can contribute to the foul smell coming from your dishwasher.

Take a clean rag and wipe the gasket. Apply some soap to another clean rag, moisten it with water, and give the gasket another wipe-down. Finally, use another clean rag to wipe away the soapy residue.

Clean the inside door panel

The inside door panel may be filled with crusty bits of detergent. You can get rid of them by moistening a soft brush and carefully brushing the dried bits. Wash the dry brush before giving brushing the panel for a second time.

Clear the drain

The drain can become packed with solid debris, which prevents water from draining from your dishwasher. To clear the drain, you will need to remove the filter assembly and carefully insert a straightened wire hanger through the drain. Give the wire hanger a jiggle to dislodge as many solid particles as possible.

Alternatively, you can use a power drill with a plumbing snake attachment to aggressively dislodge solid material in the drain line. Make sure the attachment doesn’t come into contact with the dishwasher’s stainless-steel tub to prevent unwanted damage.

Remove limescale buildup

Limescale is the chalky or sometimes hard substance found in appliances and fixtures that use water. If your bathroom faucets have become cloudy, it’s possibly due to scale buildup.

You can use Affresh to descale your dishwasher since it comes with descaling chemicals. Alternatively, you can fill a bowl with 2 or even 3 cups of vinegar before placing it inside the dishwasher and running a regular wash cycle.

Another thing you can do is to create a baking soda paste by mixing 1 cup of baking soda with about half a cup of water. The paste should be spreadable but not too loose. Apply the paste all over the inside of your dishwasher, making sure not to rub the rough grains into the stainless-steel tub. Let the paste sit for roughly 30 minutes before running a regular wash cycle + rinse cycle.

How Often Should You Clean a Dishwasher?

It should not surprise you that dishwashers can become filthy over time. Old food remnants and standing water are the most common culprits of a smelly dishwasher. You need to remove bacteria, mold, and odors from your dishwasher to prevent them from contaminating your dishes.

On average, you need to wash your dishwasher at least once a month. At the very least, empty out the filter assembly to ensure dirty water flows out of the machine.

You’ll know when your dishwasher needs to be cleaned, when it releases nose-wrinkling smells whenever you open the door or if it leaks water.

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