How to Use Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner

Dishwashers are great at, well, washing dishes. However, the more frequently you use it, the dirtier it becomes, and the more elbow grease you’ll have to put in to get your dishwashers spotless again. Luckily, you can use dishwasher cleaners, such as Affresh, to make the cleaning job a breeze.

According to the official website, this is how you use Affresh to clean your dishwasher:

  • Prep your dishwasher
  • Add Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner
  • Run a normal wash cycle
  • Relax

In this guide, I’ll provide an in-depth explanation of how exactly you to use Affresh dishwasher cleaner, how often you should use it, and dishwasher cleaner alternatives.

What is Affresh?

Affresh is a cleaning tablet that can be used to clean washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers, and other household appliances that use water. It is formulated to dissolve slowly in water to create foam that loosens and breaks up solid residue, including scale buildup.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of Affresh:


  • Simple to use
  • Pre-measured for added convenience
  • Cleans the entire tub and dishracks
  • Removes grime from hard-to-reach places inside dishwashers
  • Requires no manual scrubbing
  • Only 1 tablet needed per month
  • Safe on dishwasher-safe dishes


  • Costlier than homemade cleaning solutions
  • Does not clean gasket
  • May require multiple tablets to get rid of all scale buildup

How to Use Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner

Dishwashers save time by doing the one chore many of us don’t ever want to do—wash dishes. However, dishwashers, too, tend to get dirty, which is why you will need to flush their tubs and filter assemblies to ensure that no debris gets stuck and creates a nose-wrinkling odor.

Luckily, you can clean your dishwasher without having to manually scrub the inside. If you have a pack of Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner tablets, you can get your dishwasher nice and clean in a matter of [however many minutes it takes your dishwasher to complete a full wash cycle].

Have an Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner tablet ready? Good, let’s begin.

1. Prep your dishwasher

The great thing about Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner tablets is that you don’t have to unload your dishwasher beforehand. The chemicals will not destroy dishwasher-safe objects, so you can leave your dirty dishes where they are. However, if you’re uncomfortable doing this, then feel free to unload both dishracks.

It’s recommended that you unload your dishes when using Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner since dirty dishes may get in the way. However, this is completely up to you.

2. Add Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner

Where you put the tablet depends on whether or not your dishwasher is loaded.

If you want to wash your dishwasher and a load of dishes at the same time, just toss the tablet onto the bottom of the tub. The tablet will slowly dissolve when the dishwasher fills with pre-rinsing water.

On the other hand, if you want to wash your dishwasher without a load of dirty dishes, you can pop the Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner tablet inside the detergent dispenser compartment. After the pre-rinsing phase, the detergent dispenser door will pop open, dropping the tablet onto the bottom of the tub, where it will dissolve and clean your dishwasher.

3. Run a normal wash cycle

Run a normal wash cycle

When you’ve fully prepped your dishwasher and added an Affresh tablet to the machine, it’s time to start a normal wash cycle. Set your dishwasher to start a regular wash cycle without all the add-on programs.

4. Relax

This is an optional step in the dishwasher cleaning process. You don’t have to stick around and wait for the dishwasher to complete the wash cycle. When the machine is done, open the dishwasher door and see just how clean your dishwasher has become, thanks to a single Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner tablet.

How Often Should You Use Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner?

You really only need to use a single Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner tablet once a month for the best results. That said, how frequently you need to use Affresh depends on how often you run your dishwasher and how quickly it starts to smell.

You can prevent odors from building inside your dishwasher by cleaning the filter assembly, getting rid of burned plastic, and removing the largest bits of debris from your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.

In addition, you can reduce the rate at which scale builds up inside your dishwasher by adding dishwasher salt to your machine. It will capture calcium and magnesium ions that lead to the chalky substance that leaves specks all over your beautiful drinkware.

Doing all of these things, as well as keeping up with regular dishwasher maintenance, can help you get away with using 1 Affresh tablet per 6 months if you’re diligent.

Dishwasher Cleaner Alternatives

Perhaps you’re one of those people who don’t want to add more chemicals to the inside of a dishwasher than absolutely necessary. If this is the case, then you should probably think about using non-chemical alternatives for neutralizing odors and getting rid of stains from inside your dishwasher.

There are several things you can try, some of which are pretty well-known. Let’s see what they are.



Vinegar is a classic odor neutralizer and descaler. Here’s how you can use vinegar to deep-clean your dishwasher.

  1. Remove the top and bottom dishracks from your dishwasher.
  2. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl.
  3. Place the vinegar-filled bowl in the middle of the dishwasher tub.
  4. Shut the dishwasher door and run a normal wash cycle.

The way this works is, your dishwasher will fill with water, and the water will mix with the vinegar. The vinegar-water mix will pass through the spray pump and exit the spraying arms, cleaning the interior of your dishwasher from top to bottom. Finally, the dishwasher will flush the vinegar away with the final rinse cycle.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another excellent alternative. This time, we need to create a paste to smear on the inside walls of the dishwasher. This is how you do it:

  1. Remove the top and bottom dishracks from your dishwasher.
  2. Mix 1:3 or 1:4 parts water and baking soda to form a paste. It should be viscous enough to smear and leave a thin layer while also not feeling too crumbly.
  3. Smear the baking soda paste all over the dishwasher tub.
  4. Let the paste sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Run a regular wash cycle.

The baking soda also neutralizes odors and destroys scale buildup, albeit at a slower rate than vinegar. When smearing the paste, make sure not to rub it too vigorously onto the stainless-steel tub’s walls since they can scrape the surface.

If you notice leftover baking soda paste after running a wash cycle, feel free to run 1 or 2 additional rinse cycles.

Dish Soap + Baking Soda

Dish Soap and Baking Soda

Usually, you’re not supposed to put dish soap inside a dishwasher since it creates an explosion of suds and bubbles. However, we can use those suds and bubbles to our advantage when cleaning a dishwasher.

  1. Remove the top and bottom dishracks from your dishwasher.
  2. Fill the detergent dispenser with three drops of liquid dish soap.
  3. Fill the dispenser the rest of the way with baking soda.
  4. Close the dispenser door.
  5. Run a regular wash cycle.

The dish soap mixes with the baking soda to create an odor-neutralizing bubble explosion that will get everywhere. If you try this method, you will absolutely have to run multiple rinse cycles to flush everything out of the dishwasher.

Make sure you also clean the door gasket and filter assembly of your dishwasher since those places are where smells usually come from.

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