Can You Put Bleach In A Dishwasher?

When it comes to powerful cleaning agents, bleach often takes the crown. It’s renowned for its disinfecting prowess and stain-banishing abilities. 

But can this potent solution be safely poured into your dishwasher?

We’re here to delve deep into the do’s and don’ts of using bleach in a dishwasher, while also ensuring we arm you with essential safety guidelines. 

And if you’re not entirely sold on using bleach, worry not! We’ve also got you covered with some creative and equally effective alternatives for keeping your dishwasher spotless.

What Happens If You Put Bleach In A Dishwasher?

A lot of people may wonder about the implications of adding bleach into a dishwasher. 

After all, bleach is well-known for its disinfecting properties and prowess in mold extermination. 

So, wouldn’t it serve to enhance the cleanliness of your dishwasher? 

Well, here’s the thing. 

Using bleach in your dishwasher isn’t as cut and dried as you might think. 

The results could vary widely based on several factors including your dishwasher type, the volume of bleach used, and the purpose for employing such a potent chemical.

Bleach indeed carries impressive disinfectant attributes. 

It’s fantastic at annihilating germs, bacteria, and mold. Thus, in dishwashers that don’t protest against bleach usage – a little bit can go a long way in killing off unwelcome microorganism tenants.

However, be forewarned! 

When it comes to using bleach in your dishwashing protocol – less is definitely more. 

High concentrations can cause havoc on the machine’s components and damage your dishes too. 

Moreover, ensure you are wearing rubber gloves while handling this powerful solution to safeguard yourself from unwanted skin irritation or burns.

Are All Dishwashers Bleach Safe?

No. Not all dishwashers are bleach safe. 

Bleach, while being a potent disinfectant capable of annihilating germs and bacteria, can pose damage risks to certain materials and create potential hazards when misused.

Let’s take a look at how bleach interacts with different types of dishwashers. 

For plastic dishwashers or those clearly labeled as bleach-safe, you’re in the clear. 

In such cases, bleach can be your ally in ridding your dishwasher of unwanted microbial stowaways. 

Just make sure your owner’s manual does not oppose this rule before starting your cleaning mission.

However, if you’re dealing with stainless steel dishwashers or parts, or even hybrids of plastic and stainless steel, things get more complicated. 

Unless your owner’s manual provides specific assurance otherwise, bleach should not be used.

Here’s why – when bleach breaks down it forms salt. 

As we all know from high school chemistry (and rusted cars), salt is highly corrosive when it comes into contact with metals. 

Specifically in the case of stainless steel, the chlorine ions from salt corrode through its protective coating over time.

Given these potential risks, the best route for figuring out if your dishwasher is bleach friendly is to directly consult with the manufacturer or thoroughly read through their instructions guide.

Finally remember – when in doubt it’s better to swerve around using bleach altogether! 

There are always safer and equally effective alternatives available for keeping your dishwasher clean and pristine: vinegar and baking soda!

How To Disinfect A Dishwasher Using Bleach

Admit it or not, our dishwashers are a haven for particles and residues. 

Often, these unwanted guests hide on the walls, around the drain area (even inside the filter), disrupting the efficiency of our beloved kitchen mate. 

Roll up your sleeves, it’s time for some deep cleaning! 

Begin with a quick cleanse, wiping away any visible debris. 

Don’t overlook the spraying arm – unclogging its pores will reinvigorate water flow.

Here’s where vinegar becomes your dishwasher’s best friend. 

  • Fill a small heat-safe bowl with the liquid and nestle it on your dishwasher’s top rack. 
  • Crank up the heat and let a full wash cycle roll out. 
  • This age-old disinfecting agent will work wonders by eliminating grime, unclogging, dissolving mineral deposits and removing gunk.

Next enters baking soda with its dual-action formula. 

  • Sprinkle around 1 cup of this miracle compound at the bottom and initiate a short hot water cycle. This step is key in neutralizing odors and facilitating gunk removal.

And then comes bleach – an ultimate weapon against bacteria and viruses.

To utilize bleach effectively:

1) Fill a dishwasher-friendly bowl with ½ – 1 cup of bleach.

2) Place it on the top rack.

3) Let your machine perform on its hottest setting.


Pour ½ – 1 cup of bleach directly into the bottom of your washer before running a full hot water cycle.

Of course, if bleach isn’t an option due to certain restrictions, don’t stress! Simply repeat the vinegar and baking soda steps to achieve that pristine sparkle we all crave.

What Is The Best Way To Clean And Deordorize A Dishwasher?

The Vinegar Method

Revered for its natural disinfecting and deodorizing properties, vinegar is your ally in combating grime, lingering food particles, and unpleasant smells in your dishwasher. 

Pour two cups of white vinegar into a dishwasher-friendly bowl and position it on your dishwasher’s top or lower rack. 

Ensure the machine is empty before selecting a cycle with an air-dry or energy-saving dry option. 

As the cycle progresses, the vinegar will mingle with the wash water, helping to neutralize any deterred aromas and enhance cleanliness.

The Baking Soda Method

Baking soda earns its high regard through its innate ability to deodorize and eliminate stains effectively. 

It can bring back the brightness and freshness to your dishwasher with relative simplicity. 

Sprinkle one cup of baking soda inside an empty dishwasher before running a hot water cycle with an air-dry or energy-saving dry option to get rid of stains and foster a more welcoming scent.

Vinegar-Baking Soda Combo Method

You can also conjure up a potent blend of vinegar and baking soda for heightened dishwasher cleaning power and deodorizing effects. Commence by following instructions for vinegar usage then proceed to apply the baking soda method.

Commercial Dishwasher Cleaner Method

If natural remedies prove insufficient in achieving desired results, branch out towards commercial dishwasher cleaners designed explicitly for limescale extraction, grease removal, and mineral build-up cleansing.

With all the cleaning efforts from above, dont forget to: 

  • Routinely detach and cleanse filters to steer clear from obstructing clogs or odor.
  • Wipe interior walls, door surfaces along with gasket seals using a moist cloth or sponge to blot out potential residue or mold.
  • Rinse dishes before loading prevents debris from adhering firmly onto surfaces.
  • Operate your dishwasher at least weekly to remove stale smells whilst maintaining pristine conditions.

Is It Okay To Put Bleach In A Dishwasher With Dishes?

To answer in brief, you can, but it requires careful implementation.

You’re allowed to incorporate bleach into your dishwasher cycle by placing two tablespoons of it into a small container positioned on the top rack. 

However, vigilance is vital – ensure you use precisely the correct quantity of bleach. Straying from this recommended amount may lead to unintended consequences.

However, before taking this route, consider washing the dishes conventionally first and then immersing them in a bleach solution for a total of two minutes prior to allowing them to dry. 

This two-step process provides a thorough disinfection and is generally deemed as the safer and more effective approach.