Deep Cleaning.,  Squeaky Clean.

Deep Cleaning Your Dishwasher.

There is one thing for sure I’ve noticed in this world. When it comes to loading your dishwasher, there are two types of people. Type A people will rinse, give a quick scrub and then load it in. Type B people will put it in as is. No matter the amount of ketchup, corn niblets, bones, bits of cereal, etc that are still on it.

Well growing up, we were Type A. Still to this day, I’ve been Type A. Even when people say “oh no, don’t worry about it. Just put it in as is”. Nope, sorry. Not happening. I love your filter too much, and maybe it’s time that you should start.

In our trailer, we have always had a dishwasher. However, since I moved in we have only ever used that dishwasher as a drying rack. Mostly because it never drained properly and well, I’m not a plumber. And also because the hard water here is so bad that we had pieces of our racks breaking off due to the calcium deposit buildups. YUCK. Since there is only two of us living here, it wasn’t the end of the world and we had no issues washing our dishes by hand.

Recently, I had the opportunity to purchase a “New Used” dishwasher and I thought to myself, “Heck, why not”. It’s a beautiful stainless steel and at a reasonable price. Except that I knew that because of our hard water issues here, I would need to be putting in some extra treatments to it to prevent any calcium buildups.

In went the dishwasher, happy girl!!!

Now, I know that since I bought it used, I should have cleaned the filters and the main pieces of it before I really started using it. Instead, I got lazy and said I would do it in a month or two. I trusted what the seller had said, “It’s my baby, we treat it very well, always rinse, it’s in great shape, no complaints. We’re upgrading our kitchen equipment and this just doesn’t go with it anymore”.

Fast forward a couple weeks and I was getting dishes that had some “treats”, if you will, lingering on our “clean” dishes. So here I am kicking myself for not doing it earlier. Oh well.

Now, let me show you WHY you need to give a good, deep cleaning to your dishwasher. Especially if you have hard water stains in your dishwasher.

*apologies in advance for the gross photos… It’ll pay off in the end when you see the difference!


Here are some before & during photos I took.


First and foremost, every dishwasher is different. Please use this as a general guide and be sure to check with your specific manual with regard to deep cleaning it. The model that I have is a Maytag MDB8959AWS2.

I began by removing the lower wash arm, then loosening feed tube so I could pop it off the filter. Once I took the screws out of the filter, I was able to pull the top part of that off. There was a screen part on the top that I could pop off also.

Once I had visual into the drainage area, I got to work picking everything out of it. I then used a toothbrush and a scrub brush and really got all the guck out. I used some hot soapy water with some vinegar in it to help lift everything off.

After that, I broke down the feed tube which was mostly held together by little clips and a couple of screws. I was sure to take photos of everything so I could reference them if needed when I was putting it back together.

While it was fairly naked in there, I started to spray everything down with vinegar water (50/50) with a drop of Dawn dish soap. I would wipe away any other food remnants if I saw them and let the vinegar mixture sit a little longer on any problem areas.

I then started the process of putting everything back.

Once everything was back in, I really sprayed it down with the vinegar mixture. Including the racks!!! I left it for 10-15 minutes to really set in. After that, I poured 1/2 cup more of vinegar in, filled the soap compartment with a liquid dishwasher detergent and let that baby run on a high, steam clean cycle.


As I have mentioned above many times, vinegar, vinegar, vinegar. It is truly your best friend in all of this. To help prevent any hard water buildup in a dishwasher, I highly recommend adding about 1/4 cup of vinegar, in addition to your detergent and drying agent, to each of your loads. Just toss it in the base and hit start!

Depending on how bad your hard water problem is will depend on how often you should do a hard water treatment solution to it. I recommend spraying your dishwasher down with the vinegar mixture and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes anywhere for once a week, bi-weekly, monthly or every 3 months. See what works best for you, your dishes and your dishwasher and go from there.


Are you ready to see all the sparkle and shine!? Check out this squeaky clean dishwasher with no sign of gunk or hard water build up!

Washing you a great day!

Thanks for reading and hopefully you were able to learn something from this! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
If you give this a try, please let me know how it worked for you!


All the best,



  • Steve

    Absolutely amazing! We have very hard water where we live, so I will have to try this out. I can’t believe how great your dishwasher looks after a deep clean. Vinegar is such a great product to use for cleaning. I often dump vinegar and baking soda in the drains to clear them out. I also use the same mixture to clean grout lines. I guess you could call me a bit of Type A LOL. Thanks for sharing your secret, I appreciate it.

    • Reanna

      Ahhhh, a fellow Type A!

      Thanks for reading Steve, I’m glad you were able to take something from it!

      Yes, vinegar is my go-to for nearly everything. I imagine sometime soon I’ll have a post entirely about it! You’ll have to keep checking in for that one!

      All the best,

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