Best Dishwasher Cleaner – Buyer’s Guide

A dishwasher cleaner seems like something unimportant since the interior of the machine should be clean due to the never-ending washing cycles, right? However, it’s very important to take care of the appliance as well. Hard water, bits of food, etc. may decrease the efficiency of dishwashing. There are special solid and liquid cleaners that will make your dishwasher spotless, odorless, and sanitized.

Dishwasher Cleaner: A Quick Peek

Affresh W10282479 Dishwasher Cleaner, 1 Pack of 6 tablets
Summit Brands DM03N-SS Glisten Dishwasher Magic Machine Cleaner...
Plink Washer and Dishwasher Freshener and Cleaner, Phosphate and...
Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner: Clean Hidden Grease and Grime,...
Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Cleaner Powered by Citric Extracts...
-
-
-
-
-
EPA approved. Powerful. Eliminating odor. Dish-safe.
DfE certified. Great disinfectant. Powerful formula. No contact with the contents needed.
Safe for standard and HE washers. Water-saving. Phosphate-free. Bleach-free.
No need for a separate empty cycle. Dish-safe. Powerful.
Environment-friendly. Natural ingredients. Phosphate-free. Bleach-free.
Powerful Choice
Affresh W10282479 Dishwasher Cleaner, 1 Pack of 6 tablets
-
EPA approved. Powerful. Eliminating odor. Dish-safe.
Best Against Bacteria
Summit Brands DM03N-SS Glisten Dishwasher Magic Machine Cleaner...
-
DfE certified. Great disinfectant. Powerful formula. No contact with the contents needed.
Strong Fresh Scent
Plink Washer and Dishwasher Freshener and Cleaner, Phosphate and...
-
Safe for standard and HE washers. Water-saving. Phosphate-free. Bleach-free.
Extracts Hidden Grease&Grime
Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner: Clean Hidden Grease and Grime,...
-
No need for a separate empty cycle. Dish-safe. Powerful.
Best Environment-Friendly
Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Cleaner Powered by Citric Extracts...
-
Environment-friendly. Natural ingredients. Phosphate-free. Bleach-free.

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-07-02

The market is full, so it may be difficult to choose the best option for your dishwasher. If there are no special requirements from the machine’s manufacturer, you may need help with the choice. And here it comes with the TOP 5 cleaners and some useful information about appliance maintenance!
dishwasher cleaner

1. Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner Tablets – Editor’s Choice

Affresh W10282479 Dishwasher Cleaner, 1 Pack of 6 tablets
  • Designed to penetrate,...
  • Patented tablet design lasts...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-07-02

Overview

This cleaner comes in the tablet form, with 6 tabs per pack. It’s said to clean better than bleach with no harm that would usually come from the latter. The unique tablet design was patented by the company and lasts the whole washing cycle.

Features

The cleaner removes:

  • Lime.
  • Mineral build-up.
  • Odor.
Using one tab per month is considered a standard, but if the machine needs some extra cleaning, it’s fine to do it more often. You can also put two tabs into the washer for a better effect, one in the bottom, another into the detergent tray.

How to Use Dishwasher Cleaner

  1. If using with dishes inside, put a tablet under the lower holder.
  2. If using without dishes, put the tab into the detergent tray.
  3. Run a regular cycle.

The tabs will also help your dishes turn extra clean, so if you have anything that needs a powerful wash, this is the chance.

Safety

The cleaner is EPA approved as a Safer Choice. It’s safe for septic systems as well as both plastic and stainless steel tubs.
The Affresh brand is recommended by Whirlpool.

It’s irritant, so keep the tabs away from eyes, skin, and clothes. Wash your hands after using the product.

I highly recommend this cleaner due to its powerful formula. This is a good choice for your first cleaning in a long time. Some people don’t maintain their dishwashers in years, leading to severe build-up and quite a funky smell. The Affresh products are just the choice for such situations.

Affresh Video Review

Pros
  • EPA approved
  • Powerful
  • Eliminating odor
  • Dish-safe
Cons
  • May remove the paint from the dishes

2. Glisten Dishwasher Magic Machine Cleaner and Disinfectant – Best Against Bacteria

Summit Brands DM03N-SS Glisten Dishwasher Magic Machine Cleaner...
  • 12oz Dishwasher Magic- Two...
  • Effective Disinfectant Against...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-07-02

Overview

This is a 2-pack offer, with one pack being a 12-oz bottle. It’s a liquid type of cleaner that should be used for empty machines only. The product is suitable for all kinds of dishwashers and disinfects them along with the cleaning.

Features

The product removes:

  • Lime.
  • Grease.
  • Soap scum.

The cleaner also has disinfectant qualities, removing the danger of salmonella choleraesuis and escherichia coli bacteria.

How to use

  1. Remove the cap of the bottle without removing the wax plug.
  2. Place the bottle on the bottom rack or into the silverware holder, make sure it’s upside down and secured.
  3. Run the hottest cycle (avoid using quick or economic cycles).
  4. Make sure the bottle is empty by the end of the wash and recycle it.

Tip: For a better effect, make the water as hot as possible by running the nearest faucet until the water heats to the maximum.

Safety

Glisten is a part of Summit Brands – a group offering household cleaning products since 1958. They position their line as innovative, effective, and sustainable.
The cleaner is DfE certified and is safe for septic and plumbing systems. It should only be used in an empty washer, without any other detergents added.

Don’t add it to chlorine bleachers either to avoid toxic fumes. The usage of the product in the manner inconsistent with the official instructions is a Federal Law violation.
It’s an irritant, so make sure it doesn’t get on your skin, clothes, or in your eyes.
There are so many precautions to remember, which may be difficult for someone who’s doing all the cleaning for the first time. This is a very powerful disinfectant, though, and I recommend it for that. Make sure you read every precaution and the full instruction.

The product is great because you don’t have to touch the contents due to the wax plug. But you’ll only ensure the safety if using it right.

Glisten Video Review

Pros
  • Disinfection
  • DfE certified
  • Powerful formula
  • No contact with the contents needed
Cons
  • The empty cycle only

3. Plink Washer and Dishwasher Freshener Cleaner – Strong Fresh Scent

Sale
Plink Washer and Dishwasher Freshener and Cleaner, Phosphate and...
  • Plank's Washer Dishwasher...
  • Proudly Made in America;...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-07-02

Overview

These dishwasher cleaner tablets are suitable for both dishwashers and laundry machines, giving them fresh lemon scent and removing residue. There are 4 single-use tabs in a pack, filled with the enzyme-enriched formula that will maintain your appliances well if used regularly.

Features

The cleaner removes:

  • Odor.
  • All kinds of residue.

It’s safe for septic and plumbing systems, cleans drains and, if used on a monthly basis, prevents clogs.

As a result, you’ll get a clean machine and the kitchen that smells like fresh lemons.

Note: While it’s fine to use this product while the washer is loaded if you want to clean the washing machine, don’t put in any clothes. Just place a tablet inside and run any hot water cycle.

Safety

The cleaner is phosphate- and bleach-free. The manufacturer also notes the importance of using it according to the official instructions.

Plink is another brand of the Summit Brands group, the product is made in the USA.
I would recommend this one to people who love their kitchen to smell great all the time. Plink’s scents are great and they remain for quite a long time. It’s safe for the dishes, so there’s no need to run a separate cycle just for the cleaning, which saves water.

Pros
  • Safe for standard and HE washers
  • Water-saving
  • Phosphate-free
  • Bleach-free
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Some find the scent too strong

4. Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner – Best Against Hidden Grease & Grime

Sale
Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner: Clean Hidden Grease and Grime,...
  • Removes hard water stains and...
  • Powers away grease and...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-07-02

Overview

Finish is a well-known brand with a diverse line of cleaning products. According to the manufacturer, the products work best in combination with each other. However, these tablets alone can remove residue from even the farthest and most difficult-to-access parts of the dishwasher.

Features

The cleaner removes:

  • Grease.
  • Mineral residue.
  • Limescale.
  • Odor.

It cleans the machines’ interior of the smallest pieces of scum and doesn’t leave any film or residue. Parts like the filter and spray arms that are difficult to access also get cleaned, prolonging the life expectancy of the machine.

There’s no need to run a separate cycle to clean the dishwasher, the formula is safe for the dishes. To maintain the pleasant smell and smooth surface, use one tablet a week.

Safety

The cleaner is a moderate irritant, so keep it away from pets and children. If it gets on the clothes, skin, or in the eyes, wash them as soon as possible. If the irritation remains for a longer time, contact a doctor.

The brand is quite well-known and effective; all their products have a great reputation. I tested it myself before putting the option on the list. Some say the tablet format isn’t as good as the liquid one, but if you don’t need a major clean-up and there’s not much residue accumulated, this product is just fine.

Finish Video Review

Pros
  • No need for a separate empty cycle
  • Dish-safe
  • Powerful
Cons
  • Moderate irritant

5. Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Cleaner Powered by Citric Extracts – Best Environment-Friendly

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-07-02

Overview

This is a powder-type cleaner, designed to remove any amount and toughness of buildup. It reaches the farthest and smallest parts of the machine’s interior, prolonging the life of the appliance. The product will optimize the washer performance if the issues are connected to the buildup accumulation.

Features

The cleaner removes:

  • Limescale.
  • Grease.
  • Rust.
  • Hard water residue.

The main ingredient of the product is citric acid, which is safe for plumbing and septic systems. For the best effect, it’s recommended to use the cleaner once a month.

Safety

The formula is non-toxic, containing biodegradable surfactants and no artificial dyes and fillers. It’s also free of chlorine bleach and phosphates.

The product is made in the USA and certified by the EPA as a safer choice for human health and the environment.
This is another very powerful formula, which I strongly recommend. It’s environment-friendly, relatively safe for pets and children, but you should still restrict access to the pouches since they contain acid. The powder form may not be the most convenient, though.

Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Cleaner Video Review

Pros
  • EPA-certified
  • Environment-friendly
  • Natural ingredients
  • Phosphate-free
  • Bleach-free
Cons
  • Powder form

Buyer’s Guide: FAQ on Dishwasher Cleaning

What are the alternative solutions for cleaning a dishwasher?

Say, you forgot to buy the new cleaner but the dishwasher needs it asap. You can use:

  1. Citric acid (lemon juice, water-based solutions).
  2. Baking soda.
  3. Vinegar.

These will work pretty well, but you’ll need to do much more work to achieve the desired results.

How is a cleaner better than regular bleach or vinegar?

It’s always better to buy specialized cleaners. They have a bunch of advantages:

  • Saving time.
  • Cleans better.
  • Getting to hidden places.
  • Easy to use.

Let’s agree, it’s much easier to put a tab into the detergent tray once a month and running a regular hot cycle than taking an old toothbrush and trying to scrub off the build-up remains for eternity.
Besides, a lot of cleaners don’t need a separate empty cycle, you can use them along with the regular detergent to wash dishes. Also, bleach doesn’t help a lot when it comes to mineral residue from hard water, for instance.
How often should I clean the washing appliances?
Both dishwashers and laundry machines should be cleaned once a month if used regularly. In case the water in your region is hard, monthly maintenance is crucial for the longevity of the appliances.
Even Cleaning Machines Need to Get Cleaned

Some people think that if a machine has soapy water running down its pipes, it doesn’t need any cleaning. However, remember that there may be food or grease that will be left on the filter, door frame, and other parts of the dishwasher. If left unattended, the efficiency and longevity of the machine will suffer greatly. So, whenever you’re cleaning the kitchen, give some attention to your good old (or new) dishwasher as well.