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How to clean a dishwasher with citric acid

Updated February 21, 2017

Citric acid is an organic acid derived mostly from citrus fruits. Usually found in crystal form, citric acid has a sour taste and can be used for cleaning and descaling. Minerals from hard water can build up in your dishwasher, reducing its performance and effectiveness. Citric acid breaks down the minerals, resulting in a cleaner and more efficient dishwasher. Find citric acid crystals (sometimes called "sour salt") or liquid in the canning or spice section of your grocery store or drugstore and clean your dishwasher periodically to keep it performing its best.

Empty the dishwasher of dishes.

Fill the detergent dispenser with 3 or 118ml. of citric acid crystals or liquid.

Close the door and set the dishwasher to run a normal wash cycle.

Open the dishwasher door when the cycle completes and fill the detergent dispenser with dishwasher detergent.

Close the dishwasher door and set the dishwasher to run a normal wash cycle.

Things You'll Need

  • Citric acid crystals or liquid
  • Dishwasher detergent
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About the Author

Shelley Marie has been writing professionally since 2008 for online marketing and informational websites. Her areas of expertise include home, garden and health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and an associate degree in medical billing and insurance coding, both from Herzing University.