Dishwasher - Citric Acid Wash for Interior Cleaning and Stains

A dishwasher typically cleans the interior as it cleans the dishes. There may be times when there is a build-up of soap residue, food soil, minerals, or perhaps a food stain inside the dishwasher. Citric acid may be used in plastic and stainless steel interior dishwashers to help clean the interior.


Citric acid crystals (sometimes called Sour Salt) are available at some drug stores and most grocery stores in the canning or spice section. Citric acid is available in a liquid or crystal form. We recommend crystals because they will remain in the detergent cup until it is time to dispense the product. The liquid form is likely to run out prior to the main part of the wash cycle where it will do the most good.


How to do a Citric Acid Wash:


  1. Fill the detergent cup with three to four ounces of citric acid crystals and close the cup.
  2. Run the dishwasher through a normal wash cycle.
  3. Follow this with another wash cycle using dishwasher detergent in the detergent cup.
  4. You can repeat this process if the build-up was especially heavy and one treatment did not completely remove all of the build-up or stain.


  • Plain dishes can remain in the dishwasher during a citric acid wash. However, dishes and glasses that have raised patterns or silver or gold trim should be removed.
  • Do not place metal items in the dishwasher during a citric acid wash to avoid tarnishing those items.