You Should Add a Quarter-Cup of Hydrogen Peroxide to Your Next Dishwasher Load — Here’s Why

updated Jun 4, 2020
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Ever since finding out that hydrogen peroxide is not good for disinfecting cuts and scrapes, I’ve been on the hunt for alternative ways to use it around the house. While I know that I shouldn’t go around using it all willy nilly in combination with other cleaners, I know that it can be pretty powerful on its own and when (sometimes) paired with baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide is actually a cleaning, whitening, and disinfecting workhorse — and it’s especially great at disinfecting dishwashers.

See, the dishwasher is one of those cleaning “tools” that needs regular cleaning itself. With all the food bits, grease, and mildew it harbors, I often liken a dishwasher’s interior as a giant sponge that rarely gets cleaned. Yuck! Hydrogen peroxide can fix that.  

As with any disinfecting endeavor, it’s important to clean the dishwasher first so the hydrogen peroxide can really do its work. (You can’t disinfect surfaces that aren’t clean. Dirt and organic material can make some disinfectants less effective.) Here’s a walk-through of how to clean your dishwasher. Note: While they can be used one after the other, do not mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.  

Read more: How To Clean a Dishwasher

To harness the benefits of hydrogen peroxide in your dishwasher, add a quarter cup to the dishwasher before you run a load. You can also run an empty load with just the hydrogen peroxide. Because hydrogen peroxide is “active against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and spores,” according to the CDC, running it through a dishwashing cycle will leave your appliance better than ever. 

More on Cleaning and Sanitizing the Dishwasher