Cleaning a dishwasher is a process of finding the filter and cleansing it with a simple homemade solution. You can get it done with bleach, salt, baking soda and a sponge.
Locate the filter
Ensure that all items are cleared from the dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack to find the filter. The filter is typically located on the floor of the unit. Refer to the dishwasher manual if you are unsure where it is.
Clean the filter area
Wipe around the filter area with a damp cloth to remove all debris. For closed filters, unscrew the cap and clean inside as well. The dishwasher filter can be removed by grabbing the handle cup and pulling it upward, but this is optional and is required only when removing the old filter for replacement. Rinse away any remaining food particles with a cloth or sponge.
Apply the solution
Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, a 1/2 cup of salt and 1 cup of bleach. Pour the contents into the bottom part of the dishwasher and allow them to take effect over night. In the morning, run the empty dishwasher on a normal setting. Many dishwasher filters can be cleaned multiple times before they need replacement, but check your appliance manual to be sure. In any case, the filter should be replaced annually.