Bleach is useful to clean dishwashers that have mold inside, as long as there is no stainless steel present. Bleach interacts negatively with stainless steel, staining and even rusting the surface.
One way to use bleach to clean a dishwasher is by filling a cup with the bleach. Appliance owners can place the cup of bleach on the top rack of the dishwasher, and run it on its hottest setting.
Another method for using bleach to clean a dishwasher is by pouring a cup of bleach into the bottom of the basin, and run the dishwasher on its full cycle.
Generally, bleach is only necessary for removing persistent mold. Instead of bleach, white vinegar is the typical cleanser. Appliance owners can place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack, and run the dishwasher on the hot cycle. Another option is sprinkling a cup of baking soda in the bottom of the basin and running the dishwasher.Alternatively, place a packet of unsweetened lemonade in the soap cup, and run a complete cycle. All three options clean and freshen the interior of the appliance. They are also safe to use with stainless steel dishwashers.
Before running the dishwasher with bleach, white vinegar or another cleaning substance, remove any debris from around the drain. Use a soft brush to scrub the spray arm.