How to Clean Your Dishwasher with Tang

I’m so excited to share this tip with you!  If your dishwasher has lost it’s cleaning power, and you think it’s time for a new one, be sure to try this first!  I’m going to teach you how to clean your dishwasher with Tang!  (Yep.  I said Tang.  It’s not just for astronauts!)  The citrus tastes yummy, and has great cleaning power.  So much cleaning power that my hubby is actually disappointed that the tip actually worked!

Clean Your Dishwasher with Tang! Before you call an expensive repairman, try this simple method to get your dishwasher working like new again! {}

Our dishwasher is loud.  Obnoxiously loud.  Impossible to hear the TV loud.  My hubby was really hoping that the dishwasher was on its last leg and we would get to replace it with a new one.  Sorry honey!  We’ll have to deal with the noise a bit longer.

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A dishwasher should last more than four years, right?  Months ago, my dishwasher started leaving gunk on the dishes.  The plates and bowls stopped coming clean, and the cups and glasses had a gritty mess on the bottom.  Ugh.  Time for a new dishwasher . . . or was it?  I started to wonder if it just needed to be cleaned somehow, but I was not looking forward to taking it apart or calling an expensive repairman.

When I mentioned it to my mom, she remembered a tip she heard from Joe Gagnon (also known as “The Appliance Doctor”) on talk radio in the Detroit area.  Before attempting to take my dishwasher apart, I decided to give it a try.  (And I’m glad I did!)

How to Clean Your Dishwasher with Tang

  1. Empty the dishwasher.
  2. Run the water in the kitchen faucet until it is hot.  (He suggests you do that before running your dishwasher every time.)
  3. Turn the tap off and start the empty dishwasher.
  4. After two or three minutes, stop the dishwasher and add a container of Tang.
  5. Let it run the whole cycle.

That’s it!

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I tried it, and it worked!  No more gunk on the dishes, and best of all–no more film of grit on the bottom of the glasses.

Clean Your Dishwasher with Tang! Before you call an expensive repairman, try this simple method to get your dishwasher working like new again! {}

I bought my 20 oz container of Tang for $2 at Wal-Mart.  That sure beat the cost of a repairman or a new dishwasher!

Joe’s method is for removing hard water build up in the dishwasher.  If you want to keep your dishwasher clean and avoid the build up, try putting Tang in the detergent bin once a month or so to keep the hard water deposits down.

I didn’t have access to all of Joe’s instructions when I tried this.  All I did was fill the detergent container with Tang and dump the rest into the bottom of the dishwasher.  Then I turned the dishwasher on.  That was enough to get my dishwasher working again.  Next time, I’ll try it Joe’s way.  I bet it will work even better!

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If you enjoy this idea, please “like,” “Pin,” or “+1” so that others can join the fun! Thanks!

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  1. What? I can’t believe this!!! Trying this ASAP. Thanks fro sharing.

    Visiting from ODH :-)

  2. Huh, that’s really interesting! I wonder what makes it clean like that? I’ve heard that truck drivers use Coke as an industrial cleaner, which makes me really freaked out that people drink that stuff because what is it doing then to our innards?! Anyway, great tip and glad it worked! Thanks for sharing it on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Heidi, I’ve pinned it :)

  3. Stephanie Pass says

    I so need to do this!! So, you dump the entire container? Not just fill the little place for dishwasher soap, right?

    • I think I already responded to this via email last year, but just in case someone else wants the answer . . . Yes, you dump the whole container. That’s how I was taught. I bet you could try half, though. It probably depends on how dirty your dishwasher is!

  4. Ugh, we have really hard water here in Chicago and it is sooooo bad for our dishwasher! Definitely need to try this. :-) In case you didn’t see it earlier, I featured this on my blog today! I’m stopping by to pin, and to let you know you can grab a Featured button if you don’t already have one!

  5. Great tip! Thanks! I’m pretty sure it is because of the citric acid in the Tang. You can also use something called LemiShine, but it costs a lot more than the Tang, so this is a great money saving tip.
    Thanks so much for linking up.

  6. My hubby said they cleaned the decks of the navy ship with this! Fun!

    • With Tang? Really? I guess that proves it has real cleaning power! It sure is cheaper than getting your dishwasher repaired (especially if you buy generic). Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Diana!

      • yeah. I shocked too. Tang? Sounds really interesting and funny also. Surely its cheaper than other dishwasher.

        Thanks to author for this amazing informative article. I never think that Tang can be a cleaner for dishwashers.

  7. Thank you so much Heidi for stopping by and sharing this at my first Less Laundry, More Linking party. I have this pinned so I can go back and try it.

  8. You’ve been featured in our top 3 all time diy dishwasher maintenance techniques!:)

  9. My husband never believes anything like this will work. Just to make sure… You poured the tang in the bottom of the dishwasher? I want to try this ASAP. Thanks for the help, Doreen

  10. It’s the citric acid, Lemon flavored koolaid works as well. and as someone mentioned above, they definitely cost less than lemishine. I do it ab0ut once a month with a packet of koolaid

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  14. I had dark brown stains covering my dishwasher and this worked perfectly! Thank you!!

  15. Fantastic website. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to several buddies ans
    also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you on
    your effort!

  16. Hey Heidi,

    This is the craziest thing I have ever heard, but if it works, it works! I think it’s awesome that something so simple can have such a big effect! I cited you for the tip in my latest blog post in How to Clean Your Dishwasher. You can check it out here:

  17. Go to the dollar store and buy a bottle of lemon juice which has a lot of citrus acid and cheaper.

  18. What a great idea! I wonder if it would work for a front loading washing machine too instead of the super expensive Afresh tablets?

    • I think it might, Ang, but I’ve never tried it. It’s the citrus that does it. If you try it, I would use lemonade instead, and be sure that the washing machine is empty. I’d sure hate to turn your laundry orange!

  19. Absolutely great idea to use Tang, it’s a cost effective product.

    Recently me and my hubby started documenting our DIY projects and found the way to your site. We are collecting the such post that provides cost effective technique to clean dishwasher to write a round up post and definitely yours will be one of them.

    Thanks for sharing!

    – Rani & Sachin

  20. Wow, this looks like such a great idea! Now, I just need to get a dishwasher! ;)

  21. WOW I never thought of this! I wonder what does Tang in my stomach! But what you say it’s true… better pay $2 than repairing or getting a new one!

  22. Cleaners Haringey Ltd. says

    Great tip! I have never known that I could use Tang for cleaning. I am going to show this to my sister. She adores this juice! I am so glad that I have found your article! Best regards!

  23. nice
    I never thought of this! I wonder what does Tang in my stomach! But what you say it’s true

    my website algeria :

  24. I listened to Joe Gagnon’s radio show when we lived in Michigan years ago. He was always touting the benefits of this cleaning miracle, and we have used it ourselves with great success. Here’s a link to his blogspot, with the story of how the Tang trick originated:

  25. TudoDesentupido says

    Really, very interesting, and it’s something new for me, never known that is possible to clean anything with tang, but even reading this article i can’t use tang to clean, it’s so delicious to waste :)

  26. would this work on hard water toilet bowl de[osits?

    • I don’t know, Roberta. I would suggest researching a little bit more. I would not think that the Tang would hurt the toilet bowl, so it might be worth a try, but I can’t be sure. I would think there are things that would work better on the porcelain toilet.

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