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Wait, You Can Clean Your Dishwasher With Kool-Aid?

a dishwasher door is open with dishes inside.
Leszek Glasner/Shutterstock.com

If you didn’t know you need to clean your dishwasher, well, now you do. While there are all kinds of dishwasher cleaning methods available to you, one hack might surprise you.

You can use lemon Kool-Aid to clean your dishwasher, and yes, we’re fully aware of how odd that sounds. But there’s some science at work as to why it works.

This hack has been circling the internet for quite some time, but over at The Kitchn, the outlet actually put it to the test. There are some things to know if you want to try it for yourself. First, you have to get unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid. If you don’t get unsweetened, you’ll end up with a sticky mess.

Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner

Don't want to take risks? Grab some traditional cleaner.

Now, on to the science part. The second thing to know is that you must get the lemon (or lemonade) flavor. Why? One of its first three ingredients is citric acid. If you’re not already familiar, citric acid is the same compound in lemons that make them clutch cleaning products. It can break down grime and loosen up gunk. That’s why the Kool-Aid works.

Now, according to The Kitchn’s experiment, don’t expect a shiny, brand-new dishwasher. There might be a little bit of dirt left behind, but the citric acid should have broken through enough of it that all you’ll need to do is run a sponge along any visible dirt. It should come right off.

If you want to try a fun cleaning hack, this one might be worth it. Ultimately, though, Kool-Aid isn’t much cheaper than an actual dishwasher cleaner, so if you’re just looking to clean your dishwasher and not engage in a cleaning experiment, go ahead and buy some cleaner instead.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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