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Sprinkling Tang in Your Dishwasher Is the Surprising Way to Keep It Clean

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If you’re sick and tired of dealing with gunked-up dishes and glasses that don’t look much cleaner than when you first put them in your dishwasher, you may think it’s time to get a new machine. Whether the gritty deposits at the bottom of your mugs or the god-awful scent from a supposedly clean glass tipped you off, there’s a simple solution to your dishwashing woes that doesn’t involve paying for new equipment. Return your dishwasher to its former glory simply by cleaning it with a sprinkle of Tang.

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How do you use Tang to clean your dishwasher?

You read that right: You can clean a dishwasher with Tang, the orange-flavored powdered drink you used to give your kids. Apparently, this cleaning hack comes straight from the dishwasher technicians themselves. The reason Tang is such a powerful cleaner is because it contains citric acid, a compound that’s great for cleaning and disinfecting. 

The best part about cleaning with Tang is that it’s so gosh darn cheap. Pick up a canister of the drink mix at your grocery store for a few bucks (Buy at Walmart, $2.58) or buy it in bulk online (Buy on Amazon, $12.47) if you can’t find it near you. It could be that the hardest part of this whole process is just buying the Tang — the cleanup itself is a breeze. Here’s how to clean a dishwasher with Tang in five easy steps.

  1. Empty your dishwasher.
  2. Turn on your kitchen sink until the water runs hot.
  3. Shut off the faucet when the water is hot and start your dishwasher.
  4. Let the cycle run for two to three minutes and then stop it. Pour Tang into the detergent dispenser and sprinkle liberally along the bottom rack as well. 
  5. Shut the door and finish the cycle. Repeat this process once a month to keep hard-water deposits at bay.

Take a look at our guide on how to clean a dishwasher for more tips that will help make sure you never have to deal with funky odors and caked-on food again. Then celebrate by drinking a cold glass of zesty Tang — why should the dishwasher be the only one to enjoy the drink?

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