How to Get Roaches Out of Your Dishwasher

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Cockroaches are a bane of our existence because they simply don’t die quickly.

So it can be pretty concerning if you find an infestation of roaches in your kitchen, especially in your cabinets or appliances like a dishwasher, refrigerator, or microwave.

Sure, there are ways to kill them, but this is the kitchen where the food that you will eat is stored and prepared. This means using pesticides in such places can be harmful instead of being helpful.

Eliminating the cockroach infestation from your dishwasher is an essential step towards a healthier (mentally and physically) life. So as soon as you find a cockroach in your dishwasher, deal with it immediately.

See Also: 9 Different Types of Roaches Found in the US

Why Are Cockroaches Living In Your Dishwasher?

dirty dishwasher filter
dirty dishwasher filter

Have you seen the inside of your dishwasher anytime other than immediately after it being run? There’s moisture and all sorts of food scraps from leftover foods, which mean a source of nutrition and perfect warmth.

In short, if a cockroach wants to be lazy and spend all its life in the same place, the dishwasher is the perfect place to do just that. With an unlimited food supply, they can quickly produce colonies in there.

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How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In a Dishwasher

#1 – Use Vinegar

You might be surprised to learn this, but regular, cheap white vinegar is a great pest deterrent and it can also work well for the dishwasher.

Simply place a cup filled with vinegar on the top rack. Then, run the dishwasher for one hour at its hottest cycle. The resulting steam will quickly kill the cockroaches.

Even if they don’t die, they will at least crawl out of hiding, where you can kill them. The side benefit of vinegar steam is the free sanitization of the dishwasher, which is always welcome.

#2 – Boric Acid

Boric acid is considered to be one of the best cockroach repellents. It’s harmless to humans but deadly to these pests.

Simply spread a small amount of this substance on the floor directly beneath the appliance. Over time, roaches will crawl on it and ingest it, ultimately killing them.

You can also apply some on the dishwasher base, but you have to make sure that the layer of boric acid is very thin, almost invisible to the eye. If it is thick and visible, the roaches may simply avoid it.

You can easily find boric acid in powder, crystal, or spray form from the nearest Wal-Mart or your favorite online store.

Humco Boric Acid Powder, 6 oz.
  • Many household uses
  • Meets NF standards
  • Boric Acid Powder NF 6oz

Related: Using Borax on Roaches 

#3 – Regular Kitchen Cleaning

Just add one small chore at the end of every meal, and that is to rinse and wipe down everything after its use in the kitchen sink. This will help you maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen, but it will also cut off many of the food resources for the roaches.

However, roaches can survive a longer time without food than most people think.

#4 – Deep Cleaning The Dishwasher

cleaning the dishwasher

Remove all the racks and components from the dishwasher. Take some disinfectant and a rag, and apply them to the interior of the appliance. Wipe every crevice and corner thoroughly, making sure to clean up any cockroach frass you may come across.

You can also fill the dishwasher dispenser with the detergent for dishwashing and run a cycle in the appliance to get rid of the remaining dirt, particles, or crumbs still left in the appliance.

Now, clean the gaskets around the dishwasher door as food particles can remain there where the dishwasher cleaning cycle won’t reach. Let it air out for a day, and then place everything back. Do this at least once a month.

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Get a free quote from top pest control companies in your area.

#5 – Drain Cleaning

The dishwasher drain is dark, tight, and filled with moisture as well as crumbs from the leftover meals, which makes it the best possible place for roaches to live in.

By cleaning the drain, you will be able to cut off the biggest food source for cockroaches.

#5 – Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda inside the bottom of the dishwasher. Not only is this a great way to absorb odors, it can actually kill roaches.

When they ingest baking soda, it will bubble up from their stomach acids. Since roaches can’t fart, the pressure builds up and causes their stomachs to burst.

Best of all, you can mix a cup of vinegar with water and put it in a spray bottle. Then, spray the inside of the dishwasher while before use. It will react with the baking soda, breaking up any grease or residue you missed before. Simply wipe clean and you’re ready for the next lead of dishes.

#7 – Roach Traps

Then there are non-toxic traps designed explicitly for cockroaches that can also be used in the kitchen without any fear. You can use either gel baits or sticky traps with equal results. Simply place one or two of them directly under the dishwasher.

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  • Quick Kill Formula – Your secret weapon against roaches Starts working as soon...
  • Eliminates the nest – Roaches take the bait back to the nest, killing tother...
  • Protects your home – Child resistant bait stations provide continuous maximum...

#8 – Use Natural Repellents

peppermint oil

There are many natural repellents that will keep away the roaches. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Cedarwood oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Mint
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic

There are many other repellents that can be found in your kitchen, but these are the ones that won’t look bad even if you leave them lying around.

#9 – Clean Your House

So you have tried everything, but the roaches keep coming back. This means that it’s not just your dishwasher that is filled with these pests or the kitchen that needs cleaning.

If you expand your search, you will find other places that may have colonies of cockroaches. So keep your home clean. Vacuum regularly, and don’t leave food residue lying around.

Clean your kitchen countertops and wipe down sinks after use. Be sure to put clean dishes away after the dishwasher has finished and allow the interior to dry out.

Try to reduce the humidity and moisture in your home, especially in dark, tight places. Also, apply a disinfectant to other places so that roaches can’t find a place to live in your home.

Read Also: Do Roaches Bite?

#10 – Contact a Pest Control Services

When all else fails, call the professionals. They will handle it. Just make sure that the company providing the service is reliable, has a good track record with past customers, and uses safe methods and disinfectants. They often cost less than you’d expect.

For more information, click the link below to get free no-obligation quotes from local pest control companies to eliminate your roach infestation.

Want to Let the Pros Handle It?
Get a free quote from top pest control companies in your area.

Preventing Roaches From Living In Your Dishwasher

You might be aware of the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Trying different solutions for getting rid of cockroaches in your dishwasher is all well and good. But you can also try some tricks to prevent the infestation from happening again or even squash the chance of cockroaches invading your dishwasher to begin with.

  • Instead of letting the dirty dishes stay in there for a long time, just run the dishwasher as soon as it fills up. 
  • Make sure to remove all the crumbs before putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
  • Clean the dishwasher regularly.
  • Deep clean it once a month.
  • Drain all the dirty water after using the dishwasher.
  • Regularly check to make sure the dishwasher doesn’t have any damaged seals.
  • Don’t leave food around without any covering outside.
  • Make use of natural repellents like bay leaves, cedarwood oil, or peppermint oil to stop the roaches from approaching the dishwasher.
  • Apply a natural disinfectant.
  • Seal every crack in your kitchen, especially the places from which roaches can enter the dishwasher.
  • Dispose of the trash and spoiled food as soon as possible.

Read Also: How Cockroaches and Shrimp Are Related


Cockroaches are famous for their resilience and can adapt to many situations. However, that does not mean that you can’t get rid of them.

The thing is, the dishwasher is a very delicate appliance, so you can’t just bumble your way in and hope for the best. You have to be mindful of the different components.

After getting rid of the unwanted pests, take all the related precautions so that you can avoid such a situation in the future.