How to Clean a Portable Dishwasher

Portable dishwashers are a convenient addition to any kitchen, offering the ease of washing dishes without the need for permanent installation. However, like any other appliance, they require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure they function effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to clean a portable dishwasher, keeping it in top-notch condition for years to come.

Now, let’s delve into each of these steps in detail.

1. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have the following supplies ready:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Soft cloth or microfiber towel
  • Screwdriver
  • Dishwasher-safe bowl
  • Gloves (optional)

2. Safety First: Disconnect and Turn Off

Safety should always be a priority. Start by disconnecting the power supply to your portable dishwasher. Locate the power cord and unplug it from the outlet or switch off the circuit breaker that powers the dishwasher.

3. Empty the Dishwasher

Remove all dishes, utensils, and racks from the dishwasher. Ensure that it’s completely empty before proceeding.

4. Remove and Clean the Filter

The filter prevents debris from clogging the drain. To clean it:

  • Remove the bottom rack.
  • Locate the filter cover at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Twist or unlock the filter cover to access the filter.
  • Take out the filter and rinse it under running water.
  • If it’s heavily soiled, soak it in warm, soapy water and scrub gently with a brush.
  • Once clean, reassemble the filter and replace the cover.

5. Clean the Spray Arm

The spray arm is responsible for distributing water during the wash cycle. To clean it:

  • Remove the bottom rack.
  • Unscrew the spray arm, which is usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Rinse it thoroughly to remove any debris or residue.
  • Use a soft brush or toothbrush to clean the nozzles.
  • Reattach the spray arm securely.

6. Clean the Interior

Now, let’s focus on the inside of the dishwasher:

  • Wipe down the interior walls and door with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Pay special attention to corners and crevices where food particles may accumulate.
  • If you notice any stubborn stains, a paste of baking soda and water can help remove them.
  • Rinse and wipe dry.

7. Clean the Exterior

Don’t forget to clean the exterior of your portable dishwasher:

  • Wipe down the control panel, buttons, and handles with a soft, damp cloth.
  • For stainless steel exteriors, use a stainless steel cleaner to maintain its shine.

8. Clean the Door Gasket

Inspect the door gasket for any debris or residues. Use a damp cloth to clean it thoroughly, ensuring a proper seal for your dishwasher.

9. Clean the Drain Hose

Disconnect the drain hose and flush it with water to remove any blockages. Ensure it’s reconnected securely.

10. Clean the Wheels and Casters

If your dishwasher has wheels or casters, check and clean them. Ensure they roll smoothly to prevent any damage to your floors.

11. Clean the Silverware Basket and Racks

Remove the silverware basket and racks. Wash them with warm, soapy water, and rinse thoroughly.

12. Sanitize with Vinegar

To sanitize your dishwasher and remove odors, place a dishwasher-safe bowl filled with white vinegar on the top rack. Run a hot water cycle without any dishes.

13. Reassemble the Dishwasher

Carefully reassemble all the parts you’ve cleaned, including the filter, racks, and spray arm.

14. Check for Leaks

Before using your dishwasher again, turn it on and run a short cycle. Check for any leaks or unusual noises. If everything seems fine, you’re good to go.

15. Final Steps and Regular Maintenance

  • Plug in or switch on the power supply.
  • Return the dishes and utensils to the dishwasher.
  • Make it a habit to clean the filter and spray arm regularly to prevent future issues.


Cleaning your portable dishwasher is essential for its longevity and efficiency. By following these steps, you can maintain a clean and hygienic dishwasher that will continue to make your life easier in the kitchen.


1. How often should I clean my portable dishwasher?

You should aim to clean your portable dishwasher once a month, but if you notice any residue or odors, consider cleaning it more frequently.

2. Can I use bleach to clean my dishwasher?

It’s not recommended to use bleach in your dishwasher as it can damage the rubber components and may leave behind harmful residues.

3. Why is it important to clean the spray arm?

Cleaning the spray arm ensures that water is distributed evenly during the wash cycle, resulting in cleaner dishes.

4. What can I do to prevent odors in my dishwasher?

Regularly cleaning the filter and running a vinegar cycle can help prevent odors in your dishwasher.

5. Is it safe to use the dishwasher immediately after cleaning?

Yes, it’s safe to use your dishwasher after cleaning and reassembling all the parts, as long as you’ve checked for leaks and ensured everything is properly secured.

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