How to Clean a Stainless Steel Dishwasher

Keeping your stainless steel dishwasher clean is essential to maintain its appearance and ensure its proper functioning. Over time, food particles, stains, and odors can accumulate inside the dishwasher, affecting its performance. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of effectively cleaning a stainless steel dishwasher. By following these instructions, you can keep your dishwasher looking and smelling fresh, prolong its lifespan, and ensure it continues to provide you with sparkling clean dishes.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Before you start cleaning your stainless steel dishwasher, gather the necessary supplies. You will need:

  1. Mild dish soap
  2. White vinegar
  3. Baking soda
  4. Soft microfiber cloth or sponge
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Soft-bristle brush
  7. Paper towels

Having these supplies on hand will make the cleaning process more efficient and effective.

Step 2: Empty and Inspect the Dishwasher

Begin by emptying the dishwasher and removing any dishes, utensils, or racks. Inspect the interior for any large food particles or debris that might be blocking the filter or spray arms. Remove these manually to ensure proper cleaning.

Step 3: Clean the Filter

The filter is an essential component of the dishwasher that traps food particles and prevents them from clogging the drain or spray arms. To clean the filter, remove it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Rinse it under running water to remove debris and use a toothbrush to scrub away any stubborn residue. Once clean, reassemble and reinstall the filter.

Step 4: Wipe Down the Interior

Using a soft microfiber cloth or sponge, dampen it with warm water and mild dish soap. Gently wipe down the interior surfaces of the dishwasher, including the walls, door, and racks. Pay extra attention to areas with visible stains or buildup. For stubborn stains, make a paste using baking soda and water, apply it to the affected areas, and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it off.

Step 5: Remove Stains and Odors

To remove stubborn stains and eliminate odors, white vinegar is an excellent natural cleaning agent. Fill a cup or bowl with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of an empty dishwasher. Run a hot water cycle to distribute the vinegar throughout the dishwasher. The acidic properties of vinegar will help break down stains and remove unpleasant odors.

Step 6: Clean the Exterior

Don’t forget to clean the exterior of your stainless steel dishwasher to maintain its polished appearance. Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge dampened with mild dish soap and warm water to wipe down the front panel, control panel, and handle. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads that could scratch the surface.

Step 7: Maintain Regular Cleaning

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your stainless steel dishwasher clean and in optimal condition. Incorporate these habits into your routine:

  • Scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  • Run the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher to prevent clogs.
  • Check and clean the filter regularly to ensure proper water flow.
  • Clean the dishwasher’s interior and exterior at least once a month.
3 Best GE Dishwashers 1 How to Clean a Stainless Steel Dishwasher

Can I use bleach to clean my stainless steel dishwasher?

No, it is not recommended to use bleach on stainless steel as it can cause discoloration and damage the surface. Stick to mild dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda for effective and safe cleaning.

How often should I clean my stainless steel dishwasher?

It is recommended to clean your dishwasher’s interior and exterior at least once a month to prevent buildup and maintain its cleanliness.

Can I use abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads on my stainless steel dishwasher?

No, abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads can scratch the surface of stainless steel. Instead, use a soft cloth or sponge with mild dish soap for gentle cleaning.

Why is it important to clean the filter of a dishwasher?

Cleaning the filter is crucial to prevent clogs and ensure proper water flow. It helps in trapping food particles and debris, preventing them from blocking the drain or spray arms.

How can I remove stubborn stains from my stainless steel dishwasher?

For stubborn stains, create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stained areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub it off gently with a soft-bristle brush or sponge.


Cleaning a stainless steel dishwasher is a simple process that can be done using common household supplies and a few easy steps. By following the outlined steps, you can maintain the cleanliness and functionality of your dishwasher for years to come.

In conclusion, cleaning a stainless steel dishwasher is a straightforward task that can be done with readily available supplies and a little effort. By regularly cleaning the interior, filter, and exterior of your dishwasher, you can prevent stains, odors, and buildup, ensuring its optimal performance. Remember to gather the necessary supplies, empty and inspect the dishwasher, clean the filter, wipe down the interior, remove stains and odors with vinegar, clean the exterior, and maintain regular cleaning habits.

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