How to Clean a Whirlpool Dishwasher

Maintaining your Whirlpool dishwasher in tip-top condition is essential for ensuring sparkling clean dishes and a long appliance lifespan. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of effectively cleaning your Whirlpool dishwasher. From basic maintenance to deep cleaning, we’ve got you covered.

Why Clean Your Dishwasher Regularly?

Before delving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to understand why regular maintenance is essential for your Whirlpool dishwasher. Over time, dishwashers accumulate food residue, mineral deposits, and grease, which can lead to several issues:

1. Reduced Cleaning Efficiency

A dirty dishwasher can’t effectively remove food particles and stains from your dishes, leaving them less clean than desired.

2. Unpleasant Odors

Residue buildup can create foul odors inside the dishwasher, which may transfer to your dishes during the wash cycle.

3. Clogged Spray Arms

Mineral deposits can clog the dishwasher’s spray arms, reducing water pressure and the ability to clean dishes effectively.

4. Shortened Lifespan

Neglecting dishwasher maintenance can lead to premature wear and tear, potentially shortening its lifespan and costing you more in the long run.

Now that we understand the importance of keeping your Whirlpool dishwasher clean let’s move on to the step-by-step cleaning process.

Cleaning Your Whirlpool Dishwasher: Step by Step

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, gather the following supplies:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Soft-bristle brush or toothbrush
  • Dishwasher-safe bowl
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 2: Remove the Dish Racks

Start by removing the upper and lower dish racks from the dishwasher. This step will give you easier access to the interior of the appliance.

Step 3: Check and Clean the Filter

Whirlpool dishwashers come equipped with a filter that traps food particles. Check the filter for debris and rinse it under warm water to remove any buildup.

Step 4: Wipe Down the Interior

Dip a microfiber cloth in a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Use this solution to wipe down the interior walls, door, and rubber gasket of the dishwasher. Pay extra attention to the crevices where food particles tend to accumulate.

Step 5: Clean the Spray Arms

Inspect the spray arms for clogs. If you notice any blockages, use a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush to gently remove them. This ensures that water can flow freely and clean your dishes effectively.

Step 6: Run a Cleaning Cycle

Place a dishwasher-safe bowl filled with white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Then, run a hot water cycle without any dishes. The vinegar will help remove mineral deposits and odors from the dishwasher.

Step 7: Deodorize with Baking Soda

After the vinegar cycle is complete, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the dishwasher floor. Run a short, hot water cycle to deodorize the appliance and leave it smelling fresh.

Step 8: Reassemble and Test

Once all the cleaning steps are complete, reassemble the dish racks and close the dishwasher door. Run a short wash cycle with your usual dishwasher detergent to ensure everything is working correctly.


Regularly cleaning your Whirlpool dishwasher is a simple yet effective way to maintain its performance and extend its lifespan. By following these steps and making dishwasher maintenance a routine task, you can enjoy spotless dishes and a trouble-free appliance for years to come.


1. How often should I clean my Whirlpool dishwasher?

It’s recommended to clean your Whirlpool dishwasher once a month to ensure optimal performance.

2. Can I use other cleaning agents instead of white vinegar and baking soda?

While white vinegar and baking soda are safe and effective choices, you can also use commercial dishwasher cleaning products designed for this purpose.

3. My dishwasher still smells after cleaning. What should I do?

If odors persist, try placing a small dish of baking soda in the dishwasher between uses to absorb lingering smells.

4. Is it necessary to remove the spray arms for cleaning?

You don’t need to remove the spray arms regularly. Just ensure they are free of obstructions and can rotate freely during cleaning cycles.

5. What’s the best way to prevent food debris buildup in the dishwasher?

To prevent food debris buildup, scrape off excess food from your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, and rinse them lightly if needed. This will help keep your dishwasher cleaner for longer.

Remember that proper maintenance will not only keep your Whirlpool dishwasher running smoothly but also contribute to cleaner, more hygienic dishes every time you use it.

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