How to Clean Your Kitchen Aid Dishwasher: A Comprehensive Guide

Is your KitchenAid dishwasher not performing at its best? Are you noticing a decline in its cleaning efficiency? It might be time to give your trusty appliance a good cleaning. A well-maintained dishwasher not only ensures sparkling clean dishes but also prolongs the life of the machine itself. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher to restore its pristine performance.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Your KitchenAid dishwasher works hard to keep your dishes spotless, but over time, it can accumulate food particles, grease, and mineral deposits. This buildup can affect its performance and even lead to unpleasant odors. Regular cleaning ensures that your dishwasher continues to run efficiently, delivering sparkling dishes after every cycle.

Materials You’ll Need

Before diving into the cleaning process, gather the following materials:

  • Soft bristle brush
  • Microfiber cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Mild dish soap
  • Toothpick or fine wire
  • Sponge

Safety First: Precautions Before Cleaning

Before you start cleaning, ensure your safety:

  1. Turn off the dishwasher and unplug it.
  2. Put on protective gloves to avoid any contact with chemicals.

Clearing the Exterior: A Shiny Start

Begin by wiping down the exterior of the dishwasher with a damp microfiber cloth. Clean the control panel, buttons, and handle. For stainless steel surfaces, use a stainless steel cleaner for a polished look.

Removing and Cleaning the Filter: The Heart of the Dishwasher

  1. Locate and remove the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Gently scrub the filter with a soft brush under running water to remove debris.
  3. Soak the filter in a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap for about 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the filter thoroughly and let it air dry before reinserting it.

Scrubbing the Spray Arms: Ensuring Even Distribution

  1. Remove the lower and upper spray arms by unscrewing them.
  2. Use a toothpick or fine wire to clear any clogs in the spray holes.
  3. Rinse the spray arms and soak them in a vinegar solution to remove mineral deposits.
  4. Rinse again and reattach the spray arms securely.

Cleaning the Interior: Wiping Away Grime

  1. Wipe down the interior walls and door with a damp microfiber cloth.
  2. Pay attention to corners and crevices where dirt might accumulate.
  3. Use a sponge and mild dish soap to scrub stubborn stains.

Dealing with Hard Water Deposits: Vinegar Magic

  1. Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  2. Run a hot water cycle without any dishes. The vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits.

Freshening Up with Baking Soda: Say Goodbye to Odors

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Run a short hot water cycle to deodorize and freshen up the interior.

Cleaning the Door Gasket: Preventing Leaks

  1. Wipe the door gasket with a cloth soaked in white vinegar.
  2. Pay close attention to the folds where moisture and debris can accumulate.

Maintaining the Dish Racks: Sliding Smoothly

  1. Check the dish racks for any food particles or debris.
  2. Remove and rinse the racks thoroughly.

Exterior Care: Handle, Buttons, and Controls

Use a mild cleaner to wipe down the exterior, paying special attention to the handle, buttons, and controls.

The Drain: Keeping It Clog-Free

Check the dishwasher drain for any debris that might be blocking it. Remove any visible debris carefully.

Final Touch: Running an Empty Cycle

After all the components are cleaned, run an empty cycle with a dishwasher cleaning solution to ensure all remaining residue is removed.

Regular Maintenance Tips: Long-Term Dishwasher Care

To keep your KitchenAid dishwasher in top condition:

  • Scrape off excess food before loading dishes.
  • Use a dishwasher cleaner once a month.
  • Keep the door slightly ajar when not in use to prevent odors.
  • Check and clean the filter regularly.


A clean dishwasher is an efficient dishwasher. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your KitchenAid dishwasher continues to deliver sparkling clean dishes while prolonging its lifespan.


  1. Q: How often should I clean my KitchenAid dishwasher?
    • A: Cleaning your dishwasher once a month is recommended to maintain optimal performance.
  2. Q: Can I use bleach to clean my dishwasher?
    • A: It’s best to avoid bleach as it may damage the dishwasher’s components. Stick to mild cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.
  3. Q: Why is my dishwasher still emitting odors after cleaning?
    • A: Odors can come from various sources, such as the drain or filter. Make sure to thoroughly clean all components as outlined in the guide.
  4. Q: Is it necessary to use a dishwasher cleaner?
    • A: While it’s not mandatory, using a dishwasher cleaner helps remove buildup and maintain the dishwasher’s efficiency.
  5. Q: My dishwasher isn’t draining properly. What should I do?
    • A: Check the drain for any blockages. If the issue persists, it’s advisable to seek professional help to prevent damage.
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