How to Clean Your KitchenAid Dishwasher

When it comes to maintaining a clean and functional kitchen, your dishwasher plays a crucial role. Regularly cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher not only ensures its optimal performance but also extends its lifespan while maintaining hygiene. In this article, we will guide you through a step-by-step process to effectively clean your KitchenAid dishwasher, providing you with a sparkling and efficient appliance.

Understanding the Importance of Cleaning Your KitchenAid Dishwasher

A KitchenAid dishwasher is a workhorse in your kitchen, diligently cleaning your dishes, silverware, and glassware after every meal. However, over time, food particles, debris, and mineral deposits can accumulate, hampering its performance. By regularly cleaning your dishwasher, you can enjoy the following benefits:

Ensuring Optimal Performance

Cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher helps remove clogs and obstructions that may hinder the proper functioning of the appliance. A clean dishwasher ensures that water circulates freely, allowing dishes to be thoroughly cleaned without any residue.

Extending Lifespan

Just like any other appliance, proper maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your KitchenAid dishwasher. By cleaning it regularly and addressing any issues promptly, you can avoid costly repairs or premature replacements.

Maintaining Hygiene

A dirty dishwasher can become a breeding ground for bacteria and unpleasant odors. By cleaning it regularly, you ensure that your dishes are not only clean but also free from harmful germs and contaminants.

Necessary Preparations Before Cleaning

Before you dive into cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher, it is important to make a few preparations to ensure a smooth process.

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Gathering Supplies

To clean your KitchenAid dishwasher, gather the following supplies:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Toothpick or small wire
  • Citric acid or dishwasher cleaner (if needed)

Checking the User Manual

Consulting your dishwasher’s user manual is always a good idea. It provides specific instructions and guidelines for cleaning and maintenance, ensuring you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Your KitchenAid Dishwasher

Now that you have your supplies ready let’s dive into the step-by-step process of cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher:

1. Clearing Out Debris and Food Particles

Before starting any cleaning process, remove any visible debris and food particles from the dishwasher. Check the bottom of the appliance, racks, and the drain to ensure there are no obstructions.

2. Cleaning the Exterior

Using a damp microfiber cloth and mild dish soap, wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher, including the control panel, door, and handle. Pay special attention to any stains or fingerprints, ensuring a clean and shiny exterior.

3. Cleaning the Interior

Mix a solution of warm water and dish soap. Dip the soft-bristle brush into the solution and gently scrub the interior walls, floor, and corners of the dishwasher. Be thorough but gentle to avoid damaging any components.

4. Removing and Cleaning Filters

Most KitchenAid dishwashers have filters that help trap debris and prevent it from clogging the drain or spray arms. Locate the filters and remove them according to your dishwasher’s manual. Rinse them under warm water and use a toothpick or small wire to remove any stubborn particles.

5. Cleaning the Spray Arms

The spray arms distribute water during the cleaning cycle, so it’s important to keep them clean and free from blockages. Use a toothpick or small wire to clear any debris from the spray arm holes. Rinse them thoroughly under warm water to remove any remaining particles.

6. Descaling and Removing Mineral Deposits

If you notice mineral deposits or limescale buildup in your dishwasher, it’s essential to address them. Prepare a mixture of white vinegar and water or use a citric acid-based dishwasher cleaner as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Run a cleaning cycle using the chosen solution to dissolve and remove the mineral deposits.

Tips for Regular Maintenance

To keep your KitchenAid dishwasher in top shape, follow these maintenance tips:

1. Wiping Down the Dishwasher

Regularly wipe down the dishwasher’s interior and exterior with a damp cloth to remove any spills or residue. This prevents the buildup of grime and keeps your dishwasher looking clean.

2. Running Regular Cleaning Cycles

Occasionally run a cleaning cycle using dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water. This helps remove any remaining buildup and keeps your dishwasher smelling fresh.

3. Checking for Leaks

Inspect your dishwasher for any signs of leaks, such as pooling water or dampness around the appliance. If you notice a leak, address it promptly to prevent further damage.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Here are some common issues you may encounter with your KitchenAid dishwasher and how to troubleshoot them:

1. Dishwasher Not Draining Properly

If your dishwasher is not draining properly, check for any clogs in the drain hose or the garbage disposal. Clear any obstructions and ensure the drain hose is properly connected.

2. Foul Odors

To combat foul odors, run a cleaning cycle with white vinegar or a dishwasher cleaner. You can also place a bowl of vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle to eliminate any lingering smells.

3. Streaks or Spots on Dishes

If your dishes have streaks or spots after a cycle, ensure you are using the correct amount of detergent and that the water temperature is adequate. Hard water can also cause spots, so consider using a rinse aid to prevent them.

How often should I clean my KitchenAid dishwasher?

It is recommended to clean your KitchenAid dishwasher at least once every three months. However, if you notice any performance issues or buildup, it’s advisable to clean it more frequently.

Can I use bleach to clean the dishwasher?

No, bleach should not be used to clean your dishwasher. It can damage the appliance’s components and may leave behind harmful residues.

Why is my dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly?

Several factors can contribute to poor cleaning performance, including clogged spray arms, blocked filters, insufficient water temperature, or improper loading of dishes. Ensure you follow the cleaning steps mentioned in this article and address any specific issues accordingly.

How do I prevent mineral deposits in my dishwasher?

To prevent mineral deposits, use a citric acid-based dishwasher cleaner or run cleaning cycles with a mixture of white vinegar and water regularly. Additionally, using a water softener can help minimize mineral buildup.

Can I clean the dishwasher with vinegar?

Yes, vinegar is an effective and natural cleaner for your dishwasher. It helps remove odors, mineral deposits, and grime. You can use it in combination with water or run a cycle with only vinegar to clean the dishwasher.


Cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher is an essential part of maintaining its performance, extending its lifespan, and ensuring clean and hygienic dishes. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article and implementing regular maintenance practices, you can keep your dishwasher in optimal condition for years to come.

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