How to Run a Clean Cycle on Whirlpool Dishwasher

Modern dishwashers like the Whirlpool models are designed to make our lives easier by efficiently cleaning our dishes, but they also need a little TLC to maintain their performance. One essential maintenance step is running a clean cycle on your Whirlpool dishwasher. In this article, we will guide you through the process of running a clean cycle to ensure your dishwasher stays in top condition.

Understanding the Importance of a Clean Cycle

Why Run a Clean Cycle?

The clean cycle is not just an optional feature; it’s a crucial maintenance step that keeps your dishwasher working effectively. Over time, food particles, grease, and mineral deposits can accumulate in your dishwasher’s interior, spray arms, and filters. This buildup can lead to unpleasant odors, poor cleaning performance, and even clogs. Running a clean cycle helps remove these deposits and keeps your dishwasher functioning optimally.

Steps to Run a Clean Cycle on Your Whirlpool Dishwasher

Step 1: Preparation

Before you start the clean cycle, ensure your dishwasher is empty. Remove any dishes, utensils, and racks.

Step 2: Selecting the Right Cycle

Different Whirlpool models might have slightly different options for the clean cycle. However, you can usually find it listed as “Clean” or “Maintenance.” Check your dishwasher’s user manual if you’re unsure about the exact cycle name.

Step 3: Adding Dishwasher Cleaner

Some dishwashers require a specific dishwasher cleaner for the clean cycle. If your model requires this, add the recommended amount of cleaner to the designated compartment in the dishwasher.

Step 4: Starting the Cycle

Close the dishwasher door securely and select the clean cycle. Start the cycle as you would with a regular cleaning cycle.

Step 5: Wiping Down the Interior

Once the clean cycle is complete, open the dishwasher door and carefully wipe down the interior with a clean cloth. Pay attention to the walls, door, and seals.

Additional Tips for Dishwasher Maintenance

1. Regularly Clean the Filter

In addition to the clean cycle, it’s essential to clean the dishwasher filter at least once a month. A clogged filter can hinder water drainage and affect cleaning performance.

2. Use Vinegar

If you prefer a natural cleaning solution, you can substitute dishwasher cleaner with white vinegar. Place a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run a regular cleaning cycle to help break down mineral deposits.

3. Scrape Off Excess Food

Before loading dishes into the dishwasher, make sure to scrape off excess food remains. This prevents large food particles from clogging the spray arms and filters.


Running a clean cycle on your Whirlpool dishwasher is a straightforward yet essential maintenance task that can significantly extend the life of your appliance. By removing built-up grime and mineral deposits, you’ll ensure that your dishwasher continues to provide sparkling clean dishes.


1. How often should I run a clean cycle on my Whirlpool dishwasher?

It’s recommended to run a clean cycle every 1-2 months, depending on your usage and water hardness.

2. Can I use bleach for cleaning my dishwasher?

No, using bleach is not recommended as it can damage the rubber seals and other components of the dishwasher.

3. My dishwasher doesn’t have a specific clean cycle. What should I do?

If your dishwasher doesn’t have a designated clean cycle, you can use the hottest water setting with a cup of white vinegar placed on the top rack.

4. Should I use dishwasher cleaner even if my dishwasher looks clean?

Yes, using dishwasher cleaner prevents buildup that might not be immediately visible. It helps maintain the dishwasher’s performance.

5. Can I run the clean cycle with dishes inside?

It’s best to run the clean cycle with an empty dishwasher to ensure proper cleaning and prevent potential damage to dishes.

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